Friday, September 6, 2013
Kiss the South Street Seaport goodbye
The shopping mall on Pier 17 has been one of Manhattan's quintessential tourist traps for over 25 years. On a hot summer day, the tourists are like bugs circling flypaper, swarming around establishments that include Shoelaces You Never Tie, The Wonders Of Rice, and Christmas In New York. Inside this massive shed, souvenir license plates and steaming trays of cheap food are served up alongside stunning views of the lower Manhattan waterfront. When this troubled old mall is closed down at the end of this week, to be replaced with a shiny new mall designed by SHoP Architects, few New Yorkers will miss it.
Many of the neighborhood businesses near Pier 17 were severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy and have not yet reopened. On the side streets of the Seaport, restaurants, theaters, and the Seaport Museum galleries have all been boarded up, abandoned, or vacated, while the Fulton Market Building, another mall owned by the Howard Hughes Corporation, has remained closed since the storm.
After Hurricane Sandy, a number of businesses in the mall closed down, including restaurants like Harbour Lights and Finn's Fish Market Pub.
The entire mall will be closed on September 9th and emptied for a "complete renovation," according to the Howard Hughes Corporation. Their new mall is scheduled to open in 2015.
The subject of many of Rauam's paintings is the Fulton Fish Market, which was closed down in 2005.
The fish market was relocated to the Bronx, leaving behind its old buildings. This newer section of the market was built in 1939 and is located next to the Pier 17 mall.
The building was denied Landmark status in August, according to the Epoch Times, leaving preservationists concerned that its owner, The Howard Hughes Corporation, "will tear the building down and replace it with a high-rise structure."
Though renovations continue on the historic older structures of the neighborhood, the future of the Seaport is far from certain.
Don't understand tearing down a mall to build another one, when the problem is the location, but whatever.