Aerial view of historic South Street Seaport

11 Most Endangered Historic Places

South Street Seaport

  • Location: New York, NY

The South Street Seaport features some of the oldest architecture in New York City. The Seaport’s restored 19th-century commercial buildings transport visitors back in time, evoking the commercial trade of that era. Located along the East River, adjacent to the Financial District, the South Street Seaport is unique for its continuous relationship to the waterfront and its status as the focal point of the early maritime industry in New York City.

While the Seaport is a locally designated historic district, and is separately listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is currently under threat due to a series of development proposals that would disrupt the look, feel and low-scale historic character of the Seaport.

“The proposed developments will have an overwhelming impact on the historic neighborhood, diminishing the Seaport’s unique relationship to the water and compromising one of the most intact 19th century neighborhoods in Manhattan.”

Stephanie Meeks

“The proposed developments will have an overwhelming impact on the historic neighborhood, diminishing the Seaport’s unique relationship to the water and compromising one of the most intact 19th century neighborhoods in Manhattan,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “If it were constructed on a pier jutting over the water, the tower would alter the character of the waterfront and block views of the Brooklyn Bridge to and from the historic Seaport. With this 11 Most Endangered listing, we are hopeful that the developers and the City of New York will consider relocating the tower away from this beloved historic district.”

The issues around the redevelopment of the South Street Seaport are urgent as the approval process for partial demolition of the Tin and New Market Buildings is in motion and decisions made in the next 6-12 months will have a significant impact on the future of the Seaport. The developer has started the process of seeking City approval for the new tower and has publicly declared its intention to break ground by the end of 2015.

Donations from people like you make the work of the National Trust possible. Support our work today to save places that matter.

Donate Today