South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan

Friday, 23 June 2017 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Architecture, Museums, Exhibitions, New York City
Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Smallbones

© Smallbones

The South Street Seaport is a historic area in the New York City borough of Manhattan, centered where Fulton Street meets the East River, and adjacent to the Financial District. The Seaport is a designated historic district, and is distinct from the neighboring Financial District. It is part of Manhattan Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan, and is bounded by the Financial District to the west, southwest, and north; the East River to the southeast; and Two Bridges to the northeast. It features some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan, and includes the largest concentration of restored early 19th-century commercial buildings in the city. This includes renovated original mercantile buildings, renovated sailing ships, the former Fulton Fish Market, and modern tourist malls featuring food, shopping, and nightlife, with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The first pier in the area appeared in 1625, when the Dutch West India Company founded an outpost here. With the influx of the first settlers, the area was quickly developed. One of the first and busiest streets in the area was today’s Pearl Street, so named for a variety of coastal pearl shells. Due to its location, Pearl Street quickly gained popularity among traders. The East River was eventually narrowed. By the second half of the 17th century, the pier was extended to Water Street, then to Front Street, and by the beginning of the 19th century, to South Street. The pier was well reputed, as it was protected from westerly winds and ice of the Hudson River.

© Elisa.rolle/cc-by-sa-3.0 South Street Seaport Museum Wall sign © Andy C/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Smallbones Pier 17 from Brooklyn Bridge © Maria Azzurra Mugnai/cc-by-3.0
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Pier 17 from Brooklyn Bridge © Maria Azzurra Mugnai/cc-by-3.0
The South Street Seaport Museum was founded in 1967 by Peter and Norma Stanford. When originally opened as a museum, the focus of the Seaport Museum conservation was to be an educational historic site, with shops mostly operating as reproductions of working environments found during the Seaport’s heyday. In 1982, redevelopment began to turn the museum into a greater tourist attraction via development of modern shopping areas. The project was undertaken by the prominent developer James Rouse and modeled on the concept of a festival marketplace, a leading revitalization strategy throughout the 1970s. On the other side of Fulton Street from Schermerhorn Row, the main Fulton Fish Market building, which had become a large plain garage-type structure, was rebuilt as an upscale shopping mall. Pier 17’s old platforms were demolished and a new glass shopping pavilion raised in its place, which opened in August 1983. The original intent of the Seaport development was the preservation of the block of buildings known as Schermerhorn Row on the southwest side of Fulton Street, which were threatened with neglect or future development, at a time when the history of New York City’s sailing ship industry was not valued, except by some antiquarians. Early historic preservation efforts focused on these buildings and the acquisition of several sailing ships. Almost all buildings and the entire Seaport neighborhood are meant to transport the visitor back in time to New York’s mid-19th century, to demonstrate what life in the commercial maritime trade was like. Docked at the Seaport are a few historical sailing vessels, including the Wavertree. A section of nearby Fulton Street is preserved as cobblestone and lined with shops, bars, and restaurants. The Bridge Cafe, which claims to be “The Oldest Drinking Establishment in New York” is in a building that formerly housed a brothel.

Designated by Congress in 1998 as one of several museums which together make up “America’s National Maritime Museum”, South Street Seaport Museum sits in a 12 square-block historic district that is the site of the original port of New York City. The Museum has over 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) of exhibition space and educational facilities. It houses exhibition galleries, a working 19th-century print shop, an archeology museum, a maritime library, a craft center, a marine life conservation lab, and the largest privately owned fleet of historic ships in the country. At the Seaport a mall and tourism center, is built on Pier 17 on the East River. Visitors may choose from among many shops and a food court. Currently, Pier 17 is closed and is scheduled to reopen at either the end of 2016/ beginning of 2017. However, there are other dining and clothing boutiques opened in the area worth checking out. Decks outside on Pier 15 allow views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge, and Brooklyn Heights. At the entrance to the Seaport is the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse.

Read more on Seaport District NVC, South Street Seaport Museum, NYCgo.com – South Street Seaport and Wikipedia South Street Seaport (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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