Fulfill Vision, Satisfy Current Needs

People are drawn to what is real, not artificial. In saving the rare historic buildings and stone-paved streets of the city’s first port, and by bringing historic ships to its piers, the District’s founders left New Yorkers a glorious legacy. 

The challenge in 2006 was to fulfill their vision by animating those buildings, streets and piers with uses that are true to the District’s character, while serving the needs of the residents, area workers, and the visitors of today and tomorrow.


Create A True Maritime Pier 15 for water-oriented programming, where the South Street Seaport Museum’s ships and other historic craft can dock and be used for recreation and education:

  • Build it safe and functional for the needs of ships and everyone who will access them
  • Keep it flat—no berms—with a surface and scale that are intrinsic to a “maritime” district
  • Create interest and spectacular views with an open and versatile pier— multi-use for the community—and not overbuilt

Encourage Maritime-Related business and organizations to make a home here

Pier 15 was indeed rebuilt, however, NYC Economic Development Corporation removed the South Street Seaport Museum as the pier's leaseholder.

Give Priority to retailing and restaurants that are true to the spirit and letter of the District’s traditional role as the city’s marketplace

Respect the texture and human scale of the District’s buildings and streetscape by preserving them with sensitivity and uncommon care with the details—from the mortar between the bricks to the rivets under the FDR—since integrity is key