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Preserving South Street SeaportThe Dream and Reality of a New York Urban Renewal District$
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James M. Lindgren

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479822577

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479822577.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

“A Ship Is a Hole in the Water into Which You Pour Money”

“A Ship Is a Hole in the Water into Which You Pour Money”

How Maritime Preservation (Almost) Won

(p.233) 10 “A Ship Is a Hole in the Water into Which You Pour Money”
Preserving South Street Seaport

James M. Lindgren

NYU Press

This chapter examines the South Street Seaport Museum's maritime preservation plans involving a fleet of historic ships under Robert “Peter” Neill III's stewardship. When he arrived in 1985 as Seaport president, Neill called the ships its “single greatest asset and obligation.” With eleven major ships, the Seaport boasted that it had “the largest historic fleet ever assembled by any museum anywhere at any time,” Recognizing the Seaport's failure to maintain the ships, Neill promised to take the necessary action for their historic preservation. This chapter considers Neill's initiatives, including the opening of Harbor Park, as well as the problems he encountered in the restoration of ships like Wavertree, Peking, Charles Cooper, Lettie G. Howard, Pioneer, and W. O. Decker. It also discusses the participation of Wavertree in Op Sail 92.

Keywords:   historic ships, South Street Seaport Museum, Robert Peter Neill III, Harbor Park, ship restoration, Wavertree, Peking, Operation Sail 1992, historic preservation, maritime preservation

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