South Street Seaport
The South Street Seaport is a historic area in the New York City borough of Manhattan, located where Fulton Street meets the East River, and adjacent to the Financial District. The Seaport is a designated historic district, distinct from the neighboring Financial District. 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. At the entrance to the Seaport is the Titanic Memorial lighthouse.
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.
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 Flying P-Liner, Peking and museum ships. 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.
The Seaport was heavily damaged in 2012 in Hurricane Sandy as tidal floods inundated much of the Seaport. Many of the businesses closed and the remaining businesses suffered from a severe drop in business after it. The South Street Seaport Museum re-opened in December 2012. The Howard Hughes Corporation announced they will tear down the Seaport's most prominent shopping area – Pier 17 – starting in the Fall of 2013. They will replace it with a new structure by 2015.
South Street Seaport is currently served by the M15 New York City Bus route. New York Water Taxi directly serves South Street Seaport on Fridays, weekends, and holidays during the summer, while other New York Water Taxi, NY Waterway, and SeaStreak ferries serve the nearby ferry slip at Wall Street daily.
Landmark Building and Distinguished Address
The Essex House, 160 Central Park South
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