Bowling Green

Park in Financial District & Lower Manhattan

New York’s oldest – and possibly tiniest – public park is purportedly the spot where Dutch settler Peter Minuit paid Native Americans the equivalent of $24 to purchase Manhattan Island. At its northern edge stands Arturo Di Modica's 7000lb bronze Charging Bull, placed here permanently after it mysteriously appeared in front of the New York Stock Exchange in 1989, two years after a market crash.

Attention and controversy returned to the park in March, 2017, when a financial firm installed Fearless Girl, a statue posed as if in defiant opposition to the bull. Some cheered it as a potent symbol of feminism or anti-capitalism. Di Modica, however, decried it as a warping and misreading of his artwork and called for Fearless Girl's immediate removal. Public wrangling and negotiations followed and her survival was extended to 2018.

The tree-fringed triangle was leased by the people of New York from the English crown beginning in 1733, for the token amount of one peppercorn each. But an angry mob, inspired by George Washington’s nearby reading of the Declaration of Independence, descended upon the site in 1776 and tore down a large statue of King George III; a fountain now stands in its place.


Advertisement