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• Discover the Beaux-Arts beauty of The Wall Street Hotel. Defined by symmetry, a flat roof, and sculptures, a typical building created with Beaux-Arts-inspired designs would feature a rusticated first story, followed by several more simplistic ones. Every Beaux-Arts buildings’ layout features such elements like balustrades, pilasters, and cartouches as well.

• Find the origins of Wall Street. Long before the New York Stock Exchange opened, a few of the brokers decided to construct a quaint coffeehouse along Wall Street to function as their primary meeting place. At this time, Wall Street was thus named as it ran along a literal wall separating the city from the rural areas of the north island. Standing four stories in height and made of brick, the structure had been financed through an investment plan commonly referred to as a “tontine.” (The tontine was a collective annuity that increased in value as its various shareholders died, thus giving the survivors access to the vacated shares.) Construction lasted for some time, with the gorgeous structure opening as the “Tontine Coffee House” during the 1790s. The U.S. Department of the Interior listed the Tontine Building in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

• Admire the optical illusion of two buildings designed to look like one. A sharp-eyed real-estate tycoon saw opportunity in the Tontine Building. He bought it and built a restrained, 14-story rusticated Beaux-Arts building that would bring the ornament and tradition of the 19th century to meet the clean modern ambition of the 20th. A couple years later when the building next door came up for sale, he bought that too and built an addition to the first that seamlessly melded them together. An amateur eye would never spot the difference!

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