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commemorating the spot which was con the doors. The form of the building is secrated by its enactment. The Custom a parallelogram, two hundred feet long, House stands in a splendid position for and ninety feet wide ; its height is about the display of a sculptured picture; its eighty feet. The pediment at each end is portico rears itself boldly up in its snowy supported by eight fluted columns of magnificence, in front of Broad-street, and white marble, five feet eight inches in is elevated from the surface of Wall-street, diameter, and thirty-two feet high. On on a platform to which you ascend by each side there are thirteen square pilaseighteen marble steps. The two ends on ters, with windows in the embayed interWall and Pine streets are precisely alike, vals. The interior is divided into a grand but the difference of position gives a look rotunda, and numerous offices for the of grandeur to the Wall-street end, which different departments of the Customthe other hardly suggests. The build House. The rotunda is sixty feet in ing is entirely isolated, fronting on Wall, diameter; the dome is supported by sixNassau and Pine streets, and having an teen Corinthian columns, thirty feet high, alley of ten feet on the south side, which with capitals of white Italian marble. separates it from the neighboring build Under the dome are the desks of the four ings. As a piece of masonry, it is doubt deputy collectors, and around the sides of less equal to any structure in the world; the hall are the desks of the entrance and, if let alone, will probably endure and clearance clerks. All the business is long as the Pyramids. It is built transacted with the Custom-House must entirely of white marble, which was first be begun here, and, in the little brought from the Berkshire quarries in room adjoining, where the cashier keeps Massachusetts; and the only wood-work his desk, nearly two-thirds of the entire employed in the whole structure is in revenue of the country is received, and
paid over to the Sub-treasurer, whose vaults are in the north-eastern corner of the building. In the crypt are the offices of some of the important subordinate officers; and it is only by a visit to this part of the structure that its solidity and massiveness can be felt. Some of the marble blocks weigh over thirty tons. The roof is of marble: the slabs weigh three hundred pounds each, and overlap each other eight inches. The building was commenced in May, 1834, and completed in the same month in 1841. The cost, including the lot, was $1,195,000; the building alone cost $950,000.
Emerson says in one of his poems"Earth proudly wears the Par
thenon, As the best gem upon her zone."
But we Yankees have too many other good things to boast of, to feel any pride in the Parthenons which we rear for all sorts of purposes, and the Custom-House in Wall-street, solid, beautiful, and costly as it is, we are by no means proud of. Perhaps our pos
terity may be ; but our High Bridge is a much finer architectural object than could be found in all Athens, and we are not proud of even that. The late
John Frazee. the sculptor, had the superintendence of the building of the Custom House, but cannot be called its architect as he has sometimes had the credit of being
Wall-street contains many fine buildings besides those that we have given views of, and among them is the new banking house of the Seamen's Saving's Bank, on the corner of Wall and Pearl streets. One of the oldest commercial buildings in the city is the old Tontine Coffee House, between Water and Pearl streets, the large room of which was used as a Merchants' Exchange for a great number until about the year 1828, when the first Exchange, which was destroyed in the View of Dey st. from Greenwich st., looking towards Broadway. great fire of 1835, was finished. One of the peculiarities of our busy metropolis it is-is Drygoods. new banking institutions is to settle down Under this comprehensive head is included upon the corners of streets. The very every thing that is used for covering the finest of all the new banking houses human body, excepting shoes. Newis that of the Metropolitan Bank, on York is, in truth, what some of our amthe corner of Pine-street and Broadway. bitious tailors call their establishments. This superb building is but just finished; the great clothing emporium of the world. it is faced with brown free-stone, and A very considerable part of all the various displays a greater quantity of orna articles used in clothing the limbs and mental sculpture upon its two fronts than backs of this entire continent, the calicoes the whole of Broadway could have exhibit of Manchester, the cloths of Yorkshire, ed ten years ago. It is
, in fact, to our bank the laces and hosiery of Germany, the ing institutions and the drygoods busi- millinery of France, the silks of India, ness, that we are chiefly indebted for and the cottons of Lowell, pass through whatever of architectural excellence or the warehouses of New-York, and pay beauty our city can boast of. The Metro their percentage to our merchants, who politan Bank is, too, a drygoods bank, constitute a calico aristocracy. During which was established chiefly by drygoods the last year there was imported into the merchants, for the special convenience of port of New-York, foreign merchandise to their own department of trade.
the amount of one hundred and eighteen The great leading business of New millions, seven hundred and seventy-five York, that which gives employment to thousand, seven hundred and sixty-three the vast fleets of sailing ships and steam dollars; and of this amount, sixty-two vessels that continually crowd its magni- millions, six ? "ndred and eighteen thouficent harbor; which builds the superb sand, four lima lred and twenty-one dollars hotels that ornament its streets; that came under i..e head of drygoods. More creates banks, erects warehouses, extends than one half of the commerce of Newits docks, attracts thousands of traders York is in drygoods. We get a better from all corners of the continent, and idea of the immensity of this great branch makes it the great, wealthy; clegant and of trade, by looking at that part of the city
which the business almost entirely monopolizes. The U. S. Bonded Warehouse, fronting on Broadway, is used mainly for storing drygoods; and there were recently stored in this one building, goods to the amount of three millions of dollars. The drygoods dealers were once confined almost exclusively to Pearl-street; the business extending from Coenties Slip to Franklin Square. But now Pearl-street has been nearly abandoned by the business, and
the drygoods men occupy almost entirely Broad-street, Beaver-street, Exchange Place, Pine-street, William-street, Libertystreet, Cedar-street, Courtlandt-street, Dey-street, Maiden Lane, and about a mile of Broadway. These are the streets that are almost wholly monopolized by importers and jobbers of drygoods; while, in addition to them, are nuinerous large drygoods stores in assau-street, Fultonstreet. Park Place, Park Row, and even
Murray and Warren
all wholesale streets.
The retailers of drygoods are nearly as numerous, and are found principally in Canal-street, Grand-street, Broadway, the Bowery, Greenwich-street, and the Avenues. It is startling to enumerate the number of churches which have been pulled down and displaced to make room for the great business which spreads with such astounding rapidity over the whole lower part of the city, prostrating and utterly obliterating every thing that is old and venerable, and leaving
Stewart's Store, Chambers-street front.
not a single land-mark, in token of the for and texture as the best Italian, which mer position of the dwelling-places of strikes in a northerly direction through our ancestors. These demolished tem Massachusetts and Vermont, and termiples are the Dutch Reformed Church in nates in Canada. The architectural deGarden-street, now Exchange Place, the tails of Stewart's store are open to techniPresbyterian Church in Wall-street, the cal objections, but, as a whole, it is an imFrench Protestant Episcopal Church du posing structure, and an ornament to the St. Esprit in Pine-street, Grace Church city. A warehouse built for the sale of on Broadway, the Presbyterian Church merchandise is not the kind of building in Cedar-street, and the Quaker Meeting to which we should look for architectural House in Liberty-street. Within the past perfection, but the only public building twenty years all these stately houses of wor we can boast of that is superior to Stewship and their parsonages have been torn art's store is our City Hall. The interior down, the contents of their grave-yards and of this great establishment is divided into family vaults ruthlessly scattered, and the departments for the sale of distinct variesacred ground covered with long blocks ties of goods; in the centre of the buildof brick and free-stone warehouses for the ing there is a superb hall, one hundred storage of drygoods. Hotels, theatres, feet long, forty feet wide, and eighty high, and private mansions have shared the lighted from an elegant lantern in the same fate.
dome. The walls and ceiling of this Calico is omnipotent, and whole streets splendid apartment are very elegantly and melt away at her approach. On the sites of chastely decorated with paintings, and the time-honored and venerated Mansion the merchandise, to the sale of which it is House and the City Hotel, on Broadway; appropriated, is of the most costly descripare now blocks of brown-stone drygoods tion of silk stuffs and brocades. The first warehouses. Where the National Hotel floor is appropriated to retail customers, once stood is a white marble building, of while the basement, with spacious subElizabethan architecture, devoted exclu terranean galleries beneath the side walk, sively to the sale of silks and ribbons ; is set apart for all kinds of carpetings Stewart's “Marble Palace” is on the site and floor-cloths. The upper lofts are apof the Washington Hotel, and where the propriated to the wholesale departments. old Park Theatre once stood, there are now There are three hundred salesmen and spacious brown-stone stores, occupied by clerks constantly employed. When lighted drygoods jobbers and clothiers. Dey
up at night, there are upwards of four street, which, but a short time since, was hundred gas burners in use. The numexclusively occupied by private dwellings ber of panes of French plate glass, used and boarding-houses, has been entirely in the building, is about two thousand. torn down and rebuilt for the accommo The sheets of plate glass in the windows dation of drygoods dealers. The first of on each side of the principal doors are the great brown-stone warehouses erected one hundred and thirty-four by eight-four on Broadway, is the block on the corner inches—the doors have but one plate of Rector-street and Broadway, which each, one hundred and thirty by fortycovers the entire site of Grace Church
The other windows are divided into and its rectory. This superb store is fifty four lights, sixty-seven by, forty-two ; feet front on Broadway, and two hundred there are sixty of these. All the sashes and twenty feet on Rector-street. It is are made of metal. The windows and built of brick, and faced with brown free doors have revolving iron shutters. The stone. The finest of the Broadway dry business of Stewart's store, we are ingoods stores, and, we believe, the most ex formed, amounts to over seven millions tensive and elegant building occupied by a year. Stewart's is the only retail dryone firm, in the world, is Stewart's store goods store on the east side of Broadway ; on Broadway. This immense drygoods the tide of fashion sets on the sunny ery occupies the entire block between side of our great thoroughfare, but the Reade and Chambers streets, with a front scarcity of stores will compel some of the age on Broadway of one hundred and great establishments further up to cross fifty-two feet; the front on Chambers over, before long, and we hope to see more street is one hundred feet, and about the white marble fronts on the shady side of same on Reade-street; it is eighty-three the street, where they are more needed feet high, from the sidewalk, and is di than on the other side. vided into five stories. The Broadway and Murray-street, which, but a short time Chambers-street fronts are of a delicate ago, was wholly occupied by private light cream-colored marble of remarkable dwellings of most intense respectability, uniformity of tint. It was brought from has felt the influence of the great change the Westchester Quarries, which that has overcome the lower part of part of a vein nearly as delicate in tint our city; the following view is from the