south street seaport museum

Landmarks Preservation Commission, Major Developments, Museums, New Developments, South Street Seaport

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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History, South Street Seaport

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. (1915). Seamen’s Church Institute of New York, 25 South Street

The campaign to landmark and restore the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse, a monument in New York City built in 1913 to honor those who died aboard the Titanic, continues. Designed by Warren and Wetmore, the architecture firm behind Grand Central Terminal, the 60-foot-tall lighthouse originally sat atop the roof of the Seamen’s Church Institute and featured a working time ball that dropped down the pole each day, along with a green light. Preservationists are now raising funds that would help restore the lighthouse, currently located at the entrance to the South Street Seaport, to its original condition.

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Landmarks Preservation Commission, Major Developments, Museums, New Developments, South Street Seaport

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.

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Featured Story

Features, History, South Street Seaport

Bowne & Co. Stationers today, via Flickr cc

Bowne & Co. Stationers, which the South Street Seaport Museum bills as the city’s “oldest operating business under the same name,” has been a presence in Lower Manhattan since 1775. That year, Robert Bowne opened a dry goods and stationery store at 39 Queen Street. Following the American Revolution, Bowne & Co. grew along with the Port of New York, providing the advertising, stationary, and financial printing that made it possible for life and commerce at the port to function and thrive. Because New York’s printers were responsible for printing everything from stock certificates to tugboat notices, steamship broadsides to cargo invoices, fishmongers’ business cards to bankers’ prospectuses, the industry helped the city emerge as the world’s busiest port, and its preeminent financial center.

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Featured Story

Features, History

It’s Fleet Week, and New York is awash in sailors. If you’re moved by all the festivities and want to get in on the maritime merriment, there are sites exploring New York’s links to the sea throughout all five boroughs. From barges to schooners to yachts to dry docks, here are 10 sites where you can celebrate New York’s seafaring spirit.

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Features, Interviews, People, South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport Museum, Jonathan Boulware

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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