South Street Seaport Museum

South Street Seaport Museum A cultural institution dedicated to telling the story of rise of New York as a port city and its critical role in the development of the United States.
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I like to imagine Fulton and South Streets in 1812 when Peter Schermerhorn completed the 12 buildings that comprise Schermerhorn Row, when people came from all over New York to marvel at this row of Federal-style warehouses on the East River. In those days the piers were crowded with ships from all over the world discharging their cargoes of coffee, tea, cotton, molasses, and countless other trade goods upon the piers of South Street. The trade represented by these ships and the counting-houses, hotels, and warehouses of the South Street Seaport is the very trade that built the growing New York City and through it the United States of America. In the late 1960s, visionary preservationists set aside a collection of entire city blocks in the South Street Seaport district as an area worthy of care and attention. These blocks of early- to mid- nineteenth century buildings, coupled with a series of piers crowded with historic ships would tell the vital story of the formation and growth of New York, a city built on—and because of—its deep natural harbor and its connection through the Erie Canal to the inner states and territories of the new nation. Today, more than two hundred years after Schermerhorn Row was completed, New York is a very different place. The Row is no longer the largest building in the city; it is dwarfed in fact by the surrounding financial district. The piers are no longer crowded with ships, but that same deep-water harbor is seeing a renaissance of education, of commercial and ferry service, of oyster aquaculture, and of attention from New Yorkers. Indeed, now more than ever the story of the formation of New York—the story of a city built on its waterways—is critical to our city. This is not a dry history, but a living tale of growth, of sacrifice, and of opportunity. The story and its reverberations play out in the education programs aboard our schooners PIONEER and LETTIE G. HOWARD. They are carried in the hearts of the scores of volunteers who work regularly and without pay to preserve our tug W.O. DECKER and the mighty square-riggers PEKING and WAVERTREE. They burn brightly in the lamps of the lightship AMBROSE. Although Hurricane Sandy is behind us, the challenges we face are still daunting. However the very same spirit that led Schermerhorn and others to build, to grow, and to prosper in early New York will once again carry the day. For here we have a Museum, not of artifacts and buildings and ships, though we have those. Not of interpretive signs, galleries, and stories, though those abound as well. Here we have a museum of the people. A museum that thrives as the beating heart of the historic South Street Seaport district. Welcome to South Street Seaport Museum. Our dedicated staff and volunteers (who are educators, sailors, preservationists, and some of the finest humans on the planet) are ready to welcome you aboard our ships and into our galleries and shops. We work together toward the next successful chapter of our “little museum that could.” Please join us for a visit, join as a member, and join the ranks of the proud volunteers who take a firsthand role in the preservation of old New York and the building of new New York. I look forward to seeing you soon at South Street. Captain Jonathan Boulware
Executive Director

Operating as usual

#OnThisDay in 1878, Harper’s Weekly published this view of South Street and wondered at the changes the waterfront had u...
04/20/2021

#OnThisDay in 1878, Harper’s Weekly published this view of South Street and wondered at the changes the waterfront had undergone over the previous century:

“South Street, as our illustration shows, is a crowded and busy thoroughfare. On one side are long blocks of warehouses; on the other, wharves, shipping sheds and ferry-houses. The bowsprits of great ships lying moored at the docks, taking in or discharging cargo, project over the street, piles of merchandise await handling and heavy carts and drays rumble along in endless processions over the rough cobble-stone with which the street is paved. Looking on this busy scene, it seems almost incredible that only a comparatively short time ago the tide glowed back and forth over the very spot where all this traffic is carried on.”

Looking along South Street in 2021, we share the writer’s amazement at the many transformations that have occurred, and continue to develop, along New York City’s waterways.

Image: Ivan Pranishnikoff (Russian, 1841-1909), Harper's Weekly, publisher. “View in South Street, New York.” April 20, 1878, p. 316. Wood engraving on paper. Gift of Mavis P. Kelsey, M.D, South Street Seaport Museum 1998.007.0031

#NewYorkCity #SouthStreetSeaport #LowerManhattan #SSSMcollection #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #WhereNewYorkBegins #OurCityOurSeaport

#OnThisDay in 1878, Harper’s Weekly published this view of South Street and wondered at the changes the waterfront had undergone over the previous century:

“South Street, as our illustration shows, is a crowded and busy thoroughfare. On one side are long blocks of warehouses; on the other, wharves, shipping sheds and ferry-houses. The bowsprits of great ships lying moored at the docks, taking in or discharging cargo, project over the street, piles of merchandise await handling and heavy carts and drays rumble along in endless processions over the rough cobble-stone with which the street is paved. Looking on this busy scene, it seems almost incredible that only a comparatively short time ago the tide glowed back and forth over the very spot where all this traffic is carried on.”

Looking along South Street in 2021, we share the writer’s amazement at the many transformations that have occurred, and continue to develop, along New York City’s waterways.

Image: Ivan Pranishnikoff (Russian, 1841-1909), Harper's Weekly, publisher. “View in South Street, New York.” April 20, 1878, p. 316. Wood engraving on paper. Gift of Mavis P. Kelsey, M.D, South Street Seaport Museum 1998.007.0031

#NewYorkCity #SouthStreetSeaport #LowerManhattan #SSSMcollection #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #WhereNewYorkBegins #OurCityOurSeaport

We’re excited to attend this year’s Council of American Maritime Museums CAMM virtual conference! Today, our Director of...
04/19/2021

We’re excited to attend this year’s Council of American Maritime Museums CAMM virtual conference!

Today, our Director of Collections Martina Caruso is joined by colleagues Michael Harrison, Obed Macy Research Chair, Nantucket Historical Association; Christopher Timm, Chief Curator, Maine Maritime Museum; Christina Connett Brophy, PhD, Senior Director of Museum Galleries and Senior Vice President of Curatorial Affairs, Mystic Seaport Museum for a discussion entitled “Collections and Curatorial Approaches during the Pandemic.”

On Wednesday, April 21, our Senior Director of Programs and Education Laura Norwitz will be presenting a talk entitled “Virtual Chantey Sings – Connecting Audiences and Your Museum” and the same day, Martina will join another panel discussion on creating and supervising remote internship opportunities throughout this past unprecedented year.

As always, we're thrilled to join our colleagues at the Council of American Maritime Museums (CAMM) to share our insights and gain new perspectives from maritime institutes all over North America, United States and territories. If you're also attending, give us a shout through the Whova app!

We’re excited to attend this year’s Council of American Maritime Museums CAMM virtual conference!

Today, our Director of Collections Martina Caruso is joined by colleagues Michael Harrison, Obed Macy Research Chair, Nantucket Historical Association; Christopher Timm, Chief Curator, Maine Maritime Museum; Christina Connett Brophy, PhD, Senior Director of Museum Galleries and Senior Vice President of Curatorial Affairs, Mystic Seaport Museum for a discussion entitled “Collections and Curatorial Approaches during the Pandemic.”

On Wednesday, April 21, our Senior Director of Programs and Education Laura Norwitz will be presenting a talk entitled “Virtual Chantey Sings – Connecting Audiences and Your Museum” and the same day, Martina will join another panel discussion on creating and supervising remote internship opportunities throughout this past unprecedented year.

As always, we're thrilled to join our colleagues at the Council of American Maritime Museums (CAMM) to share our insights and gain new perspectives from maritime institutes all over North America, United States and territories. If you're also attending, give us a shout through the Whova app!

#OnThisDay in 1939, the French Line ship SS Paris could be seen capsized and smoking at her Le Havre pier after a devast...
04/19/2021

#OnThisDay in 1939, the French Line ship SS Paris could be seen capsized and smoking at her Le Havre pier after a devastating fire that had broken out the night before. The 34,569 ton ocean liner was deemed a total loss.

The fire was almost disastrous for the art world as well, since ten crates of French artworks bound for the French Pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair had been loaded onto the ship. The New York Times reported in an article titled “Fire Destroys Liner Paris; $500,000 Art Thought Lost” that among the paintings and sculptures was “Napoleon I on His Imperial Throne” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and a painting of the Dauphin by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. Thankfully, nine of the ten crates were rescued from the blaze and were still sent along to New York City.

Image: “SS Paris” April 19, 1939. Stanley Lehrer Ocean Liner Collection, South Street Seaport Museum Foundation Collection 2006.029.2592

#TodayInHistory #OceanLiner #MaritimeHeritage #SSSMcollection #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

#OnThisDay in 1939, the French Line ship SS Paris could be seen capsized and smoking at her Le Havre pier after a devastating fire that had broken out the night before. The 34,569 ton ocean liner was deemed a total loss.

The fire was almost disastrous for the art world as well, since ten crates of French artworks bound for the French Pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair had been loaded onto the ship. The New York Times reported in an article titled “Fire Destroys Liner Paris; $500,000 Art Thought Lost” that among the paintings and sculptures was “Napoleon I on His Imperial Throne” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and a painting of the Dauphin by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. Thankfully, nine of the ten crates were rescued from the blaze and were still sent along to New York City.

Image: “SS Paris” April 19, 1939. Stanley Lehrer Ocean Liner Collection, South Street Seaport Museum Foundation Collection 2006.029.2592

#TodayInHistory #OceanLiner #MaritimeHeritage #SSSMcollection #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

Our designers at Bowne & Co. are running the presses! Over the last few weeks, they have been designing and printing new...
04/18/2021

Our designers at Bowne & Co. are running the presses! Over the last few weeks, they have been designing and printing new products for the online shop at www.bowne.co. The Bowne & Co. line of house-made stationery and broadside posters have been popular, so we are expanding our offerings! Stay tuned to learn when the new items will be available in early May.

#ShopSmall #MuseumStoreSunday #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

Our designers at Bowne & Co. are running the presses! Over the last few weeks, they have been designing and printing new products for the online shop at www.bowne.co. The Bowne & Co. line of house-made stationery and broadside posters have been popular, so we are expanding our offerings! Stay tuned to learn when the new items will be available in early May.

#ShopSmall #MuseumStoreSunday #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

Join the Seaport Museum and special guests tugboat Captain Ann Loeding, and New York Harbor School graduate/SUNY Maritim...
04/17/2021

Join the Seaport Museum and special guests tugboat Captain Ann Loeding, and New York Harbor School graduate/SUNY Maritime College student Ashley Cruz, along with chantey singer Bonnie Milner on Thursday, April 22, at 7pm ET for the latest episode in our Sea Songs and Sea Lives webinar series!

Capt. Ann Loeding, Ashey Cruz, and Bonnie Milner will discuss the roles of women in modern maritime careers as well as the role of women singing sea chanteys, including the function of music and traditional culture on board, both yesterday and today. Bonnie Milner will also lead live chantey performances, and participants will be provided with lyrics to follow along. This webinar is free; to learn more and register visit seaportmuseum.org/womenswork/

#SeaChanteys #chantey #MaritimeMusic #MusicHistory #MaritimeHistory #MaritimeIndustry #MaritimeHeritage #tugboat #TallShip #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

National #TitanicRemembranceDay is dedicated to paying tribute to the victims who died on April 15, 1912 when RMS Titani...
04/15/2021

National #TitanicRemembranceDay is dedicated to paying tribute to the victims who died on April 15, 1912 when RMS Titanic sank into the depths of the Atlantic ocean claiming the lives of 1,490 passengers and crew. The survivors (711 persons) were rescued by the Cunard liner Carpathia which answered Titanic’s wireless distress calls and raced to her last reported position of 41.46N, 50.14W.

Located in the Titanic Memorial Park at the corner of Pearl Street and Fulton Street, the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse, part of the collection of the #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum, stands as a memorial to all those lost during the tragic sinking. Originally erected on the roof of the Seamen’s Church Institute at South Street and Coenties Slip, the tower was donated to the South Street Street Seaport Museum in 1968 and was placed on Pier 16.

In 1976 the lighthouse underwent a partial restoration and was moved to its current location where it sits as a beacon welcoming visitors to the #SouthStreetSeaportHistoricDistrict. Further restoration of the Memorial is planned following the reopening and reactivation of spaces across the Seaport Museum campus that have been inaccessible to the public since prior to 2013.

When in the district, be sure to visit the lighthouse and read the inscription, pay your respects, or sit in the park to enjoy the quiet beauty of Little Water Street in the presence of the memorial.

If you are interested in learning more about the surprising connections of Titanic and the seaport district, join us this evening for a digital discussion with author, travel writer, and lecturer Theodore W. Scull and historian and educator William Roka, commemorating the 109th anniversary of the sinking of the liner. The two will discuss the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by immigrants and millionaires prior to, during, and after the “Era of Titanic.” This program is free but registration is required at seaportmuseum.org/beyondtitanic

Image: Titanic Memorial Lighthouse, 2020. Gift of Kaiser-Nelson Steel and Salvage Co., South Street Seaport Museum 1975.034

#Titanic109 #OceanLiner #MaritimeHistory #MaritimeHeritage #NewYorkCityHistory #CultureFromHome #MuseumFromHome #SSSMcollection #WhereNewYorkBegins #OurCityOurSeaport

National #TitanicRemembranceDay is dedicated to paying tribute to the victims who died on April 15, 1912 when RMS Titanic sank into the depths of the Atlantic ocean claiming the lives of 1,490 passengers and crew. The survivors (711 persons) were rescued by the Cunard liner Carpathia which answered Titanic’s wireless distress calls and raced to her last reported position of 41.46N, 50.14W.

Located in the Titanic Memorial Park at the corner of Pearl Street and Fulton Street, the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse, part of the collection of the #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum, stands as a memorial to all those lost during the tragic sinking. Originally erected on the roof of the Seamen’s Church Institute at South Street and Coenties Slip, the tower was donated to the South Street Street Seaport Museum in 1968 and was placed on Pier 16.

In 1976 the lighthouse underwent a partial restoration and was moved to its current location where it sits as a beacon welcoming visitors to the #SouthStreetSeaportHistoricDistrict. Further restoration of the Memorial is planned following the reopening and reactivation of spaces across the Seaport Museum campus that have been inaccessible to the public since prior to 2013.

When in the district, be sure to visit the lighthouse and read the inscription, pay your respects, or sit in the park to enjoy the quiet beauty of Little Water Street in the presence of the memorial.

If you are interested in learning more about the surprising connections of Titanic and the seaport district, join us this evening for a digital discussion with author, travel writer, and lecturer Theodore W. Scull and historian and educator William Roka, commemorating the 109th anniversary of the sinking of the liner. The two will discuss the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by immigrants and millionaires prior to, during, and after the “Era of Titanic.” This program is free but registration is required at seaportmuseum.org/beyondtitanic

Image: Titanic Memorial Lighthouse, 2020. Gift of Kaiser-Nelson Steel and Salvage Co., South Street Seaport Museum 1975.034

#Titanic109 #OceanLiner #MaritimeHistory #MaritimeHeritage #NewYorkCityHistory #CultureFromHome #MuseumFromHome #SSSMcollection #WhereNewYorkBegins #OurCityOurSeaport

An ocean liner is, technically, a sailing Packet ship that runs a regular schedule on an ocean-going route between 1818 ...
04/13/2021

An ocean liner is, technically, a sailing Packet ship that runs a regular schedule on an ocean-going route between 1818 and the 1880s. The technical definition of liner is important to us at the Seaport Museum because the ocean liner was developed here in the Seaport in 1818 by the Black Ball Line. Prior to this innovation, a ship would depart whenever its master determined it would be most profitable.

This photograph from the Seaport Museum collection depicts William L. Gwinn, a sea postal clerk working for the U.S. Postal Service. In 1912 he was assigned to work in the post office aboard RMS Titanic. The story of the Titanic’s Sea Post Office is part of the larger history of the transatlantic mail transport. The era of mail-carrying steamships started in 1839, when White Star Line’s rival Cunard was awarded a mail contract. By 1859, post offices were being put onto steamships, but it was only in 1877 that White Star ships could use the much-coveted acronym of RMS (Royal Mail Steamer).

By the time Titanic left Queenstown, Ireland, its mail room was filled with 3,243 sacks of mail, which each held over 2,000 pieces of mail. Above the mailroom on G Deck was the post office, where the five postal clerks worked 11-hour shifts sorting tens of thousands of letters a day. The three Americans—John S. March, Oscar S. Woody, and William L. Gwinn—and the two British clerks—Jago Smith and J. B. Williamson—were sworn to protect the mail, and they all lost their lives fulfilling this duty. They were last seen dragging several sacks from the mailroom up into the post office in a desperate bid to save the mail as the Titanic met its tragic fate. Gwinn died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

Join us this Thursday, April 15, where we’ll share more stories about the development of these magnificent ships that carried mail, immigrants and migrant workers, middle class passengers, wealthy Americans, European nobles, as well as notable artists, musicians, and thinkers. “Beyond Titanic: Travel and Immigration in the Era of Ocean Liners” is a free public program and it will be held on Titanic Remembrance Day. Register to attend at seaportmuseum.org/beyondtitanic

Image: William L. Gwinn, early 20th century. Gift of Frank Wuttge, Jr., South Street Seaport Museum 1981.018

#OceanLiner #steamship #TitanicRemembranceDay #BeyondTitanic #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #WhereNewYorkBegins #MuseumFromHome #CultureFromHome

An ocean liner is, technically, a sailing Packet ship that runs a regular schedule on an ocean-going route between 1818 and the 1880s. The technical definition of liner is important to us at the Seaport Museum because the ocean liner was developed here in the Seaport in 1818 by the Black Ball Line. Prior to this innovation, a ship would depart whenever its master determined it would be most profitable.

This photograph from the Seaport Museum collection depicts William L. Gwinn, a sea postal clerk working for the U.S. Postal Service. In 1912 he was assigned to work in the post office aboard RMS Titanic. The story of the Titanic’s Sea Post Office is part of the larger history of the transatlantic mail transport. The era of mail-carrying steamships started in 1839, when White Star Line’s rival Cunard was awarded a mail contract. By 1859, post offices were being put onto steamships, but it was only in 1877 that White Star ships could use the much-coveted acronym of RMS (Royal Mail Steamer).

By the time Titanic left Queenstown, Ireland, its mail room was filled with 3,243 sacks of mail, which each held over 2,000 pieces of mail. Above the mailroom on G Deck was the post office, where the five postal clerks worked 11-hour shifts sorting tens of thousands of letters a day. The three Americans—John S. March, Oscar S. Woody, and William L. Gwinn—and the two British clerks—Jago Smith and J. B. Williamson—were sworn to protect the mail, and they all lost their lives fulfilling this duty. They were last seen dragging several sacks from the mailroom up into the post office in a desperate bid to save the mail as the Titanic met its tragic fate. Gwinn died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

Join us this Thursday, April 15, where we’ll share more stories about the development of these magnificent ships that carried mail, immigrants and migrant workers, middle class passengers, wealthy Americans, European nobles, as well as notable artists, musicians, and thinkers. “Beyond Titanic: Travel and Immigration in the Era of Ocean Liners” is a free public program and it will be held on Titanic Remembrance Day. Register to attend at seaportmuseum.org/beyondtitanic

Image: William L. Gwinn, early 20th century. Gift of Frank Wuttge, Jr., South Street Seaport Museum 1981.018

#OceanLiner #steamship #TitanicRemembranceDay #BeyondTitanic #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #WhereNewYorkBegins #MuseumFromHome #CultureFromHome

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12 Fulton St
New York, NY
10038

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(212) 748-8600

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