The approved design. All renderings courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill / Howard Hughes Corporation
The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to approve plans for a debated mixed-use project and a new museum in the South Street Seaport. The Howard Hughes Corporation presented a revised proposal for 250 Water Street that includes one 324-foot tower to be built on a parking lot instead of the two 470-foot structures originally proposed in January. The project also involves constructing a new building for the South Street Seaport Museum at 89 South Street.
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All renderings courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill / Howard Hughes Corporation
Plans to construct two 470-foot towers and expand a museum in the historic South Street Seaport neighborhood were met with mixed feedback during a public Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing on Tuesday. The Howard Hughes Corporation presented a proposal for a $1.4 billion mixed-use project consisting of rentals, condos, and office space at 250 Water Street, as well as a new building for the South Street Seaport Museum at 89 South Street. While those in favor of the project say it will bring much-needed affordable housing to a neighborhood that has almost none and help the museum stay open, opponents claim the project is out of scale with the rest of the district. New renderings of the proposed expanded museum show plans for a copper-clad exterior, flexible gallery space, an outdoor terrace, and a connection to the historic structure.
The South Street Seaport Museum may not be one of New York City’s glitziest institutions, but it’s certainly one of the most resilient and perhaps the one most closely tied to the founding of the city itself. Using actual historic buildings and ships to provide interactive exhibits and educational programs, the museum tells the story of New York’s rise as a port city and how that led to the development of the entire country. But the seaport location became all too real in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the entire historic district, leaving the museum with $20 million in damages and the loss of its institutional partner, the Museum of the City of New York.
Now, three years later, the South Street Seaport Museum is sailing into new territory, thanks in large part to its recently appointed executive director Captain Jonathan Boulware, a lifelong sailor, marine educator, expert in historic ships, and all-around lover of maritime history and culture. In August, Boulware and his team landed a $10.4 million FEMA grant to repair the storm damage, and in May, the museum launched a $10.6 million city-funded project to restore Wavertree, one of the museum’s most significant historic ships. With these exciting developments underway, we caught up with Captain Boulware to learn a bit about his background, what visitors can expect at the museum, and where the institution is heading.
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This week, the Howard Hughes Corporation gave a presentation to the South Street Seaport community about their residential tower planned for the waterfront beside Pier 17. The original design by SHoP Architects was 52 stories and 650 feet, but to satisfy concerns by neighborhood residents and elected officials about the tower’s appropriateness, the firm scaled back the design to 42 stories and agreed to also build a middle school and waterfront esplanade. But even this revised plan was met with much criticism at the community meeting; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council member Margaret Chin both expressed that they would not support the tower and likened it to plopping a high-rise in the middle of Colonial Williamsburg.
The luxury residential tower is part of Howard Hughes’s overall $305 million plan for the Seaport, which, if approved, would include a restoration of the historic Tin Building and a new home for the Seaport Museum.
More details on the project and revised design
In a city where people pay a premium for spectacular views, few panoramas rival the majestic beauty of the Brooklyn Bridge. The window-filled living room of this Water Street duplex in the South Street Seaport Historic District certainly gives the owners their money’s worth, with the landmark East River crossing seemingly only inches away. But it’s the views inside this loft conversion courtesy of Steven Harris Architects that will have you either scratching your head or experiencing jaw-dropping delight.
See this home’s jaw-dropping views inside and out