- Halt the transfer of public assets to private developers:
1.1 Fight for the public’s right of review before leasing out public land (Sunshine Law);
1.2 Require public bidding as the norm for any public development;
1.3 Stop any development that will privatize public land (eg. Building a luxury building on the Seaport New Market site).
1.4 Resubmit an updated ‘Request For Evaluation (RFE)’ to the City’s LandmarksCommission to have the New Market building given landmark status;
1.5 Submit request to have the New Market site brought within the historic district boundaries, and included in the City’s Register of Historic sites (in line with the State and National Registers).
- Restore the South Street Seaport Museum as the focal point in telling the story of the Seaport through increasing its educational scope and outreach:
2.1 Maintain the museum’s rich sea-faring legacy which includes: ships, artifacts, historic hotels (Fulton Ferry Hotel -Schermerhorn Row) and restaurants, as well as marine skills related to ship maintenance;
2.2 Expand the museum’s programs recounting the stories of ordinary people who joined the ranks of humanity from all walks of life and from all over the world — some willingly, some as slaves – to work in the markets, labor on the cargo ships, sleep in the hotels along the wharves, and set down roots in a new world;
2.3. Support the Seaport Museum: in partnerships with other museums – the 9/11 Museum, the Museum of Finance; in programs which connect the dots to historic sites such as the African-American burial ground, Stone Street;
2.4 Return Pier 15 to its rightful place among the Seaport’s assets for use by its ships and visiting historic vessels (eg. Coast Guard Eagle) by promoting alternate pier sites for the commercial vessels that have taken over Pier 15;
2.5 Promote ties to our international heritage:
2.5.1 Connect with cities and industries tied to the Seaport’s past: Amsterdam, London; Liverpool/Southampton Shipyard (Wavertree);
2.5.2 Form a Sister-Port program that links historic ports all over the world to adopt each other much like sister-cities, to help promote tourism and educational cross-over opportunities;
2.5.3 Reach out to related World Heritage sites.
- Promote sustainable economic development that celebrates our nation’s first World Trade Center, using the ‘High Line’ as an example of how a valuable asset in and of itself promotes economic growth and reinvigorates a neighborhood.
3.1. Actively seek the participation of the local New York businesses, using current demographics for the growing downtown community to help make the case for the profitability of locations downtown, by making it attractive through financial and other incentives to locate their businesses here, particularly ones to serve the downtown family community.
3.2. Provide special encouragement and assistance to those businesses that demonstrate by their products and process in situ, the historic nature of the South Street Seaport.
3.2.1 Create an arts commission to jury artists and crafts people who use historically accurate techniques to produce goods and foodstuffs and feature these products and stores at the Seaport;
3.2.2. Contact naval supply and marine stores to manufacture and/or sell items that have to do with maritime history, the sea and charts, weather-forecasting and navigational techniques and equipment;
3.3. Participate at all levels to repurpose areas of the South Street Seaport (such as the New Market site) to serve the burgeoning downtown community with:
3.3.1. sources of good and healthy food: Create a world-class market historically accurate and much needed by hundreds of young new family residents;
3.3.2 an arts center – that would open a portion of its spaces for schools, churches as a multicultural community learning center to carry on the tradition of the many nationalities (52 in the 19th cent) who once again are repopulating this area.
- Promote the city’s Fulton Corridor vision (refer: LMDC – Fulton Corridor revitalization Project): Unite the old Historic Seaport Area / original World Trade Center with the New World Trade Center through Design elements for the Fulton Corridor that directly link one to the other, and educate the visitors to our neighborhood about the important direct connection of one to the other as a way to celebrate our country’s present as a result of its past.
4.1. A city plan for the Fulton Corridor to make the street lamps, welcome signage, historic map kiosks available for tourists in many languages to explain points of interest between the new and old world trade centers;
4.2 Encourage new Store Fronts to adopt more appropriate signage and exteriors that blend or are more in keeping with the historic area;
4.3 Have a city-wide contest for students at NYU, Columbia, Pace – in schools of architecture and preservation/design – to submit ideas for store front renovations for business located in the corridor and give the businesses special permit prices for redoing their store fronts;
4.4 Encourage use of brick exteriors that marry tastefully with newer glass designs, painted wooden signage written in script used during the early period; have a logo that each business that participates in the program received as a reward in recognition to their dedication to maintaining the historic character of the Seaport.
- Set up a governing body for the Seaport that is controlled by the public for the public (ref: Seaport Speaks Charrette Report 2006). This entity would:
5.1 be the public’s watchdog and advocate;
5.2 enforce development parameters relating to this special historic area (refer: existing Seaport Historic District Guidelines and Waterfront Guidelines);
5.3 insure that the public has the overriding say in the development of public spaces;
5.4 protect the Brooklyn Bridge from any intrusions that would undermine its special place in our city’s iconography;
5.5 promote and coordinate funding mechanisms (public-private partnerships,endowments, grants) to supplement baseline city support;
5.6 foster/ promote self-sustaining endeavors (memberships, events).
- Finally, strongly urge our legislators to use current environmental laws already enacted for the purpose of protecting our environment, specifically those as relate to vistas, building heights, historic landmarks and the maintenance of the ambience of the unique environmental features of this historic area.