The glory of early New York City came from its role as one of the world's great ports. Today the South Street Seaport is a lasting tribute to that seafaring heritage, a historical district beneath the Brooklyn Bridge that contains some of the city's oldest buildings.
But there are many secrets here along the cobblestone streets. Schermerhorn Row, the grand avenue of counting houses more than two centuries old, is built atop of landfill. Historic Water Street once held a seedy concentration of brothels and saloons. Not to mention a very vibrant rat pit! And the Fulton Fish Market, the neighborhood's oldest customer tradition, once fell into the river.
The modern South Street Seaport, a preservation construct of concerned citizens, become popular with tourists during the 1980s but saw severe damage during Hurricane Sandy. It's now the subject of some potentially dramatic changes. How much of an adherence to the traditions of the past will determine the Seaport's future?
ALSO: The FDR Drive -- How it almost went below the Seaport!