Make History the Cornerstone
The founders of the South Street Seaport Historic District saved it from demolition in the 1960s not because of its inherent charm, but because they believed it was important to save the place that gave rise to the global trading system that transformed the world’s economy and culture and placed New York’s Port at its center. The resources they amassed—buildings, historic ships, artifacts, oral histories, and skills— which are now in the hands of the South Street Seaport Museum, are the vital building blocks on which to create a new community, infused with the energy of past innovators and informed by the needs of today.
How can we Protect and Promote the History?
Integrate cultural institutions —the South Street Seaport Museumand the Seamen’s Church Institute—into all redevelopment efforts as the living, working link to the Seaport’s rich narrative—especially in light of the loss of the Fulton Fish Market:
- Develop a coherent plan for the Museum’s ships and collections “to tell the story” of the district’s maritime past
- Populate South Street with the passionate and informed who share their knowledge of fish, boats, and the maritime trades
UPDATE: The Seamen's Church Institution has left the Seaport
Encourage other strong institutions —The Drawing Center and The New York Harbor School—to bring their energy and vision to the District
Protect the archaeology beneath the streets and piers during re-construction
Nurture the success stories, such as the Museum’s Bowne and Company Stationers, as models for cultural and commercial partnerships