History


For nearly four centuries, the Seaport District has been at the cutting-edge of commerce. In the 17th century, the neighborhood served as a vital Dutch West India Company outpost connecting the new and old worlds. During these years, the trade at the Seaport helped catapult New York City’s economy into one of the most robust in the world.

By the 1860s, the Seaport was a 24/7 commercial hub, living up to New York’s nickname as “the city that never sleeps.” Ships from this era can still be seen today at the South Street Seaport Museum. The 19th century also saw the opening of the Fulton Fish Market, one of the busiest in the nation.

As shipping and trade transformed in the 20th century, so too did the Seaport. In the 1970s, the district pioneered a new urban renewal concept that historic buildings could be preserved while modern development occurred alongside it. This concept helped preserve Schermerhorn Row, a block of historic buildings constructed along Fulton Street in 1811 to facilitate growth at the Seaport.

More recently, the Seaport District has demonstrated its resilience as a dynamic commercial and residential hub. The neighborhood, along with the rest of Lower Manhattan, suffered in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks and Superstorm Sandy. Yet today, Lower Manhattan is the fastest growing neighborhood in the city.

Today, neighborhood residents and visitors are drawn to the Seaport for its exciting retail, dining, cultural and waterfront attractions and its unparalleled views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the city skyline. With continued investment in its revitalization, the Seaport District will continue to thrive and serve as a beacon for the future.