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Manhattan Community Board 1: City Council Should Hold Public Hearing on Seaport Museum

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The South Street Seaport Museum The South Street Seaport Museum (Andrew Batram/flickr)

On Tuesday, Manhattan's Community Board 1 Seaport/Civic Center Committee passed a resolution calling for the City Council to hold a public hearing on the future of the South Street Seaport Museum. The move came after one of the committee's public members, Michael Kramer, said City Councilmember Michael Nelson, who runs the council's Waterfront Committee, expressed interest in a hearing to save the museum.

The committee unanimously voted -- four in favor and three abstentions -- for the public hearing to be held in August although the council is on vacation next month.

Kramer also announced at the meeting that he and other members of the Save Our Seaport coalition had a "wonderfully productive" meeting with the Museum of the City of New York on Friday about taking over the Seaport Museum as an annex.

"They've expressed an interest and they're doing their homework," he said.

Kramer also asked the committee to keep track of the city's RFP for Pier 15. Applicants wishing to lease parts of the pier from the city, a lease the Seaport Museum used to hold, have until Aug. 9 to submit proposals.

The Seaport/Civic Center Committee said it hadn't yet gotten a response from invitations it sent to Mayor Bloomberg's office and to the Seaport Museum last month to speak before the committee's members on the museum's future.

Last Thursday, Bloomberg urged the Seaport Museum to seek private funding, in addition to public financial support.

The Seaport Museum has repeatedly postponed appearances at the Seaport/Civic Center Committee's meetings.

Both the Museum of the City of New York and the Seaport Museum declined WNYC's request for comments on this story.

The Save Our Seaport coalition now has nearly 5,000 petition signatures from supporters of the museum.

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