When a stock exchange goes dark

February 25, 2011: 11:15 AM ET

It was two years ago this month that traders on the floor of the American Stock Exchange executed their last trades at 86 Trinity Place in downtown New York. The NYSE Euronext bought the exchange in late 2008 and merged it with its European counterpart to create a new small-cap exchange that's now called NYSE Amex Equities.

And where will the remnants of the once venerable Amex operate in the future? The NYSE Euronext (NYX) is now in talks to be acquired by Germany's Deutsche Borse, while the parent of the Nasdaq Stock Market (NDAQ) is reportedly seeking partners to make a counteroffer.

Photographer Aliza Eliazarov was a photojournalism student two years ago when she visited the American Stock Exchange to capture its final day on film. "When I arrived, I found a bizarre ghost town filled with paper tumbleweeds, spewing fax machines, dangling telephones and teary eyed traders," she says. "The closing bell rang for the last time. People clapped, cried, and left."

Below are a few pictures from the series, which is part of an ongoing project on the closing of New York institutions.

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