William Street (Manhattan)

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Coordinates: 40°42′29.47″N 74°0′28.28″W / 40.7081861°N 74.0078556°W / 40.7081861; -74.0078556

William Street, looking south from below Cedar Street

William Street is a street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City. It is one of the oldest streets in Manhattan and can be seen in the 1660 Castello Plan of New Amsterdam. It runs generally southwest to northeast, crossing Wall Street and terminating at Broad Street and Spruce Street, respectively. Between Beaver Street and Broad Street, the street is known as South William Street. Between Beekman Street and Spruce Street, in front of New York Downtown Hospital, William Street is pedestrian-only.


View of the northeast corner of William and Wall streets. The house to the far right became City Bank of New York's first home at 38 Wall Street, later re-numbered as №52. (Painting by Archibald Robertson, c. 1798)

The street is named after Willem Beekman who arrived in New Amsterdam in 1647 as a fellow passenger of Peter Stuyvesant. Beekman got his start as a Dutch West India Company clerk and later served nine terms as mayor.[1]

The buildings on South William Street 13-23 were reconstructed in the Dutch revival style by architect C. P. H. Gilbert and later Edward L. Tilton in the early 1900s, evoking New Amsterdam with the use of red brick as building material and the features of stepped gables.[2] The area was declared a historic district in 1996 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.[3]


13-15 South William Street, constructed in the Dutch Colonial Revival architecture

The buildings on William Street tend to cater to the financial underpinnings of the area and include luxury condominiums, offices, and at least one conference center. Notable buildings fronting William Street include:


The IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line (2 3 trains) of the New York City Subway runs under William Street, with stops at Wall Street and Fulton Street.



  1. ^ Henry Moscow. The Street Book: An encyclopedia of Manhattan's Street Names and Their Origins. Fordham University Press, 1979. p. 113. 
  2. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/30/realestate/streetscapes-on-south-william-street-a-nod-to-new-amsterdam.html
  3. ^ http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/reports/STONE_STREET_HISTORIC_DISTRICT.pdf

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