A vast harbor and a magnificent coincidence of geology made New York uniquely qualified to handle world commerce during the first decades of national existence. New York then led the drive into the American interior with the project that opened the midwest and transformed the young nation.
The buildings of the South Street Seaport went up as the United States assumed its place on the world stage. A walk through this landmarked district provides not only the feel of the mid-1800s and a view of its skyline but also the notion of possibility enjoyed by an energetic population with room to grow.
Our visits to sailing ships, crooked structures, a 1790s tavern and former slips, punctuated by a new kind of building and a great landmark bridge, tell of the nation's growing influence and the establishment of New York as its commercial and financial center.