The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) and the South Street Seaport Museum (SSSM) have announced $4.8 million in federal funds for the renovation of SSSM’s Water Street properties as an education and community space. The proposed allocation is made possible by a grant from LMDC, which is funded through Community Development Block Grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds are being obtained through a $50 million legal settlement reached with Lend Lease Construction LMB Inc. (formerly Bovis Lend Lease LMB Inc.). LMDC formed a working group of state and city officials that conducted extensive reviews of the proposals, including site visits and interviews, and oversaw a public information session, during which dozens of community members presented and discussed various proposals.
“The South Street Seaport is where New York City began,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “These funds will be significant in ensuring the museum’s long-term vitality and ability to provide appropriate space for its extraordinary programming that documents that history.”
“We are thrilled that LMDC has once again moved to support the Seaport Museum,” said Captain Jonathan Boulware, the museum’s executive director. “This grant will support the renovation and activation of the Seaport Museum’s historic buildings in support of its education and community programs. Together with significant restorations of our ships, these new spaces will form the basis for outstanding programming.”
Notable recent achievements in the last year include revitalized education programming (with tripled attendance over last year), increased membership and public programs (more than doubled), installation of a new exhibit at 12 Fulton Street, and the reactivation of the 1893 schooner Lettie G. Howard as a sailing school vessel. In addition, the museum is nearing completion of a $13 million city-funded restoration of the 1885 ship Wavertree, which will return to the museum’s piers this summer.