The SOUTH STREET SEAPORT MUSEUM offers a collection of ships, such as the Ambrose Lightship (above), at a site which was once the country's leading port. The Ambrose was built in 1908 and used to guide ships “from the Atlantic Ocean into the broad mouth of lower New York Bay between Coney Island, New York and Sandy Hook, New Jersey – an area filled with sand bars and shoals invisible to approaching vessels.” The Museum is a 12-square block historic district of 18th & 19th century buildings and cobblestone streets with incredible views of New York harbor and the Brooklyn Bridge. Its mission is to trace the history of the Port of New York and its commercial and cultural impact on New York City, New York state, and the nation.
At one time, both New York City and New York State had large ship building companies.
Current plans call for new development at the Museum with the an open park-like space, a new high-rise hotel and the addition of two food markets.