Loss framed the narrative of the neighborhood not long ago, as Wall Street banks relocated to Midtown, and far more profoundly, when thousands of lives were taken by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. But this waterfront neighborhood at Manhattan’s tip has renewed itself with vigor.
By some definitions, the financial district takes up the southern tip of Manhattan south of Chambers Street and the Brooklyn Bridge, including the South Street Seaport and, for the purposes of this story, Battery Park City. But the area does not always give off the vibe of a settled place.
Some blocks, and even whole streets, have for years been dusty, clanging and occasionally barricaded works-in-progress. Now, to the relief of residents, some areas are completely open to foot traffic for the first time in years. Much of the fencing at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum came down in May.
Still, construction zones dominate, including once-empty offices being converted to apartments, like 70 Pine Street, along with newer high-rises, like W New York Downtown and 5 Beekman, two hotel-condo buildings. To the east, the Seaport is partitioned with green fences as the Howard Hughes Corporation redevelops retail sections. And to the west, a chain-link fence hung with a massive white sign directing tourists to the Statue of Liberty rings a section of Battery Park, which is gaining bike paths.