Pearl Street

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Museum of the City of New York
Written By Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation.

Pearl Street is located in what is now the Financial District of Lower Manhattan. It runs from Battery Park to the Brooklyn Bridge. Pearl Street was situated along the shoreline until the 1800s when landfill extended it several hundred feet inland.

Pearl Street has been around since the 1600s when the Dutch settled in New York City. They named the area Parelstraat, which translates to Pearl Street in English.

It is often said that Pearl Street got its name because it was covered with crushed oyster shells by the Dutch. But the truth is more likely that is was simply located nearby a large oyster midden (pile of used oyster shells) left behind by the Lenape Indians. Either way, Pearl Street is often associated with abundance and wealth even today.

Cover photo by Brad Hagan via Flickr.

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