South Street Seaport is a waterfront district in Lower Manhattan, with a museum with 26,500 artifacts that highlight the rich maritime heritage of the city, and landmarks like the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse.
South Street Seaport Attractions
The South Street Seaport Museum has a permanent collection of more than 26,500 artifacts that highlight the rich maritime heritage of New York City. More than 6,000 printed materials document the evolution of shipping and other industries along the busy waters of NYC.
Manuscripts and ephemera dating back to the 1700s also provide an interesting insight into the early history of water navigation in the area. Authentic hardware, tools, and equipment relating to the maritime industry are also on display. This museum has some oil paintings of harbors, ports, and other similar settings. Thomas Birch and Edward Moran are some of the prominent American artists who created some of the masterpieces in the art galleries. More than 2,400 miniature ship models are also part of the institution’s rich collection.
While strolling the charming South Street Seaport, you’ll see several outdoor landmarks. Rising 60 feet above Fulton Street, the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse commemorates passengers who perished on the infamous RMS Titanic ship in 1912.
The piers at the complex are also home to several vessels that have been restored to their full glory and might. The Lettie G. Howard and Pioneer are lightweight schooners that are docked at the facility. You can also glance at the Wavetree freighter, W.O. Decker tugboat, and United States Lightship LV-87. Some of these vessels occasionally embark on short trips to celebrate special anniversaries and other events.
In addition to offering smooth access to the South Street Seaport Museum, the charming buildings along Schermerhorn Row are home to boutique shops, cafes and other businesses. Once home to warehouses and other mercantile facilities, these restored properties offer seasonal outdoor dining.
Location and Geography
South Street Seaport is one of the premier waterfront districts in Lower Manhattan. Situated along the western banks of the East River, this historic complex overlooks Brooklyn, Governor’s Island and the New York Harbor. Fulton Street cuts right through the heart of this riverfront district. Additionally, the elevated FDR Drive rises above the businesses and other venues that line the dense layout of Lower Manhattan.
Served by several New York City subway lines, the Fulton Street station is located about five blocks west of South Street Seaport. This busy underground station has several entrances and exits that are spaced significantly far apart.
For example, the tracks for the 2 and 3 trains are accessible from William Street. The A and C trains stop right below Nassau Street. Additionally, the tracks for the 4 and 5 routes are located near St. Paul’s Chapel.
If you’d like to reach South Street Seaport by bus, just hop on a route that navigates the busy Water Street and Pearl Street. You can also take a New York Water Taxi to Pier 11/Wall Street, which is located about a quarter mile south of the seaport.
The land that’s currently occupied by South Street Seaport was once a major trading post for Dutch colonists during the 17th century. In the 18th century, the affluent Schermerhorn family linked colonial New York City with South Carolina through the trade of cash crops.
In the early 19th century, the Port of New York dominated the entire southeastern tip of Lower Manhattan. British elites and Chinese leaders were among the many visitors to the busy port.
Originally opened in the 1820’s, the Fulton Fish Market has also played a major role in the commercial success of the area that’s now known as South Street Seaport. A rapid decline of the local maritime industry in the middle of the 20th century has led to a drastic redevelopment of the entire waterfront in this part of Manhattan.
Visiting South Street Seaport
South Street Seaport is a short walk from New York City’s Financial District and is easily reached via taxi, subway, and bus from other parks of the city.
Location: South Street Seaport Museum is at 12 Fulton Street New York, NY, 10038
Click here to visit South Street Seaport Museum official website or visit South Street Seaport District website.