Part of a progressive revitalization by the Rouse Co., (Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD, Haymarket Square, Boston, MA), the South Street Seaport has changed over the last two decades from a forgotten relic to an active shopping district and museum, complete with ships at dockside, (you may remember it from the end of the movie "Splash" with Tom Hanks
and a mermaid played by Daryl Hannah
). Recently it's "round-the-Horn" (around Cape Horn), "Peking
," a steel hulled clipper ship is said to be in the process of returning to Germany.
From Brookstones to whale bones, from lightship to horse whips, the South Street Historic District, has seen much history. The first U.S. ship to go to China left from it (the second "The Experiment," from Albany, NY) and the first attack by a submarine, (the one-man "Turtle") in wartime (American Revolution) occurred nearby. The old buildings launched many an enterprise, in shipping, printing, and other "exchanges" (coffee, tea, etc.).
"The South Street Seaport Museum was founded in 1967 to interpret the history of New York as a world port, highlighting the South Street area and the tremendous contribution of maritime enterprise to the economic, social and cultural heritage of the City, the state and the Nation. It is a part of the South Street Historic District, the third largest attraction in New York City, and visited by twelve million people annually."