South Street Seaport Museum
the 1885 full-rigged ship WAVERTREE’s departure for shipyard. Undertakes massive ship preservation and restoration project of New York’s tall ship.
Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs;
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer;
City Council Member Margaret Chin;
Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora, Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction;
Captain Jonathan Boulware, South Street Seaport Museum Executive Director;
and other City Officials
will host a celebratory send-off on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 12:30pm on Pier 15.
South Street Seaport Museum is proud to announce that WAVERTREE, a full-rigged sailing cargo ship from 1885 and crown jewel of the fleet of the Museum, will depart for Caddell Drydock and Repair in Staten Island this Thursday, May 21st at 12:30pm to undergo a massive stabilization and restoration project – the largest project of its kind ever undertaken in the U.S. The 130-year-old ship, built of riveted wrought iron, is the very archetype of the sailing cargo ships of the latter half of the 19th century that during the “age of sail” lined South Street by the dozens, creating a forest of masts from the Battery to the Brooklyn Bridge. The sheer volume of these ships conducting world trade in New York directly fueled the economic and cultural development of the city and established New York as the global commercial capital we know today. The stabilization and restoration project is supported by the City of New York.
The ship WAVERTREE has a well-documented and fascinating history herself. Built in Southampton, Great Britain, she circled the Earth four times in her career carrying a wide variety of cargoes. The ship called on New York in 1896, no doubt one of hundreds like her berthed in the city. In 1910, after thirty-five years of sailing, she was caught in a Cape Horn gale that tore down her masts and ended her career as a cargo ship. She was salvaged and used as a floating warehouse and then a sand barge in South America before being acquired by South Street Seaport Museum in 1968 to become the iconic centerpiece of the “Street of Ships” at South Street.
This $10.6 million stabilization and restoration project is funded by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Council Office, and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President. The project will be undertaken at Caddell Drydock and Repair in Staten Island and will address critical long-term preservation of the ship. Stabilization work will include the replacement of twenty massive steel plates below the waterline, a new ballast system, up-to-date electrical, lighting, and de-watering infrastructure installed, as well as state-of-the-art cathodic protection and coatings that will isolate the hull from corrosion more effectively than ever before. Restoration work will see not only her main deck restored, but also the reinstallation of her ‘tweendeck (the deck between the cargo holds and the main deck), which was removed from the ship in the 1930’s when she was used as a barge. This latter project will create a large indoor area of the ship that can be utilized year-round for Museum educational programming and repair and preservation work. The project will lay the groundwork for the re-rigging of WAVERTREE back at South Street upon her return. The WAVERTREE stabilization and restoration project is a key part of South Street Seaport Museum’s revitalization and programming plan. WAVERTREE’s restoration will provide a new and improved programming space, along with a vital living laboratory for STEM and other education programs.
Join Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer; City Council Member Margaret Chin; Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora, Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction; Captain Jonathan Boulware, South Street Seaport Museum Executive Director; and other City Officials
for a celebratory send-off on May 21, 2015 at 12:30pm on Pier 15.
South Street Seaport Museum upcoming events: Landmarks 50 Week – May 18-24, 2015, including a guided tour of Schermerhorn Row on Monday, May 18, at 12pm (open to the public, visit www.southstreetseaportmuseum.org to register) and an exclusive members Meet the Artist Reception with photographer Barbara Mensch on Wednesday, May 20 at 6pm in the Museum lobby at 12 Fulton Street.
Public sails on the historic 1885 schooner PIONEER begin May 22, 2015.
ABOUT SOUTH STREET SEAPORT MUSEUM
South Street Seaport Museum, the congressionally designated National Maritime Museum, is a non-profit cultural institution preserving and promoting the historic district of South Street Seaport in New York City. Founded on May 22, 1967, the South Street Seaport Museum (SSSM) is dedicated to telling the vital story of the foundation of New York and its link to its great natural harbor. The Museum preserves and interprets the history of New York City as a place where goods, labor and cultures are exchanged through work, commerce, and the interaction of diverse communities. The Seaport Museum is located in a 12 square-block historic district on the East River in Lower Manhattan, the site of the original port of New York City. The Museum’s campus is comprised of key historic locations such as Schermerhorn Row, our working trade centers on Water Street, and on the “Street of Ships” at Pier 16. These exhibitions and educational facilities are located in the South Street Seaport in New York City’s largest concentration of restored early nineteenth century commercial buildings. The Museum houses exhibition galleries, working nineteenth century print shops, a maritime library, a maritime craft center, and a fleet of vessels on “the street of ships” on the East River.