South Street Seaport
Known in the early 19th century as the “Street of Ships,” South Street Seaport is where New York and the nation meet the sea. Ships of every description lined the East River piers, and seamen, immigrants, and merchants crowded the buildings and streets. Use of the port declined after the 1860s as activity moved to Brooklyn and New Jersey. However, in the 1960s, an ambitious restoration program to preserve the port’s historic buildings, piers, streets, and vessels led to the establishment of the South Street Seaport Historic District and the South Street Seaport Museum. Today, there are many historic ships to see at the port: The W.O. Decker (a 1935 wooden tugboat), the Ambrose (the first lightship to serve as a guide to vessels approaching the channel), the Wavetree (built in 1885), and the Peking (built in 1911).