It's always exciting to see plans for new green buildings, but what happens when they require the demolition of a well-loved landmark? That's the dilemma plaguing the development of Lower Manhattan’s South Street Seaport - part of which would involve razing the old Fulton Fish Market. Despite the colonial history of the site, developer Howard Hughes is dead-set on stacking a 50-story skyscraper in the fishery’s place. Now a new initiative called “Just Press Pause” is working to save the historic building and turn it into a vibrant new market offering fresh, local foods. Read on to see how you can help!
Instead of being razed to make way for a 50-story hotel and condo tower, the historic Fulton Fish Market building could become home to the New Amsterdam Market, a neighborhood market offering fresh, local food to area residents. The grassroots operation currently operates out of parking lots in the area but New Amsterdam Market founder Robert LaValva believes the Fulton Fish Market building could be the perfect new location for the business if restored to its former glory.
Beyond reviving the market, Just Press Pause is a concerted effort save the historic character of the waterfront. Erecting a massive Jenga-style building would compromise the character of the 400-year-old district. What’s more, the skyscraper would block views of the Brooklyn Bridge and given the recent damage seen at South Street Seaport thanks to Hurricane Sandy, the tower seems disjointed from the need for resilient design on the waterfront.
“[W]e seek time to create the first truly comprehensive master plan for the South Street Seaport Historic District and other irreplaceable public assets along the East River waterfront in Lower Manhattan, including the East River Esplanade,” Just Press Pause wrote in its mission statement.
The organization has already banded together support from local residents, Community Board 1, Friends of South Street, and the Southbridge Towers. Meanwhile, the New Amsterdam Market plan has backing from star chefs including Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Bill Telepan. Now Just Press Pause is calling for more help and names to sign its petition in hopes of attracting the attention of Mayor de Blasio and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.