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Whitehall Street


Whitehall Street

On the 1660 Castello map, Whitehall stands out by its white roof and extensive garden

Whitehall Street is a street in the New York City borough of Manhattan, about four blocks long. It extends from the southern end of Broadway (the street name changes at Stone Street) to the southern end of FDR Drive, adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry terminal, on landfill beyond Stuyvesant's 17th-century house-site.

The street is one-way southbound for several blocks near Bowling Green until Pearl Street, and one-way northbound up from the FDR Drive near the Staten Island Ferry, also terminating at Pearl Street. The southernmost block (adjacent to the ferry terminal), provides access from FDR Drive to the Battery area.

Nearby structures

Alexander Hamilton Custom House, located on Whitehall Street

Near the foot of the street is the site of the Governor's house built by Peter Stuyvesant; when the British took over New Amsterdam from the Dutch, they christened the street and the building "Whitehall" for England's seat of government, Whitehall, London.[1] On the Castello map (1660, illustration) Whitehall, with its white roof, stands on a jutting piece of land at Manhattan's tip, facing along the waterfront strand that extends along the East River. The only extensive pleasure gardens in seventeenth-century Nieuw Amsterdam/New York are seen to extend behind it, laid out in a patterned parterre of four squares. Other grounds in the center of blocks behind houses are commons and market gardens. The mansion is long since gone, and now the name survives only as the short north-south Whitehall Street.[2]

The Topps Corporation has an office building. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has renovated the building, which is currently given the address 2 Broadway, to use as a new headquarters. There are also several other office buildings and low-density shops.

Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal

There is an active passenger ferry terminal at the southern tip of Manhattan called Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal; however, its facilities in use have shifted over the decade, as have the destinations served. Furthermore, the terminal once served cars. The original Whitehall Terminal served Brooklyn, Governors Island, Staten Island, and Weehawken, and it was originally served mainly by the Interborough Rapid Transit elevated trains. However, since the subways have replaced the els, cars now travel through bridges and tunnels such as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, and new terminal facilities were built at Whitehall to serve the Staten Island Ferry, the old Whitehall terminal building was allowed to decay until its recent renovation, as the "Battery Maritime Building", housing the ferry to Governors Island, which is open to the public from April through October.

For many years, a military induction center was located at 39 Whitehall Street before a 1969 bombing rendered it unusable. Nearly three million Americans were inducted at the Army building which existed at the site from 1884 to the end of the Vietnam War.[3]

The Whitehall Street – South Ferry station (1 N R trains) of the New York City Subway is partially named after the street, and entrances are located at the northern and southern ends of the street (at Stone Street and the Staten Island South Ferry terminal, respectively). The Bowling Green subway station (4 5 trains) is just steps away from the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, also on Whitehall Street.

In popular culture

The former military induction center at 39 Whitehall Street was made famous in Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant."[4]


  1. ^ Moscow, Henry (1979). The Street Book: An Encyclopedia of Manhattan's Street Names and Their Origins. New York: Fordham University Press. p. 112.  
  2. ^ Urban, Sylvanus, Jr. (January 12, 1902). "Sale of Stuyvesant Property Recalls Old Bouerie's Story".  
  3. ^ Yarrow, Andrew L. (May 26, 1989). "Out of New York's Military Past".  
  4. ^ Yarrow, Andrew L. (May 26, 1989). "Out of New York's Military Past".  

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