On Wall Street: Architectural Photographs of Lower Manhattan 1980-2000 by David Anderson, with Introduction by Paul Goldberger is a highly acclaimed black and white photography book which documents the historic and architecturally beautiful buildings on Wall Street district, which were designed and built by craftsmen of a bygone era of the Victorian Era. The images were made over a 20 year period, and the photographer ended his project with the bombing of the Twin Towers. The book is important not only for the expert photographs and excellent commentary about the photos, but also because 9/11 showed us that no matter how permanent structures appear they will not be here forever. Photographers, historians, architecture enthusiasts will want this book for their collection.
"The sturdiest structure in any small town is the bank—or the building it used to inhabit. Those hunks of columned limestone still anchor downtowns across the country, often converted into grocery stores or shopping arcades. And even on Wall Street, luxury apartments have colonized high-rise wonders like R.H. Robertson's 1899 building at 15 Park Row (looming in the foreground above)—once the tallest office building in the world. Drawn from David Anderson's 'On Wall Street: Architectural Photographs of Lower Manhattan, 1980-2000' (George F. Thompson, 123 pages, $50), this photograph from 1981 captures the upward and outward spiral of the financial industry over the centuries, from the steeple of St. Paul's (1796), to the Park Row building to the 1924 building (center) to the World Trade Center's south tower, stretching out of the frame a few blocks away. Shot in silvery black and white, the pictures emphasize the cool solidity of the often fortress-like subjects, as in the defensive turrets and machicolations of the Federal Reserve Bank. (It's only fitting: Wall Street got its name by marking the fortified edge of the young city.) But Mr. Anderson also has an eye for delicate details—he picks out the swirling grain in the facade of the Stock Exchange—and for whimsical decorations. On a high balcony at 67 Wall Street (now, too, converted into condos), a stone eagle surveys the street, secured by a chain that seems like a leash. These images—free of cars, signs and people—freeze the city in time. But everywhere you look are traces of bygone eras: the now-vanished Trade Center; a small 'First Class' sign on a former steamship terminal; and, carved in stone above a door on William Street, 'Lehman Brothers.'
“David Anderson's poignant photographs capture the coldness, power, and impregnability of the mythical Wall Street. Devoid of the flux of movement and crowds, the monuments speak. Creatures keep watch, frozen in stone, while surprising traces of decay and delicate detail suggest the contingency, even frailty, of human existence. Paul Goldberger's masterful introduction guides us as well in seeing and appreciating this historic citadel of American finance."
"From 1980 to 2000, photographer David Anderson documented Wall Street's architecture as few others have. Through an extensive range of black-and-white images whose focus is equally on the historic and iconic nature of the buildings, a real sense of this famous place emerges. I compare the look and feel of Anderson's photographs to some of the great urban photographers of the twentieth century: Berenice Abbott, Eugene Atget, Paul Strand, and, more recently, Thomas Struth and Bob Thall. On Wall Street will be an immediate classic that not only appeals to the aesthetic of architects, historians, and photographers, but also functions at street level for those who love cities everywhere, and especially, New York."