Thursday, November 15, 2007

South Street Seaport headed for condoville?

The South Street Seaport, an area for decades dismissed as "just for tourists," has re-emerged in the forefront of New Yorkers' minds as architects, preservations and local residents wrestle over the waterfront of the future.

Most agree that the Seaport needs to evolve and be re-knitted back into the life of the city while preserving its history, but there is broad disagreement on how to do that.

Today, the Seaport is a hive of tourists, with more than 4 million people visiting per year, more than even the Statue of Liberty.

But it feels cut-off from the rest of the city, a place reserved for visitors only, according to Heather Mangrum, an architect who is leading an "ideas competition" for young architects with the American Institute of Architects to re-imagine the area.

Changes in store for South Street Seaport

Oh here we go. We already have something nice, a throwback to our past, but it's not good enough for AIA. I know you want your membership to have projects to work on, but give me a break.

Hoards of Wall Streeters visit the seaport at lunchtime or after work, and the Financial District is becoming more residential, which is bringing locals to the pier more frequently. Several times a year, I visit the Seaport with friends, as many other city residents do. So it's not "just for tourists". Pier 17, which is targeted for replacement, has become iconic in itself.

Despite the millions of people who visit each year, the city probably feels that the Seaport could become an even bigger cash cow. But this idea that a neighborhood isn't a vital part of the city unless it has luxury condos built throughout it really has to go.


Joe said...

Its been private since I can remember. I drove my boat there (befor 911)and couldnt even drop passengers off.
These foreners came out and started pushing us off with poles.
.....some public seaport

kingofnycabbies said...

Crapmeister: Agree with you completely on this one. The eternal irony here is that the only people who will live at "One Seaport Plaza," or whatever the hell they'll brand it, will all be financial sector worker bees, none of whom I guarantee you yet live in the city; i.e., visitors! The salient point about globalism, or colonialism. or empire building, is that nothing is ever done for the benefit of the locals, only the stranger with the fat wallet and the warship anchored offshore.

Anonymous said...

Leave it alone. It is beautiful as it is. We need our history.

Stop with this development crap. It is a tourist site for godsakes.

Seth said...

This over-development trend, which definitely seems to center itself around "luxury condos", is happening in big cities all over the country.

Many don't seem to enjoy anything near full occupancy, if the profusion of ageing "luxury condos available, from $xxx,xxx" signs on most of them or all the dark windows at night are any indication, which makes one wonder if perhaps we're being developed into oblivion just for the sake of tax write-offs for the stranger with the fat wallet and the warship anchored offshore. :-)

Anonymous said...

S.S Seaport is just a Disneyland version of a once
rough and tumble waterfront from bygone days .

Where's that paid old salt employee of a cursing, drunken sailor.....
in lieu of Mickey Mouse ?

$$$$$ analyst said...

Most of the "financial industry workers"
live in Jersey City.
Exchange Place is the new real financial hub.

Wall Street is a just a vestigial remain.

The old Bank of New York headquarters
(founded by Alexander Hamilton)
is scheduled to open (or has already opened)
as luxury condos!

Anonymous said...

After the Fulton Fish Market was relocated, one didn’t need to be clairvoyant to see this one coming