Wall Street is the name of a narrow street in Lower Manhattan that runs east from Broadway. It's the historical heart of the NYC's financial district, and is also the first permanent home of the New York Stock Exchange. Most New York financial firms are no longer headquartered on Wall Street and have instead moved to other areas of Manhattan. A large percentage of Wall Street's current workforce is made up of people who work in law and finance. There are also several small near-by businesses that cater to these professionals and their workforce needs.
The street got its name because during the 17th century, the area that it rests was once the northern boundary of a New Amsterdam settlement. The Dutch had erected a wall of dirt and wood in 1652 to defend themselves against an Indian attack or an attack from the British. The wall was never used and was taken apart by the British in 1699. Wall Street's architecture is inspired by The Gilded Age, the post-Civil War and post-Reconstruction Era from 1865 to 1901 coined this name by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their 1873 book, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today. Wall Street financial clout has been compared to Tokyo's financial institutions and London's Square Mile in the financial heart of the United Kingdom.