Located on the Manhattan Island, where Fulton Street meets the East River, the South Street Seaport runs adjacent to the Financial District. Designated a historic district, the Seaport is a distinct neighborhood from the adjacent Financial District. The area contains perhaps the largest concentration of early 19th century commercial buildings and features many of the oldest architectures in downtown Manhattan.
This popular tourist destination includes a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge, the former Fulton Fish Market, renovated sailing ships and many renovated original mercantile buildings. In addition, there are numerous great food establishments, shopping outlets, and night clubs. The Titanic Memorial lighthouse is located at the entrance to the seaport.
The Seaport was developed with the preservation of the building located along Schermerhorn Row on the Southside of Fulton Street. This block of buildings has long been neglected, due to undervaluing of NYCs shipping industry. The early efforts for preservation focused on these particular buildings and to acquire several sailing ships.
Nearly every building in the Seaport district has been preserved with the intention of bringing the visitor back in time to the city’s mid-19th century, when there was a larger emphasis on commercial maritime trade. Some of the historic sailing ships docked at the Seaport include the Flying P-Liner, the Peking, and several museum ships. There is also a section of Fulton Street that has been preserved with cobblestone and has been filled with many great shops, restaurants, and clubs.
In 2012, the Seaport was heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy as tidal floods swept through much of the Seaport. Some of the local businesses closed up shop, while others remained in business only to see a rapid drop in their overall visitors afterwards. Starting in the fall of 2013, the shopping area known as “Pier 17” was to be torn down by the Howard Hughes Corporation, and replaced by a new structure sometime in 2015.
Nowadays, the Seaport serves primarily as tourist center and mall, built upon the East River’s Pier 17. Visitors have a large selection of shops and food establishments to choose from. There are also decks outside with views of the East River, Brooklyn Heights, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Currently, the Howard Hughes Corporation owns and manages the Seaport.