New York City is one of the most popular tourist destinations globally, and it’s no surprise why. There is so much to see and do in the city that never sleeps!
A part of what makes New York City so great is that it is constantly changing. The New York City that we know and love today looks a lot different from past years. Our very own Skyline Princess has sailed up and down the New York City waterways since 1993, and we have seen changes aplenty in that time. Take a sail down memory lane with us as we reminisce.
South Street Seaport
Today, South Street Seaport is home to upscale shops and delicious restaurants for tourists and locals alike, but that was not always the case. During the 1980s, South Street Seaport was mainly a tourist attraction when the existing Pier 17 was replaced with a multilevel structure that housed shops, bars, and restaurants.
It wasn’t until October of 2012, according to Warburg Realty, that the South Street Seaport underwent another transformation due to Hurricane Sandy. Flooding damaged the buildings, and many of the businesses had to close or relocate. It was then that the shift from being a tourist destination toward becoming a destination for locals began. Upscale retailers replaced souvenir shops, and once again, Pier 17 was torn down. In the summer of 2018, the current iteration of Pier 17 opened as a concert venue and the broadcasting studio for ESPN.
Today, we know it as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, but it didn’t always go by this name. Linking Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan, spanning the East River, many New Yorkers still refer to this bridge as the Triborough bridge.
According to NYC Roads, Governor Eliot Spitzer proposed renaming the Triborough Bridge after the slain former US Senator and Attorney General in his 2008 State of the State address. Spitzer noted this would serve as a tribute to “a leader who did so much to build the New York we love today.”
This proposal, however, did not come without controversy. Concerns ranged from the hundreds of thousands it would cost to change signs, as well as the potential for confusion among visitors used to the old name. However, the bill was passed and signed into law by Governor David Paterson. A re-dedication ceremony was held on November 19, 2008, and the Triborough Bridge was formally renamed the “Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.”
Today, Governors Island has millions of visitors, but it was not always a public attraction. In 2003 the federal government sold 150 acres of Governors Island to the City and State. Provisions in the deed ensured that much of the Island would be set aside for public benefit.
National Park Service rangers guided the first tours of the Island to approximately 4,000 visitors between June and October of 2003. In 2009 ferries began running to Governors Island from Brooklyn for the first time, and Picnic Point opened on the Island’s southern tip. A 2.2-mile promenade was opened to pedestrians and cyclists as well.
In September of 2020, according to The History of Governors Island, the Trust for Governors Island announced plans to develop a Center for Climate Solutions. The idea is to bring together a cross-disciplinary community of researchers, educators, advocates, innovators, and policymakers to create, test, and implement the solutions our urban environments need today and in the decades to come.
See it All with Skyline Cruises
Here at Skyline Cruises, we have seen New York City change many times throughout the years. Despite these changes, we are proud to continue being a staple part of the community providing excellent service and memories that last a lifetime. Contact Skyline Cruises by filling out the form on this page or call (718) 446-1100 and speak to a representative today.