Dominating the picturesque Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan is the India House, or 1 Hanover Square. Built in 1851 by developer and merchant Richard F. Carmen, it was here where the New York Cotton Exchange was founded in 1870, the second such exchange of its kind.
But before the India House stood on Hanover Square, during Dutch Colonial times it was the location of the home of Governor Kieff and it stood nearly at the water’s edge, with a small waterway, or slip, running out to meet the Hudson River. In 1835, the Great Fire ripped through New York City and destroyed most of the buildings, including the ones at Hanover Square. It is the reconstruction of this once great shopping and financial district we see today.
After the New York Cotten Exchange was disbanded, the Hanover Bank moved into the great building and after 1914, it was designated as a private club. Today, India House is used by restaurants and a catering hall called The Bayard. Upon entering the building, the immensity of its grand past is hard to ignore, with its grand staircase and conical ceiling. The upper most dining room at The Bayard harkens back to the days when water lapped at the shores of the square and men like Captain Kidd stayed at its homes, decorated with ships with a sky blue ceiling.
Film buffs may recognize the building of where Leopold in Kate & Leopold lived, the 2001 film starring Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman.
1 Hanover Square, New York, NY – (212) 269-2323
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