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Archive for 'South Street Seaport'

Tour South Street

ships at south street seaportA Fresh Look at South Street Saturday, October 2, 2:00 p.m. We will explore the nooks and crannies of the old South Street Seaport area, which through much of the 19th century defined the New York economy and created many of the city’s greatest fortunes. We’ll look at historic buildings (some landmarked, others not), discuss historic buildings no longer standing, talk about the lives of the legendary South Street merchants, look at the 20th-century changes, peer into the future of the district, and consider the area’s literary associations. For more information, click here. Architectural historian Francis Morrone writes about his first impressions of South Street: Continue Reading>>

Pier 15 Design Gets Green Light from LPC

pier 15 rendering south street seaport The LPC today approved the design of Pier 15, which is to be reconstructed in the South Street Seaport Historic District.The project’s architect, Greg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects, has designed a two-level pier that provides passive recreational space as well as places for boats to dock. MAS supported the project and the LPC’s approval; we believe that the project balances well the different viewpoints of what the East River waterfront should be and that its design, height, and materials are appropriate to the historic district.The Pier 15 project is part of the NYC Economic Development Corporation’s larger East River Esplanade plan which will run from the Battery Maritime Building north to connect to the East River Park.  Pier 15 is just to the south of where General Growth Properties’ has proposed its large-scale redevelopment project.Even though that project seems to be at standstill for the moment, MAS continues to be concerned about it and the detrimental impact it will have on the South Street Seaport Historic District.

Development Along Lower Manhattan’s East River Waterfront

south street seaport classic ships fogTogether with tour leader Carter Craft and 12 others hearty souls, the author braved the subfreezing temperatures last Saturday to celebrate the rich waterfront history and the new cultural attractions floating to the surface in Lower Manhattan. Sites along the way included the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, the Battery Maritime Building (the gateway to Governor’s Island), Pier 11/Wall St. Ferry Terminal, South Street Seaport, and Peck Slip. What defines a neighborhood? What underlying characteristics flavor that definition even as the decades pass? The current structures on the Southern Coast of Manhattan represent the “front porch” of the island today, as they have done for centuries. These buildings serve little function for most Manhattanites, who visit as infrequently now as they might have for centuries. Even the East River is transitory in its own way; flowing north and south alternately with the tides. Continue Reading>>

South Street Seaport’s La Guardia-era Market Finally Recognized

south street seaport fulton fish market buildingMAS is pleased to announce that our efforts to preserve the threatened historic resources of the South Street Seaport, namely the buildings of the Fulton Fish Market, have recently been rewarded. It remains unclear when (or even whether) the plan by developer General Growth Properties will proceed, but just last week we received word that, at our behest, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has agreed to list the New Market Building as a contributing element within the State and National Register Historic District. Upon reviewing research we submitted, the SHPO concurred that the La Guardia-era New Market Building is a significant resource within the South Street Seaport and will now be afforded the same landmark protection as the rest of the district. Read our New Market Building report (pdf download). Continue Reading>>

This Picture Looks Like a Fishmarket Smells

south street seaport fulton fish market building MAS is researching the history of the Fulton Fish / New Market Building at the South Street Seaport and collecting images (both historic and modern) to include in a report arguing for the building’s preservation. But, as you can see, our photograph doesn’t do the building justice, so we need your help. Please add your best shots to our Flickr pool. All pictures may be used by us in the report, but the best shot will receive your choice of an elegant auto-open umbrella, featuring a detail of Grand Central Terminal’s world-famous zodiac ceiling or a copy of Robert A.M. Stern’s famous New York 1960.

Former Eyesores, New Life Comes to Columbus Circle, the Highline, and Fresh Kills

Metropolis published two articles today on several successful major redevelopment projects that MAS encouraged, such as Columbus Circle, the High Line, and Fresh Kills in Staten Island.  All at various stages of completion, these areas, former notorious eyesores on New York City landscape, are being reimaged in ways that increase open space and activate their surrounding neighborhoods. In other news, the Landmarks Preservation Commission rejected the current General Growth proposal for the South Street Seaport while there was no vote at the hearing, the Commission objected primarily to the inappropriate scale, massing and height of buildings in a historic district and the relocation of the historic Tin building. Continue Reading>>

What’s the Future for the South Street Seaport?

The Municipal Art Society’s Preservation Committee yesterday urged the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to reconsider the proposal by General Growth Properties to redevelop the South Street Seaport properties. The project involves the construction of a 495-foot-high hotel/condo tower in the Seaport just outside of the historic district; the demolition of the Pier 17 building built in the 1980s; the construction of 120′ high boutique hotels on Pier 17; the relocation the 1903 “Tin Building,” part of the Fulton Fish Market; and the demolition of the 1939 Fulton Fish Market (or “New Market”) building. Although the MAS Committee recognizes that some sort of revitalization is needed in the district, they do not think this project is the right solution. In its testimony yesterday, the Committee described concerns about the scale and height of the new development, the impact it will have on the Brooklyn Bridge and its views, and the historic integrity of the two Fulton Fish Market buildings. No decision was made on the project, but the LPC will consider it again at a future hearing. See the photos below and a copy of the testimony. Continue Reading>>

S.O.S – Save our Seaport!

midtown east skyline from queensboro bridgeJoin MAS tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. for a news conference announcing our opposition to the South Street Seaport redevelopment plan proposed by General Growth Properties (GGP). The news conference will take place just prior to the hearing at the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) at which MAS will ask the LPC to reject the GGP proposal on several grounds relating to inappropriateness to the historic district. Most importantly, we believe that the project overwhelms the historic buildings of the district, further severs the Seaport from its history, and destroys the sanctity of views from and of the Brooklyn Bridge. MAS believes that the entire concept of the project is flawed and misguided, and that it should be entirely re-conceptualized. The news conference will be held in the plaza just south of the Municipal Building, 1 Centre Street (at Chambers) at 2:00 p.m. The LPC hearing is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 1 Centre Street, 9th floor. Images of the proposed redevelopment can be found here.

The Future of the South Street Seaport

south and water streetThe City Council’s Waterfront and Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Committees held an oversight hearing today regarding the present and future of the South Street Seaport. Coming down the pipeline in the Seaport is a new development proposed by General Growth Properties. Much of the development falls within the South Street Seaport Historic District, designated in 1977. The proposal involves the reconfiguration of Pier 17, the construction of a new 495-foot-high hotel and residential building, additional 120-foot-high structures, the relocation of the 1907 Tin Building (within the historic district and formerly part of the Fulton Fish Market), and the demolition of the 1930s Fulton Fish Market Building (which is not protected with landmark status). MAS will be reviewing General Growth’s proposal later this month, and will be testifying at the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s hearing on the project later this fall. Continue Reading>>

Port Authority to lead Moynihan Station Project; Upcoming Panel on Coney Island

moynihan station current frontLast Friday, Governor Paterson announced his intention to move forward with the construction of Moynihan Station which will be led by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  The Governor stressed that adding rail capacity and linking up the Station to other major transportation and infrastructure projects, as MAS has also suggested, were the most critical goals in moving forward. Learn more about MAS’ response to the Governor’s announcement. To read the Governor’s full press release, click here. This Wednesday, MAS will host “Coney Island at the Crossroads,” a panel on the City’s current redevelopment plan for Coney Island; read about the program on Kinetic Carnival. In other news, the winners of the design competition to reimagine Grand Army Plaza have been announced. Continue Reading>>

Tribute in Light Illuminated Again, Less Access to Public Space in Lower Manhattan

tribute in light rooftopA select group of MAS donors gathered last night on the roof of the Battery Park Parking Garage where Tribute in Light is installed to watch the illumination up-close. Architect’s Newspaper reports from the roof, where MAS Chairman Philip Howard, President Kent Barwick, and Senior Vice-President Frank Sanchis spoke describing MAS’ role in bringing Tribute in Light about both initially and now annually. Representatives of Space Cannon Italia, producers of the 7000watt xenon-bulb lamps, then described how the lights work and are arranged and focused to produce the strongest beams of light ever aimed from Earth into the sky. For more details about the lights themselves, click here to watch a short video, or here to read a FOX news report on the technology that produces this remarkable sculpture in light. To add to yesterday’s news coverage that the residential population of lower Manhattan is growing since September 11, 2001, a new study reported in Crain’s New York Business today shows that the amount of public space is shrinking dramatically. In other news, the number of visitors to Governors Island has almost doubled this year. Continue Reading>>

MWA President Interviewed and Eminent Domain Lawsuit Filed at Atlantic Yards

newtown-creek-waterway MAS in the Press: The MAS boat tour demonstrated the potential of New York City’s waterfront for infrastructure, transit, and public art (Architect’s Newspaper). Roland Lewis, President of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, answered questions last week about the waterfront on the New York Times‘ City Blog. MAS Issues in the Press: – Landowners at Atlantic Yards have filed their eminent domain lawsuit in state court (New York Observer). Related Companies has chosen a new landscape architect to design the Hudson Yards development; Related won the bid for the area after Tishman Speyer failed to reach a deal with the MTA (New York Observer). A new development at South Street Seaport will link the waterfront to the historic district ( A neighborhood convinces City to close streets adjacent to its only park to increase public open space for recreation (New York Times). – The New York City Housing Authority is considering selling its 30.5 million square feet worth of development rights (New York Sun). The Whitney Museum is selling its Madison Avenue townhouses, formerly slated for the museum’s expansion (Crain’s New York Business). Continue Reading>>