Tag Archives: New York Harbor

Resilience and History: 2 Years After Superstorm Sandy

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BigULeveeSince 2013 the Rockefeller Foundation has been celebrating its 100th Anniversary with a focus on resilience, a theme devised to match its mission of global engagement with big problems. Judith Rodin, the president of Rockefeller Foundation has even found time to write a whole book, The Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong. Mayor de Blasio has an Office of Resilience and Recovery run by Daniel Zarrilli, and New York has won a place in the 100 Resilient Cities Project which is trying to build stronger urban systems to resist catastrophes before they happen. But the waters are rising, and New York has been drenched again and again. Can human actions defy the cycle of damage and the predictions of future devastation proclaimed with every conference on climate change and disaster’s aftermath? Continue reading

Historic Ship Museum Hosting First Annual Fundraiser

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LILAC at Pier 25 as the morning fog liftsOn Wednesday, November 12, Lilac Preservation Project will host its first fundraiser at Cercle Rouge Restaurant in Tribeca. The organization is celebrating a record-breaking year of attendance at its public arts and education programs on board the lighthouse tender Lilac at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25.

Lilac Preservation Project’s Museum Director and President, Mary Habstritt will announce plans for 2015, including launch of a capital campaign to restore the steam boilers and overhaul the ship’s systems to operate as a sustainable seafaring vessel. Continue reading

The Sinking of The S.S. Normandie At NYC’s Pier 88

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Normandie_posterOn February 9, 1942 crowds gathered at New York City’s pier 88 to witness a spectacle. The largest ocean liner in the world was on fire. Fire fighting efforts successfully contained the fire after five and a half hours of effort, but the effort was in vain. Five hours after the flames were out the stricken vessel rolled onto its side and settled on the bottom of the Hudson.

The S.S. Normandie was a star crossed ship. Intended to be the pride of the French people, she was designed to be the height of shipbuilding technology and modern culture. Her first class passenger spaces were decorated in the trendiest Art Deco style and filled with luxuries. The radical new hull design, with a subsurface bulb beneath a clipper bow, and long, sweeping lines lent her previously untouched speeds while requiring far less fuel. She even had one of the earliest radar sets ever used by a commercial vessel, in order to improve the safety for her passengers. Continue reading

NY Maritime History: An Historic Battle with Pirates

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BHC1109On the morning of June 10, 1723, just before the break of dawn, a British warship stationed out of New York spotted two sloops sailing less than 50 miles south of Long Island. The captain of the warship, Peter Solgard, was all but certain the sloops were trouble. Three days before, he had been warned by a sea captain about a pirate crew under the command of a notoriously violent captain, Edward Low. But in the HMS Greyhound that morning, Solgard did not attack. Instead, Solgard tacked and set a southerly course, keeping the pirates in view but not approaching, “to encourage them to give him chase.” Continue reading

‘Shore to Shore’ Exhibit Docks At Waterfront Museum

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BoatyardRed Hook’s historic Lehigh Barge #79 will play host to the exhibit From Shore to Shore, which explores the worlds of craftsmen and the places where boats and ships are still being worked on today. Thirteen exhibition panels, accompanying audio video interviews and a timeline highlight profiles of master craftsmen, their tools and the historic boat yards where they work.

On May 3rd from 2 to 4 pm there will be a reception featuring curators Nancy Solomon and Tom Van Buren along with invited boat builders, boatyard owners, and waterfront preservation specialists. Continue reading

The History, Sea Life, and Environment of NY Harbor

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Heartbeats in the MuckThe award winning book, Heartbeats in the Muck: The History, Sea Life, and Environment of New York Harbor has been updated and reissued in paperback. In Heartbeats, author John Waldman covers the arc of history of New York Harbor from its pristine origins through the ravages of the industrial era to its remarkable comeback today.

First published in 1999, the volume won a New York Society Library Award. The revision includes an epilogue that brings the story of the Harbor to 2012, the 40th Anniversary of the critically important Clean Water Act, and includes the ambitious ongoing oyster restorations; alien species such as Asian shore crabs, zebra mussels, and snakehead fish; the effects of climate change; rehabilitation of the legendarily polluted Gowanus Canal, and even a return of bald eagles to Manhattan. Waldman’s work on New York Harbor also resulted in a Norcross Wildlife Conservation Award and, in 2012, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Conservation Award. Continue reading

Smugglers, Bootleggers and Scofflaws:
Prohibition and New York City

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Smugglers BootleggersUsing previously unstudied Coast Guard records from 1920 to 1933 for New York City and environs, Ellen NicKenzie Lawson’s Smugglers, Bootleggers, and Scofflaws: Prohibition and New York City (SUNY Press, 2013) examines the development of Rum Row and smuggling via the coasts of Long Island, the Long Island Sound, the Jersey shore, and along the Hudson and East Rivers.

With the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment, “drying up” New York City promised to be the greatest triumph of the proponents of Prohibition. Instead, the city remained the nation’s greatest liquor market. Continue reading

Lecture: David Bushnell’s Turtle and Underwater Mines

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The Turtle First SubmarineOn September 6, 1776 American forces launched the first-ever submarine attack against British warships in New York Harbor. The submarine Turtle utilized in the attack was later called “an effort of genius” by George Washington.

Historian and author Mike Kochan will present the story of the Turtle’s inventor David Bushnell, his development of the first underwater mine and the submarine invented to carry it to the enemy, his later success with drift mines and the resulting Battle of the Kegs. Continue reading

Spain’s Gift to Catholic New York

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St. Peters c. 1785It is hard to imagine now but in the 18th century New York City and much of the rest of the thirteen British colonies of America, it was practically illegal to be a Roman Catholic. Widespread anti-Catholicism was a side effect of the Catholic-Protestant wars of 17th century Europe and the geo-political rivalries between the English Crown and the allied Franco Spanish Kingdoms for control of the Americas.

The anti-Catholic animosity – Leyenda Negra the Spanish called it – was ingrained into the psyche of the largely Protestant British immigrants who came to dominate North America in the wake of the arrival of the Pilgrims and other fundamentalists in the early 1600s. Continue reading

Statue of Liberty Book Celebrates 125 Years

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A new book written in celebration of the Statue of Liberty’s 125th birthday (October 28, 2011) has been published to support projects of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. The Statue of Liberty: A Symbol of Hope and Freedom for 125 Years, is a commemorative, photo-and-fact-filled journal that spans the statue’s beginnings as an idea of French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, to becoming a symbol of welcome to millions of immigrants, her quirky role in American pop culture, and the historic 1986 restoration.

The book is offered for $9.99 through the Ellis Island online gift shop. Proceeds support the The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers.

Ellis Island Museum Unveils New Galleries

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The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and the National Park Service have opened the first phase of the Peopling of America Center, a major expansion of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which will explore arrivals before the Ellis Island Era. This 10,000 square foot experience focuses on the history of immigration from the Colonial Era to the opening of Ellis Island in 1892.

Interpretative graphics and poignant audio stories tell first-hand accounts of the immigrant’s journey—from making the trip and arriving in the United States to their struggle and survival after they arrived and efforts to build communities and ultimately a nation.

“Until now, our exhibits have centered on the years when Ellis Island was open,” said Stephen A. Briganti, the Foundation’s President and CEO. “Of course the history of migration to America goes back to our nation’s beginnings right up to today, so there were many people whose stories weren’t told. The Peopling of America Center will fill an enormous gap in America’s understanding of its past, present, and future.”

Also recently unveiled was the American Flag of Faces, a large interactive video installation filled with a montage of images submitted by individuals of their families, their ancestors, or even themselves which illustrates the ever-changing American mosaic. A living exhibit, Flag of Faces accepts photo submissions and can also be viewed at www.FlagofFaces.org.

The Center’s second phase, which will open in Spring 2013, will present a series of interactive multi-media exhibits that focus on the immigration experience from the closing of Ellis Island in 1954 to the present day, including a dynamic radiant globe that illustrates migration patterns throughout human history. The Peopling of America Center was designed by ESI Design and fabricated by Hadley Exhibits, Inc.

New S. R. Stoddard Exhibit: New York Harbor

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The Chapman Historical Museum in Glens Falls (Warren County) has opened a new exhibit of Seneca Ray Stoddard photographs featuring views of New York Harbor. Taken in the 1880s on his visits to New York City, the fifteen photographs include images of sailboats and steamers in the harbor, people bathing on the beach at Coney Island, the Brooklyn Bridge and other landmarks. A highlight is Stoddard’s famous night-time photo of the Statue of Liberty, captured using magnesium flash powder. The exhibit, planned to coincide with The Hyde Collection’s exhibit, “NY, NY,” will be on view through September 4th.

The Chapman Historical Museum is located at 348 Glen Street, Glens Falls, NY. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm, and Sunday, noon to 4 pm. For more information call (518) 793-2826.

Photo: Coney Island bathers by Seneca Ray Stoddard, ca. 1880

Live Theater Returns to Ellis Island

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Sing a Song of Freedom: The Story of Emma Lazarus and the Statue of Liberty, a new play celebrating Lady Liberty’s 125th year, dramatizes how the writer’s poem “The New Colossus” transformed the beloved Statue into a symbol of welcome. The show opens at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum’s intimate Living Theater for a limited run beginning April 16 through Labor Day weekend. Written by playwright/director Ken Urban, the 30-minute play also features stories of immigration.

Produced and funded by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the show will be presented April 16 through June 27 on Monday and Wednesday through Saturday. Beginning June 28, the show will run Thursday through Monday. Show times are 10:45; 11:30; 12:15; 1:00; 2:30; 3:15; and 4:00. Admission is $6.00.

A gift from France to the American people, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated October 28, 1886. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan appointed Lee Iacocca to head up a private sector effort to restore the Statue of Liberty for her centennial. Fundraising began for the $87 million restoration under a public/private partnership between the National Park Service and The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., and on July 5, 1986 the newly restored Statue re-opened to the public during Liberty Weekend. The famous sonnet written by poet and essayist Emma Lazarus (shown here) in 1883 is engraved on a bronze plaque which has been affixed to the inner walls of the pedestal since the early 1900’s.

Ellis Island Living Theater performances, which are both educational and entertaining, are especially popular with students, scout troops, day campers, religious groups, senior clubs, and families. Reservations for Sing a Song of Freedom: The Story of Emma Lazarus and the Statue of Liberty are accepted for groups of 10 or more. Since the theater seats 56 people, some groups may have to schedule multiple shows. Please note that the National Park Service, which administers Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, requires one chaperone for every ten children. Individuals without reservations are encouraged to purchase their tickets upon entering the museum.

For more information or to make reservations, contact The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation at 212-561-4500, ext. 0 or theater@ellisisland.org. More on Sing a Song of Freedom: The Story of Emma Lazarus and the Statue of Liberty can be found online.

For ferry tickets and schedules, call Statue Cruises at 1-877-LADY TIX or go online.

The Actors employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Ellis Island Museum Celebrates 20 Years

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September marks the 20th anniversary of the historic restoration of Ellis Island and the opening of its Immigration Museum on September 10, 1990, which was funded by the American people through The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. This world class museum has quickly become one of the most popular tourist destinations in New York City, welcoming over 35 million visitors to date.

Just half a mile from the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, the museum’s exhibits highlight the growth of America during the peak immigration years of 1880-1924. The galleries illustrate the Ellis Island immigrant reception process, the immigrants’ arrival and settlement throughout the United States and feature their “Treasures From Home” – the cherished personal objects, photographs and papers they brought with them from their homelands. And the American Immigrant Wall of Honor celebrates the immigrant experience with the inscription of the names of over 700,000 individuals and families who have been honored by their descendants.

The Ellis Island Oral History Archive, created by the Foundation, contains the reminiscences of over 1700 individuals who either immigrated through or worked at Ellis Island during its heyday as the country’s largest immigration processing center. Excerpts from these oral histories are incorporated throughout the museum’s popular audio tour, which allows visitors to vividly relive the immigrant experience as if they were the “new arrival.”

The American Family Immigration History Center, which opened in 2001, offers easy access to the arrival records of more than 25 million immigrants, travelers and crewmembers who entered through the Port of New York and Ellis Island between 1892-1924, and is also available online at www.ellisisland.org.

The restoration of Ellis Island—the largest in U. S. history—began in 1984 as the second part of a multi-million dollar project by the Foundation, in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior, which included the Centennial restoration of the Statue of Liberty in 1986. All funds came from private donations, with more than 20 million Americans contributing to the cause.

The Museum is currently undergoing a $20 million expansion to be called The Peopling of America Center. Designed by ESI Design, this exciting new Center will enlarge the story currently told of the Ellis Island Era (1892-1954) to include the entire panorama of the American immigration experience, with exhibits dedicated to those who arrived before Ellis as well as those who arrived after it closed, right up to the present. “The Foundation is proud of what it has accomplished over the last 28 years with the support of the American people in raising over $550 million for the ongoing restoration and preservation of these two most beloved monuments to freedom and opportunity,” said Stephen A. Briganti, President and CEO of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. “With the Peopling of America Center scheduled to open in 2012, we will bring the ever-growing story of the populating of America to life, making the Ellis Island Museum both more relevant and a truly living testament to this Nation of Immigrants.”

For more information on the Ellis Island Immigration Museum visit www.ellisisland.org.

Staten Island: Old U.S. Gypsum Plant to Host LUMEN Festival

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Staten Island’s once abandoned waterfront will be hosting LUMEN, a cutting-edge video art festival on the site of the Atlantic Salt Company, presented by COAHSI, the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island. This raw, magnificent, old, beautiful, decaying space, originally opened in 1876 as a plaster mill. In 1924, the building was bought by United States Gypsum, a plant that made wallboard and paint. The gypsum plant employed Staten Islanders for 52 years, before closing in 1976. Now owned by the Atlantic Salt Company, the 10-acre property is a depot for road de-icing salt for New York State, New Jersey, and Connecticut.”

It’s that grungy, creepy, abandoned feeling that keeps people coming to industrial sites like Atlantic Salt, but normally these spaces are off-limits. Now’s your chance to see the space — without breaking any laws. The site will be open to the public for LUMEN, Saturday, June 26, 4pm-12am. The LUMEN Festival will showcase amazing contemporary video/projection and performance art both outside and onto the space. Atlantic Salt is right on the waterfront, so get ready for views of NYC and NJ, plus up-close views of the many tugboats & container ships that float up and down the Arthur Kill.

The festival will include performances throughout the day, raffles featuring artists’ work, as well as an open bar sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery from 9pm-11pm. Participating artists and collectives include: Alex Villar, Alix Pearlstein, Scott Peel, Lena Thüring, Grace Exhibition Space, Flux Factory, and Steven Lapcevic, among many others. For a complete listing of all participating artists, visit: LUMENFEST.org. Atlantic Salt is located at 561 Richmond Terrace, a 10-minute walk or bus ride from the Staten Island Ferry.

LUMEN will be free of charge and open to the public. Contributions are welcome at LUMEN’s Kickstarter page.


The mission of COAHSI is to cultivate a sustainable and diverse cultural community for the people of Staten Island by: 1) making the arts accessible to every member of the community; 2) supporting and building recognition for artistic achievement; 3) providing artists, arts educators, and organizations technical, financial, and social resources to encourage the creation of new work. COAHSI does extensive outreach to communities that are underserved geographically, ethnically, and economically. The organization works hard to impact the arts across all borders.

Discovering NY Harbor: The Gateway to America

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Celebrating the historic and cultural significance of New York Harbor, the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy (Harbor Conservancy) and National Park Service kick-off their summer harbor tours aboard New York Waterway ferries with their Gateway to America cruise, an audio tour that is narrated by actress Kathleen Turner and brings 400 years of New York Harbor’s extraordinary past to life. The boat tour runs five times daily leaving from Slip 5 at the Battery Maritime Building.

Gateway to America is in its sixth season. The boat tour experience offers visitors the opportunity to see the city from a new vantage point – from the water while learning about the role New York Harbor played and continues to play as the gateway to America for millions of people.

Gateway to America is the only official tour of the National Park Service that ties together all five interpretative themes of the national parks that ring New York Harbor- commerce, military defense, immigration, birth of the nation and harbor ecology. “The tour itinerary weaves together the rich tapestry of New York harbor’s history – from its first settlement by Native Americans through the tragic events of 9/11, and it offers new insights about the unique geographical and environmental features that made the harbor our nation’s most valuable commercial asset throughout four centuries,” according to Harbor Conservancy President, Marie Salerno.

Produced by Antenna Audio in the style of a public radio broadcast, Gateway to America is introduced by David Rockefeller, Jr. a co-founder of the Harbor Conservancy and whose family was instrumental in preserving open space through the National Park Service. The Gateway to America tour was the first harbor boat tour to present recorded audio commentary by National Park Service Rangers. Prominent experts like Columbia University professor, historian and editor of the Encyclopedia of New York, Kenneth T. Jackson; Daniel Libeskind, who emigrated to New York from communist Poland as a teenager and became one of the world’s leading architects; Pulitzer-Prize winning author David McCullough; and world-class swimmer Nancy Steadman Martin, (who battled the currents to swim the 28-mile circuit around Manhattan) also provide engaging remarks and insights.

Gateway to America tells stories of the five military forts, now historic icons that protected the city from invasion. The tour illuminates the harbor’s role as the portal to the American dream for generations of immigrants – including those newcomers who are still shaping the city’s future. Passengers hear sounds, special effects and original music that bring to life the drama of the thriving commercial port.

This 60-minute tour is offered daily beginning Apr. 4 – May 31 at 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm, and Jun. 1 – Sep. 30 at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, departing from the Slip 5 in the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan, located next to the Staten Island Ferry. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Harbor Conservancy’s new ticket booth at Castle Clinton in Battery Park. Prices are: Adults: $18, Seniors (62+): $16, Children: $14, Children under 3: Free.

For more information about other affordable boat and walking tours created by the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy visit: www.nyharborparks.org.

Call For Proposals For ‘Maritime Environments’ Conference

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Continued concerns over depleted fish stocks, piracy, changing climate, global shipping policies, and the safety of merchant mariners and port communities have all recently converged to remind scholars, policy makers, and citizens alike that we ignore our relationships to the marine world at our peril. More than just recent phenomena, however, each of these ties between human society and the marine environment has deep historical roots. The event will be held May 12-16, 2010 at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point and Mystic Seaport.

Under the theme “Maritime Environments,” the 2010 annual meeting of the North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH), the Council of American Maritime Museums (CAMM), the National Maritime History Society (NMHS), and The Steamship Historical Society of America (SSHSA) seeks papers exploring the scholarly contexts of these contemporary crises in the world’s oceans.

All interested scholars, especially historians, marine environmental historians, museum professionals, archaeologists, historical ecologists, and graduate students are invited to submit proposals for papers examining the “maritime” environment.

The Conference Call defines the terms “Maritime” and “Environments” broadly to include the widest range of human relationships to the sea. How have human labor practices affected ties between human communities and natural resources? How and where did humans experience the oceanic realm and how did those sites frame experiences? What economic, defense, commercial, and foreign policy initiatives drive human efforts
in the maritime environment? And, of particular interest, how have human actions affected the world’s oceans, and what can historical records tell us about the changing health of the fisheries, climate, or other natural forces? Finally, how do scholars convey these lessons to a larger public?

Individual papers are welcome, but full sessions with three papers and a chair are preferred. Proposals should include a brief abstract of 500 words for each paper, plus a one-page abstract for proposed panels, and a brief bio of 200 words for each participant, including chairs. Graduate students are strongly encouraged to submit
proposals for presentations. Accommodations for PowerPoint presentations
will be provided; however, any other requirements, including audio-visual equipment, special outlets, or accommodations for disabilities should be included in the proposal. Scholars interested in chairing sessions are welcome to send a brief bio to the Program Committee Co-chairs. Please note that all participants must register for
the conference.

Specific questions may be directed to Program Committee Co-Chairs, Matthew McKenzie (matthew.mckenzie@uconn.edu), Brian Payne (bjpayne@odu.edu), or Vic Mastone (victor.mastone@state.ma.us).

The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2010.

Photo: 1904. Erie Canal at Salina Street, Syracuse, New York.” Detroit Publishing Company glass negative, Library of Congress.

Waterfront Preservation Programs Announced

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New York City’s Historic Districts Council, the citywide advocate for New York’s historic neighborhoods, will be presenting “On the Waterfront in New York,” a series of films, lectures, and discussions exploring the history and preservation of NYC’s historic waterfront neighborhoods – much of which is proposed for redevelopment. Topics will include the preservation of South Street, the commercial and industry history of the waterfront, and a waterfront tour of the South Street seaport.

Film Screening and Discussion: Street of Ships
Thursday, October 1, 2009, 6:30pm
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue at East 2nd Street, Manhattan
Fee: $15/$10 for Friends of HDC, seniors & students.

“Street of Ships” is a 1982 documentary by Charles Richards that chronicles the efforts by Peter Stanford and the early Friends of South Street to save from destruction and preserve some of the city’s oldest and most historically significant buildings. It concludes with the controversy surrounding the goals of 1980s commercial developers versus those wishing to maintain the area’s historical authenticity. The film features archival footage of the Seaport that evokes its past uses as a port and commercial district, along with interviews with area stakeholders and policy experts. The film will be followed by a presentation by Robert LaValva, founder and director of New Amsterdam Market, about the role of waterfront markets. The program will conclude with a discussion—reflecting new opportunities for the future of the Seaport District—with participants from the film including Peter Stanford, a founder and past president of South Street Seaport Museum and Terry Walton, a founder of the Seaport Museum and vice chair of the Working Harbor Committee.

On the Waterfront: A Lecture
Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 6:30pm
The Seamen’s Church Institute, 241 Water Street, Manhattan
Fee: $15/$10 for Friends, seniors & students.

This panel will examine the history and future of the waterfront through different lenses, from the commercial past of its wharves and docks to the adaptive reuse of structures still lining its edges. Richard A. Greenwald, professor of history and dean of graduate studies at Drew University will discuss the commercial aspects of New York City’s waterfront development from the mid-19th century up to 1950 as depicted in the film, “On the Waterfront.” Roland Lewis, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, will examine the reuse of industrial structures along the City’s waterfront. The third speaker, Kevin Bone, an architect and editor of several books on the waterfront, will address the history and development of Manhattan’s historic seawall, a gargantuan structure which encircles the whole island and has literally shaped how the city has grown.

From the Ferries to the Fish Market: A Walking Tour of the South street Seaport

Sunday, October 18, 2009, 11:00am
Location to be announced upon registration.
Fee: October 18: $35/$25 for Friends, seniors & students.

The series will conclude with an in-depth tour of the South Street Seaport, examining such noted landmarks as the South Street Seaport Museum, the WPA-era New Market Building, and historic local businesses. Tour attendees will hear about the South Street Seaport’s diverse past from its beginnings up to the current day as a commercial, retail and residential district. Mr. LaValva will also discuss the role of public markets in shaping the East River waterfront. More recent history and plans for the future, including the massive redevelopment proposal by General Growth Properties will also be addressed by special guest Madeline Rogers. Due in part to this proposed development, in 2009 the Historic Districts Council successfully nominated the Seaport to the Preservation League of New York State’s “Seven to Save” listing of places to preserve in New York State. The tour will end at Acqua, a noted Seaport establishment for a complimentary drink. The exact location for the tour will be announced upon registration.

The complete series of all three events is $60/$40 for Friends, seniors & students. Advance reservations are required. Tickets can be ordered by visiting or contacting www.hdc.org, 212-614-9107 or hdc@hdc.org.

Russell Shorto To Guest Host NY Harbor Walking Tour

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Island at the Center of the World author Russell Shorto will guest host a special edition of The New Amsterdam Trail walking tour of the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, to celebrate the culmination a week-long celebration of the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of New York Harbor. Urban historian and National Park Ranger Steve Laise will lead the event which will also include an exclusive curator’s tour of New Amsterdam: The Island at the Center of the World, a new exhibit opening at the South Street Seaport. The tour takes place on September 13th at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance by visiting www.nyharborparks.org.

Throughout the 90-minute tour of lower Manhattan, Laise and Shorto will share entertaining and insightful stories about the famous and infamous characters that helped make New Amsterdam a bustling seaport, an international melting pot and a center of commerce. They will also discuss how the Dutch colony still impacts our culture today. The curator’s tour at South Street Seaport follows, with an insider’s peak at rare documents, maps, plans and watercolors connected to New Amsterdam — including “the best real estate deal of all time”—the 1626 letter of purchase of Manhattan for goods worth 60 guilders. Many of these items have never been seen in the United States.

The audio and map for this tour are available for free at: www.nyharborparks.org.