Though it faces a budget crisis and problems with a misdirected leadership, New York City’s South Street Seaport Museum will remain intact and its working tall ships will stay moored in New York City Harbor rather than sent away for storage. Under a new plan, the museum’s president and board of directors will be replaced.
Things are looking up for the museum even after it was forced to put half of its staff on unpaid leave. The New York Post reports that the museum “has been ordered by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to scuttle plans to send its working ships out of the city” while the board is replaced and “A real-estate deal involving museum property will bring in several million dollars to repay loans made to the museum by current board members, and put its finances back on course.” According to the Save Our Seaport blog, the museum has sold its corner lot back to New York City for $8,000,000.
DNAinfo adds that the replacement board has yet to be decided. Peter Stanford, who founded the museum in 1967, says that the Museum of the City of New York may “help run the landside operation of the museum’s galleries, at least temporarily.”
Though it’s great news that the museum’s ships will be staying where they are and the museum will stay open, it remains to be seen what will happen to the museum’s component parts. If the Museum of the City of New York is running the galleries, could the ships be under a different jurisdiction? Seaport Museum’s Bowne & Co. Printing Studio could still be in danger of closing or running in a diminished capacity. There hasn’t been any word on the fate of the studio yet, but we’ll keep watching for more news.