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Filmed from a moving boat, the film depicts the Hudson River (i.e., North River) shoreline and the piers of lower Manhattan beginning around Fulton Street and extending to Castle Garden and Battery Park.

It begins at one of the American Line piers (Pier 14 or 15, opposite Fulton Street) where an American Line steamer, either the "New York" or "Paris," is seen docked [Frame: 0120].

The camera passes one of the Manhattan-to-New Jersey commuter ferries to Jersey City or Communipaw [0860]. Proceeding south, the distinct double towers of the Park Row, or Syndicate Building, erected in 1897-98, can be seen in the background [0866]. A coastal freighter is next [1560], then Trinity Church appears, to the left of which can be seen the Surety Building, as a tug with a "C" on the stack passes in foreground [2032].

Several small steamboats come into view [2136], and the B.T. Babbitt Soap factory at Pier 6 is seen [2300], followed by the Pennsylvania Railroad piers (#5 & #4), with a group of docked railroad car floats [2556], and the Lehigh Valley Railroad piers (#3 & #2), also with car floats [3030].

Next are the Bowling Green Building (rectangular, with facade to camera) [3208], the Whitehall Building (vertical, thin side to camera) [3388], followed by Pennsylvania Railroad Pier #1 [3630]. Pier A (with a clock tower) is seen with the New York Harbor Police steam boat "Patrol" at its end [4654].

The Bowling Green Offices and the Produce Exchange at Bowling Green are visible in the background. The breakwater (sheltered landing) and the New York City Fireboat House appears [5270] and the distinctive round structure, Castle Garden, once a fort and immigrant station, but at the time of filming the City Aquarium, comes into view [5438].

The camera then pans east along the Battery Park promenade: the Barge Office (with tower) is visible in the distance [5804], and further out the Brooklyn shoreline with the grain elevators at Atlantic Avenue can be seen [6088].

This view is continued, with only a minor break in continuity, in the film Panorama of Sky Scrapers and Brooklyn Bridge From the East River. Together they comprise a sweep around the southern tip of Manhattan, from Fulton Street on the Hudson to the Brooklyn Bridge.