Originally the Merchants' Exchange, and later the United States Customs House, the building's interior was modified and floors were added for First National City Bank. The full-block three-story Greek Ionic granite base with a Roman banking hall, and three superimposed stories with Corinthian columns currently houses the Regent Hotel. A remarkable example of the adaptability and durability of Romantic Classical planning and design, the building is included in the National Register of Historic Landmarks, The U.S. and New York State Registers of Historic Places, and the Landmark Preservation Committee list for both its interiors and exterior.
The lowest three stories were built in 1836–1841 as the four-story Merchants' Exchange and designed by Isaiah Rogers in the Greek Revival style. The Merchants' Exchange building was erected to replace an older structure that had burned down in the Great New York City Fire of 1835.
55 Wall Street subsequently hosted the New York Stock Exchange and the United States Custom House until a new Custom House building was developed on Bowling Green.
Between 1907 and 1910, McKim, Mead & White removed the original fourth story and added five floors. It served as the headquarters of National City Bank from 1908 to 1961. Citibank retained ownership in the building until 1992.
The upper portion of the building was turned into a hotel in 1998–1999.
After the hotel's closure in 2003, the upper floors were renovated again and became a condominium development in 2006. The original banking room became a ballroom.