The South Street Seaport Museum preserves vestiges of the time when Lower Manhattan was a thriving seaport ringed by a forest of masts, when its narrow cobbled streets were lined with counting houses, ship chandleries, tobacconists, sailors bars, flophouses and fishmongers. In 1967 the museum was chartered to reclaim an area of neglected buildings, many of which were slated for demolition.
Berthed nearby on Pier 16 are several historic ships including the Peking, a steel four-masted bark; the Wavertree, an iron full-rigged ship; the Pioneer, a cargo schooner; and the Lettie G. Howard, a wooden fishing schooner. Several of the ships have on-board exhibitions. For architecture enthusiasts there are tours of adjacent buildings that feature an eclectic mix of styles, from the 19th-century Federal rowhouses to neoclassical and Greek Revival-style buildings. The museum's indoor galleries are closed until further notice.
The Museum offers a variety of programs adaptable to any grade level or need.