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The South Street Seaport adds Winterland to its Offerings

A New Skating Rink - Winterland - Opened at the South St Seaport in December

winterland rooftop skating rink photo south street seaport things to do lower manhattan fidi nycJanuary 6, 2019 / South St Seaport / FiDi / Downtown NYC Neighborhoods / Kids Things To Do Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

In December I spent a fair amount of time in the Downtown NYC neighborhood, including at the South Street Seaport. The South Street Seaport has been an evolving recreational and tourist destination for the past couple of decades. Some of which we have covered in recent years - see Taste of the Seaport and South St Seaport neighborhood real estate in Downtown NYC.

In the photo at right you can see skaters resting alongside the wall overlooking the East River and Brooklyn Bridge in the South Street Seaport neighborhood near the FiDi in Manhattan NYC.

 

Brief History of the South Street Seaport in Downtown NYC / FiDi

The South Street Seaport was first used by the Dutch West India Company in 1625 to dock, unload and reload ships with cargo between the new [America] and old [European] worlds. Over time it evolved as a center of port activity for NYC. In the early 1700's [Wikipedia states 1728] the South Street Seaport started becoming a central distribution point throughout the colonies for goods coming from Europe into the New World, as well as becoming a collection point for south street seaport ships 1885 schooner photo south st seaport museum fidi neighborhood downtown manhattan nycgoods coming from the colonies that were then shipped to Europe.

In 1822 the Fulton Fish market opened as a central retail space for fresh fish among other things, and in 1825 the Erie Canal opened which enabled relatively quick and inexpensive transit between most points on the Great Lakes and New York City. This transit development cemented the reputation of New York City as the nation's leading transit capital.

By the middle of the 1800's the South Street Seaport climaxed, and over the next half century the volume of passenger and goods transit declined, giving way to the piers on the west side of Manhattan along the Hudson River. The reasons for the move to the west side was the lack of space for retail and warehousing, as well as the shallow nature of the South Street Seaport harbor.

In the photo at right you can see an 1885 schooner, one of the sailing ships of the 19th century, similar to those that had once docked at the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan in NYC.

CLICK here to view the rest of our report along with photos of the South Street Seaport neighborhood and its new rooftop Winterland skating rink.


The South Street Seaport adds Winterland to its Offerings

A New Skating Rink - Winterland - Opened at the South St Seaport in December

January 6, 2019 / South St Seaport / FiDi / Downtown NYC Neighborhoods / Kids Things To Do Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

South Street Seaport Decline & Renewal in the 20th Century

Schermerhorn Row houses photo south st seaport in the fidi neighborhood downtown nycThroughout the first half of the 20th century, the commercial activity in the South Street Seaport declined, giving way to a new vision, which began to evolve in the 1960's beginning with the institution of the South Street Seaport Museum in 1967. Preservation of Schermerhorn Row, a group of mercantile buildings from the first half of the 1800's was part of the objective, as new development plans began to target the South Street Seaport neighborhood.

In the photo at right you can see the Schermerhorn Row houses in the South Street Seaport neighborhood near the FiDi [Financial District] in Manhattan.

 

South Street Seaport - FiDi Real Estate Development Manhattan NYC

In 1998 the South Street Seaport Museum became one of the musems that are encompassed in an umbrella of America's National Maritime Museum. Since 2001 real estate development in the South Street Seaport neighborhood has swept into the area in a fairly major way. As new buildings went up, so did the rents, and in 2005 the Fulton Fish market moved north to Hunts Point in the Bronx.

A number of other new high rise buildings have gone up since the turn of the century, with more on the way. And one of the developments has been Pier 17 where there's a rooftop skating rink with views of the Downtown NYC skyline as well as of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Winterland Skating Rink at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan NYC

tank bar restaurant at winterland skating rink photo rooftop skating south st seaport manhattan nyc great dates manhattan nycI visited the skating rink one evening shortly after it opened. It's not a very large rink, but it has 360 degrees of beautiful views, and for the moment, while busy, not crowded. Looking north from the south side of the rink you can see the Brooklyn Bridge, and there's a small chalet style snack shop named Tank that serves light fare and drinks and offers great views of the Brooklyn Bridge and East River.

Just south of the rink [behind me] there's a fair sized building with tables and seats where you can rent skates, change or warm up. The cost of skating alone is $14 off peak and over the weekends and peak its $17. Add another $8 for skate rentals. They are open approximately from 11 am - 9 pm, but open an hour earlier and close a couple of hours later on some weekend / holidays.

In the photo at right is the snack shop / bar named Tank, adjacent to the Winterland rooftop skating rink, with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge at the South Street Seaport in Downtown Manhattan NYC.

See other stories about the area posted in recent years - see Taste of the Seaport and South St Seaport neighborhood real estate in Downtown NYC.

 

The South Street Seaport Museum near the FiDi District in Manhattan NYC

south street seaport museum fidi neighborhood lower manhattan thiings to do restaurants bars fidi manhattan neighborhoods nycYet, some care has been taken to preserve a bit of New York City seaport history, as the South Street Seaport Museum maintains a small fleet of older sailing ships, as well as a tugboat which they are in the process of refurbishing, along the East River waterfront. The Schermerhorn Row houses also remain intact, having been transformed into retail, dining and office spaces. And there are a few cobblestone streets, but they seem new.

The South Street Seaport Museum has a number of collections well worth the visit, but perhaps their most exciting offering is the chance to sail on an 1885 Schooner in the New York City harbor. The rides cost about $30 and must be reserved in advance and take place fairly often between late May and early September [only]. There's also the Bowne Printers Workshop - a working mid 19th century printing office complete with the printing technology of that age.

In the photo at right is the Seaport Museum, where there's a 19th century print shop, photos, prints and relics of the maritime history of New York City.

And NYC, in tandem with local business development groups, continues to evolve its event programming in order to attract locals, tourists and new business to the area. We post most of the major events they do during the course of the year in our Weekend Things To Do post.

Happy New Year.


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