The Waterfront Museum
Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge
The Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge #79 was built in 1914. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only floating wooden covered barge of its kind restored and ready to receive visitors. It functions as the home of the Hudson Waterfront Museum, a floating classroom, a showboat, and an art exhibition space.
The Hudson Waterfront Museum was founded in 1986 to provide programs in education and culture aboard an historic vessel and to advocate for and expand public waterfront access in the NY Metropolitan area. The Museum relocated to Brooklyn in 1994 as a permanent home, after seven years of operations with ports-of-call including Liberty State Park in Jersey City & Hoboken, NJ, Piermont, NY and South Street Seaport, NYC.
Coming to Red Hook in 1994, an ambitious group of volunteers transformed a former dumping area into what has been cited by the Neighborhood Open Space Coalition as "an ideal example of open space and waterfront access which provides an excellent complement to waterfront development". The Red Hook Garden pier, home to the museum through the generosity of Greg O'Connell, experienced extensive damage while the barge was undergoing repairs but the Museum has returned to the Conover Street location and is currently moored at Pier 44 which is open to the public from dawn to dusk.
Visitors feel the decks move beneath their feet, hear waterfront sounds, experience the tides, and smell the salt air. From the barge and pier, visitors are treated to a rare front view of the Statue of Liberty, and to the tugs, freighters, container and cruise ships which crisscross the harbor daily. For many visitors, it is their first time aboard a vessel or their first time to view this community's once bustling waterfront.
Pictures and information were provided by the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge
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