The Rise and Rise of Lower Manhattan
by Neala Schwartzberg
Without a doubt, parts of Manhattan have more cachet. But Lower Manhattan is where New York City started, and it’s reclaiming its place of vitality and importance. There are a dozen museums, the rebuilt Winter Garden hosts special events, Wall Street is lighting up building facades and luring visitors with art and food. The piers of the East River have become South Street Seaport.
Battery Park also contains three different museums. The newly opened Skyscraper Museum focuses solely on the past, present and future of these soaring structures. Walk across the street and visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage. This distinctive building of layered concrete focuses on Jewish history and family life as well as current issues. In contrast to the modernism of these two museums is the ornate Beaux Arts U. S. Customs Service building constructed in 1907, located just a few blocks away. It’s now National Museum of the American Indian, part of the Smithsonian museum system.
Revolutionary New York
South Street Seaport
Lower East Side
Although in the process of gentrification the past still remains. Houses of worship have become treasured landmarks, and patrons still line up for a knish at Yonah Schimmel. The history of the area can be explored in the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, a building dating back to 1863. Several apartments have been renovated backwards to recreate the life and living conditions of various immigrant groups who once lived there. The Museum also provides narrated walks through the neighborhood.
As cultures brush against each other in the arena of history an electrical charge is being created, and the energy is transformative. Lower Manhattan, the original NYC.
For More Information:Lower Manhattan -- www.LowerManhattan.info
Wall Street Rising -- www.WallStreetRising.org
Fraunces Tavern and Museum
Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Battery Park City Parks
Federal Hall National Memorial
South Street Seaport
Heritage/Museums of Lower Manhattan
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