Across from the Meal Market, where enslaved workers could be hired or bought, was the Tontine Coffee House, home of the New York Stock Exchange. Powerbrokers of the day met in a room there to buy, sell, and trade. As soon as a ship’s captain reached the harbor, this is where he came to register his cargo. The goods coming into New York in the 1790s included coffee, tea, sugar and molasses, fine furniture, cloth, cotton, and enslaved men, women, and children.The companies that insured, outfitted, and owned the boats used to carry Africans from their homelands to enslavement often traded on the stock market. The slave trade was big business and New Yorkers made huge profits from it long after slavery was made illegal in the state. The first and last New York slave trader to be executed was caught in April 1861, as the first shots of the Civil War were fired.The New York Stock Exchange has roots that go back to a spring day in 1792, when a group of 24 men met outside 68 Wall Street in the shade of a huge sycamore tree that locals called a buttonwood. They set down the rules they would trade by and called it the Buttonwood Agreement. Later that year, trading moved into a room on the second floor of the Tontine Coffee House, where it remained until 1817.
A group of NY brokers formally establish the New York Stock and Exchange Board, an organization that later will be renamed the NewYork Stock Exchange (N.Y.S.E.). formalized and established its first quarters in a rented room at 40 Wall St. The exchange grew into the largest in the world of companies listed with a capitalization of over $30 trillion. Technology changed as inventions such as the telegraph, stock ticker, and computers transformed stock trading from the physical exchange of documents between specialist brokers on the trading floor to an electronic platform.
The first New York Stock Exchange building was completed in 1865. About 15 years later, James Renwick expanded the building.
The structure was in turn demolished to make way for Emily Post's architect father George Post's Beaux Arts Style building. The exchange is now owned by ICE, a holding company based in Atlanta. The central third of the block contains the original structure at 18 Broad Street, designed in the neoclassical style by George B. Post. The northern third contains a 23-story office annex at 11 Wall Street, designed by Trowbridge & Livingston in a similar style.