Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Little Museum That Could - South Street Seaport Museum

Signs in the window in case you forgot where you were.
If you're not familiar with the Seaport Museum, you should be familiar with the drama about it's tragic story and eventual rescue by the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY). To sum it up, the Seaport Museum is one of the many museums in NYC, but the only one that explores its nautical trade history.
Friday I decided to check it out and I was blown away. First of all, I had heard about the museum being shut down due to money issues and lack of funds. Not to mention the rumors about it being sold for prime realty. And I was ecstatic as the rest of New York when the Museum of the City of New York took over.

Metal baits hanging like artwork.

For model boat lovers they have plenty of ships in bottles and larger replicas on display.

It wouldn't be a Seaport Museum without ships in bottles.
Close-up of one of them

What impressed me the most was how MCNY treated the museum. As far as my knowledge and pre-MCNY, the museum could not afford renovations much less upkeep.  Post-MCNY they decided to take its Miss Havisham's appearance and make it part of the museum itself. You go and notice the walls, the doors, the windows, and the glass paneling (to preserve the old construction), in addition to the exhibits on display.
Graffiti protected behind glass.
One of many doors that no longer serve function.
Local designers work

This is selection is out of 2500 in the Seaport's collection.

Photography by local artists.

They even include designers' work on display.

Reminds me alot like h. Naoto Gramm
Original building work intact with a ghostly mannequin.
The museum itself is made of 3 floors where each one feels like a maze, zigzagging in rooms like a kid exploring the attic with a flashlight.  The exhibits were a mix of the Seaport's relics and collections, there artifacts from the Fulton Fish Market, a room with a "small" selection of tools used by workers when the port was bustling with ships.
Some of the many tools used in shipbuilding.

Old-fashioned dryer.

Antiques of the tea trade.
Relics from the Fulton Fish Market.
There is also a photo gallery on the 5th floor of a selection of photos taken during Occupy Wall Street when it was at Zucotti Park.

I could just be fangirl over the organic curation of the museum or it was really just that cool to know it was originally a hotel built in 1850. The best part? Admission is only $5 and can be used at the Museum of the City of New York (within 7 days of course).

The Seaport Museum
12 Fulton Street
New York, NY 10038

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