The NYSE was first housed at a rented room at 40 Wall Street in 1817. A 5-story building at 10 Broad Street opened in 1865. It was enlarged and remodeled during the 1870s and 1880s, then was demolished in 1901 to make way for the current building. The new Exchange building at 18 Broad Street opened in 1903. Styled in the classical-revival manner popular at the time, it was designed by George B. Post, a well-known architect and engineer. The sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward designed the pediment. The eleven figures in the pediment are emblems of American commerce and industry.
The central figure symbolizes integrity, bordered by figures representing sources of wealth. Other figures personify agriculture, mining, science, industry and invention. The view of lower Manhattan from the NYSE building includes the intersection of Nassau, Broad and Wall Streets and looks directly on Federal Hall, the historic site of George Washington’s inauguration in 1789. It also includes Trinity Church at the end of Wall Street. The Main Floor occupies 36,000 square feet with a ceiling of 86 feet, including the Garage, Blue Room and Expanded Blue Room.
It consists of 17 trading posts, 340 trading positions and 3,000 people who work on the trading floor. Trowbridge & Livingston designed a 23-story building on 11 Wall Street. The Garage was added as a second trading room when the Exchange opened in 1922. 20 Broad Street opened in 1956. Added as a third trading room, the Blue Room opened in 1969 and was expanded in 1988. The Garage, Blue Room, and the Expanded Blue Room each measure 7,000 square feet. Each trading post represents the auction market for many different securities.
Buy and sell orders are received on the terminals and executed in the open market. There are nearly 3,000 NYSE-listed companies and about 400 of them are non-US listed companies. There are more than 10,000 institutions investing in the NYSE. The total dollar value of the corporate size of all NYSE listed companies is more than $17. 3 trillion. The broker booths occupy the perimeter of the floor and are owned and operated by member firms. The NYSE trading floor contains 1,500 booth spaces. There are about 500 member firms in the NYSE.
NYSE member firms employ 100,000 registered workers. Originally, only members and their guests were allowed to view the trading floor from the balcony known as the Members Gallery, high above the floor. The media and guests of the NYSE now use it. The Ramp, NYSEs new, Three-Dimensional Trading Floor (3DTF) is a computer-generated trading floor representation used for operations control, information sharing and information distribution. Its the first large-scale virtual reality environment for business applications.
The 3-D image is depicted on nine 25-inch PixelVision high-resolution, flat-panel monitors, including three monitors that allow the user to understand specific activities. The Advanced Trading Floor Operations Center, which houses the 3DTF, utilizes 6 Silicon Graphics high-powered Onyx2 graphics visualization supercomputers, 43 PixelVision high-resolution, flat-panel monitors, highly advanced software and innovative application code. The Interactive Education Center provides visitors with a technology-driven, user-friendly learning experience.
The center features information booths, interactive stock trading exhibits, news feeds, stock prices and a view of the trading floor. The trading floor hosts 8,000 phone circuits, 5,000 electronic devices and 200 miles of fiber optic cable. 1,100 tons of air conditioning are needed daily on the NYSE trading floor. About 3,500 kilowatts of power are consumed daily on the NYSE trading floor. One of the most familiar features of the New York Stock Exchange, the bell’s loud ring signals the beginning and ending of trading each day.
There is one large bell in each of the four trading areas of the NYSE. The bells are operated synchronously from a single control. The G. S. Edwards Company of Norwalk, Connecticut manufactured the bells, measuring 18 inches in diameter. In the late 1980s, the NYSE decided to refurbish the bells and have an extra bell made as a back up. While Edwards agreed to make a special replica for the NYSE, an older, larger bell was discovered in a crawl space above the main trading floor.
Measuring 24 inches in diameter, this 1903 bell had most likely been put away because it was too loud, even for the New York Stock Exchange. After being cleaned and refurbished, this giant bell was toned down. It now gleams on a platform above the trading floor, ready for use should it ever be called into action. The bell is a part of the NYSE’s heritage, and it is considered an honor to be invited to ring the opening or closing bell. The constant development of this high-quality and cost-effective self-regulated marketplace has secured the confidence of almost 60 million individual investors in the US.