3. JP Morgan Building – 23 Wall Street

Photo by New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection via Library of Congress

Around noon on September 16, 1920, an unattended horse-drawn wagon exploded outside the JP Morgan & Co. office on the corner of Wall and Broad Streets, just a couple hundred feet from the New York Stock Exchange. The bomb left more than 30 people dead and hundreds more injured.

Despite exhaustive searches, the bomber’s identity has remained a mystery. It’s suspected that the bombing was carried out by anarchists, Communists or Socialists, perhaps as revenge for the indictment of anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti for murder. A few days after the bombing, a note was found in a mailbox at Cedar Street and Broadway that read:

“Remember. We will not tolerate any longer. Free the political prisoners or it will be death for all of you. American Anarchist Fighters!”

Today, the JP Morgan building still stands, and is a National Historic Landmark. The only trace of the bombings are small pockmarks in the stone walls. Morgan supposedly forbade anyone from fixing the blemishes, instead leaving them as a testament to the bombers’ failure to destroy his building. Until the Oklahoma City bombings in 1995, this was the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil.

In 1989, JP Morgan moved its offices to 60 Wall Street (now home to Deutsche Bank) before establishing its current 270 Park Ave location. The original House of Morgan at 23 Wall Street was later sold to be developed as condominiums. The building also had a cameo in The Dark Knight as the exterior of the Gotham City Stock Exchange.