Design: South Street Seaport Opens

A waterfront is restored with enterprise and taste

As Le Corbusier once observed, New York City appears as landlocked as Moscow. Through a combination of greed and neglect, the cityscape has steadily obscured the drama of ocean, port and rivers. Until last week, there was not one public place on the island of Manhattan where people could sit in sheltered and stimulating surroundings, to eat, drink and enjoy the life of their waterfront.

But that was before the South Street Seaport opened with a bash of festivities, celebrities and rush-hour crowds. In the shadow of...

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