Last night, Community Board 1 met to discuss updates to the South Street Seaport, along with representatives from the Howard Hughes Corporation. One of the more surprising reveals: the controversial glass canopy proposed to hang over the mall at Pier 17 will be scrapped. While construction is underway at the site, Howard Hughes had trouble getting the additional canopy proposal past the Landmarks Preservation Commission over the summer. There were concerns the canopy would make the building too tall, while locals were afraid that the structure would obscure the Brooklyn Bridge. (And we don't need more of that.) Christopher Curry, senior executive vice president of development at Howard Hughes, briefly noted the the relatively small battle of the large project will be aborted, before offering a more elaborate update on the Seaport overall.
After discussing the Seaport Culture District, which launched in August, the assembled group got an update on the South Street Seaport Museum. The institution was given a $10.4 million grant in August from FEMA to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy, but the museum is now seeking a $4.8 million grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to use spaces at 207-215 Water Street for educational programming. "There's another demographic that comes to the Seaport, and that is the students that come to participate in our programs," said Captain Jonathan Boulware, who was appointed as executive director to the museum in April.
The Seaport committee enthusiastically passed a resolution to support that additional space, while expressing excitement about the FEMA grant. "I think this is the some of the most exciting news we've heard from the South Street Seaport," Catherine McVay Hughes, chair of CB1 said. "It's not a pop-up cultural destination but a permanent, ongoing investment in the South Street Seaport."
· All South Street Seaport Coverage [Curbed]