Place Matters names the New Market Building as building of the month
The New Market Building, the original site of the Fulton Fish Market along the East River, lays empty today. Activist groups have worked over the last few decades to restore the market to its former importance as part of a revitalization of the South Street Seaport area. More recently, New York’s Historic Districts Council, Save Our Seaport, the New Amsterdam Market, and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance have formed the Save Our Seaport Coalition. The group’s mission is to preserve public space in the neighborhood and for the New Market Building to serve local communities and draw visitors. Currently, they face competition from private developers who want to demolish the building and turn the area into luxury condos.
Robert LaValva, a former city planner and president of the New Amsterdam Market, nominated the New Market Building to the Census of Places that Matter. He suggests that reviving the wholesale fish market at the New Market Building is not simply a restoration of the past. LaValva likens New York’s Fulton Fish Market to London’s Borough Market, San Francisco’s embarcadero, or Paris’ Les Halles, which all contributed to urban revitalization. LaValva envisages the space primarily as a wholesale fish market, but one that is accessible to the public and as central to the city as Central Park. The proposed and restored Futon Fish Market at the New Market Building in Lower Manhattan would be a place where a growing sustainable local food movement, food justice efforts and transparent food systems could eventually converge.
In honor of these efforts, we are pleased to feature the New Market Building as July’s Place of the Month. To learn more, click here.
The Historic Districts Council has submitted a Request for Evaluation to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, encouraging the New Market Building’s inclusion as a contributing historic element in the city-designated South Street Seaport Historic District. To lend your support to this effort, please send a message to the Landmarks Preservation Commission
And don’t forget to visit the New Amsterdam Market’s website to learn about upcoming events! AND, if you’d like to spend a moment revisiting the past, click on our friend Naima Rauam’s lovely watercolors of the old fish market.
Place Matters, a project of City Lore and the Municipal Art Society, seeks to promote and protect places that connect New Yorkers to the past, host ongoing cultural and community traditions, and keep our city distinctive.
Have a great July! Molly Garfinkel, City Lore/Place Matters ( firstname.lastname@example.org)