Walking Wall Street

On September 29, 2012, some folks walked the length of Wall Street. Except it wasn't in New York. Instead, they walked Wall Street in their hometown:

Wall Street, Los Angeles

Los Angeles' Wall Street is just like its Main Street (in fact, Main Street runs parallel a block away). Here focus is on local economies that are characteristically distinct from one city block to the next.

Wall Street near E 102nd St, Los Angeles
Wall Street at E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Main Street at E 50th St (one block west of Wall Street), Los Angeles
Sanchez's on Wall Street at E 41st Pl, Los Angeles
Maple-Pico Center (one block west of Wall Street), Los Angeles
Looking northwest on Wall Street at E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles

The route along Los Angeles' Wall Street took the walkers past residences, businesses, street vendors, and street-side parties; districts including warehouses, textile factories, single family bungalows, apartments, and Art Deco shopping clusters. Contrast this with Wall Street in New York:

Wall Street, New York

These pictures were taken just after the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park. As you can see, barricades dominate. Though the same pedestrian blocades exist even now around the "critical" center of American banking.

The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, New York City
Side street baracade just off of Wall Street, New York City

Walking Wall Street is a project to catalog Wall Streets in the United States and compare them to the Wall Street in New York. Here is a second Wall Street, in Washington State:

Wall Street, Everett

Everett's Wall Street starts among downtown bank and government buildings and ends down at the docks, site of working class race riots in 1907. Here, white workers violently removed East Indian immigrants from lumber mills where they shared employment. Riots were prevalent up and down the Washington coast during this time.

Looking south at the U.S. Post Office and Customshouse Building, corner of Wall Street and Colby Street, Everett, Washington
Looking west towards the docks and Monte Cristo Hotel along Wall Street at Colby Street, Everett, Washington

Some Wall Streets are named after a physical wall nearby (such as New York City's Wall Street, where the Dutch had set up a protective wall), other times they are named in honor of the original (in New York) as a town's center for banking (such as Los Angeles'). Still others are part of housing developments where provenance is ambiguous, such as this Wall Street in Carson, California, south of Los Angeles:

Wall Street, Carson

Carson, California's Wall Street is part of a residential neighborhood in visible range of the StubHub Center, home to soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy. The area, which also contains Cal State University Dominquez Hills, was one of the sites considered for the new LA-area football stadium (which ended up going to Inglewood).

Looking east along E 182nd St from Wall St at StubHub Center (soccer) and Cal State Dominguez Hills, Carson, California
Looking south along Wall St, Carson, California
Carson Cicruit Route E (Del Amo) bus stop at Wall St and 184th St, Carson, California

Back in Washington State, in the other side of the state known as the Palouse, there are a few counties named after American homesteaders. One is Whitman County, named after a missionary, who came across the Oregon trail then set up his settlement inside an existing Native Cayuse settlement. Hundreds of Cayuse subsequently died of measles. The tribe then turned around and killed the Whitman family whom they held responsible for the epidemic.

Wall Street, Colfax

None of the history of Marcus Whitmen, the Cayuse tribe, or the measles epidemic is represented along the Wall Street in Colfax, seat of Whitman County. However, just a few blocks south sits another disasterous blend of American-Native cultures: The Codger Pole, a totem pole featuring the participants in a 1988 football game.


Saint Paul, Minnesota's Wall Street is more conventional, existing in its busy downtown along the Mississippi River. While Wall Street here contains a number of live-work lofts and other redeveloped old warehouses, the bank buildings that originated in the early 1900s exist a couple blocks to the West, on Jackson Street.

Wall Street, Saint Paul

Why the developers chose Jackson over Wall is still a mystery to this author (despite visiting the Minnesota Historical Society's library), but now there is little room for more banks on the latter; Wall Street is chopped off at its northern end by the I-94 freeway.

North end of Wall Street in Saint Paul, which is a turnabout and intersection between Wall Street and E 8th Street.
North end of Wall Street in Saint Paul, which is a turnabout and intersection between Wall Street and E 8th Street.
Wall Street near 6th Street, looking south along Wall Street toward Union Depot, in Saint Paul.
South end of Wall Street in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Looking south along Wall Street towards Union Depot at the end.
443 Wall Street storefront, near 7th Street, Saint Paul.

In a city with lots of money moving through it, one might expect to find a prominent Wall Street modelled after the original in New York. However, Las Vegas' Wall Street is less than a block long (another example of a chopped off street) and there are no banks in sight, but easily viewable is the tower of Stratosphere Las Vegas. Stretching upwards from the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, the attraction entered bankruptcy right after its opening in 1996.

Wall Street, Las Vegas

Wall Street in Las Vegas is an outlyer—it exists out on its own beyond the Strip, near a freeway overpass and surrounded by more heavily trafficked roads, and contains no permanent buildings. Oddly, when one approaches Wall Street from the I-15 South off-ramp there is a sign making sure to point road traffic in its direction. However, neither of the other roads mentioned on the sign as accessible via Wall Street, Western and Frontage, are actually accessible in such a way.

'Use Wall St.' sign along S Martin L King Blvd in northern Las Vegas.
Wall Street, now a construction zone, with the Berverly Green neighborhood of Las Vegas and the Stratosphere in the background.
Wall Street, now a construction zone, near W Charleston Blvd in northern Las Vegas.

Craig Dietrich, craigdietrich at gmail. View the full set of images on Flickr.