These two words originate from one of the most iconic cities and maybe one of the most well known downtowns in the world. Yes it is as you thought my friends, it is the Big Apple, New York. When New York was built, after a few years when it population was still low, it was just a town in the north of the 13 Colonies. The towns growth was limited by the shape and size of Manhatten Island. The folks coming in the town kept moving upper and upper. The word uptown then appeared in 1830 to describe this movement in which all the residents lived in the upper part of the town. This continued until the southern part of the town became more used for commercial interests. They named the south part of town, Downtown and since then any town that has a commercial area in the south is called a Downtown. So now the suburbs are called Uptowns and commercial districts Downtowns.
Did you know that the biggest immigration pre the war happened in New York, a group of 6000 Germans were sent to the island. These were the first Europeans other then the settlers in the 13 Colonies. These Germans helped greatly to the development of New York and had contributed to what it is today.