THE PRODUCE EXCHANGE, on Whitehall street (near the lower end of Broadway), occupies a building which is one of the notable architectural features of New York. The exterior is of brick and terra-cotta, of rich red tones; the decorations are the Arms of the States, the prows of ships and the heads of domestic cattle. The structure is of immense size, 300X 150 feet, and 116 feet in height, with a square tower rising 225 feet from the pavement. The foundation rests upon 15,037 New England spruce and pine piles driven down to bedrock and cut off below the level of tide water. The Exchange Room is an apartment 220 x 144 feet, and 60 feet in height to the peak of the skylight. The floor space is, next to that of the Madison Square Garden, the largest in the city.
The business done here is wholesale buying and selling of produce. Grain, flour, lard, provisions, petroleum, oil, naval stores, seeds, butter, cheese, hops, hay and straw are the principal articles dealt in. The volume of business exceeds a billion dollars a year. The long tables are for the display of samples, upon which many of the transactions are based; and in the corner is the oval "Wheat Pit," where wheat is bought and sold.
Bulletins announce the prices current in other trade centers, and give other information. "While on the floor a buyer may receive from Europe a cable order for a cargo of grain, flour or provisions, may purchase what is ordered, charter a vessel for shipment, engage an elevator to load the grain, or a lighter to move provisions or flour, effect insurance, sell exchange, cable back the fact of his purchases, and write and mail his letters."
Go To Next Page