“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Seamanís Church Institute

50 Broadway (formerly 241 Water Street), James Stewart Polshek, architect 1991


ó Exploring Lower Manhattan ó

Seamanís Church Institute Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, April 19, 2019
1. Seamanís Church Institute Marker
Inscription.  The Seamenís Church Institute is one of the cityís oldest maritime establishments. Founded in 1834 to minister to merchant seafarers, in 1844 the Institute launched floating chapels – Gothic buildings on East River barges – for sailors wary of dry land.

The chapels proved so unexpectedly popular with landlubbers that seats had to be reserved for the seafarers, testifying to New Yorkersí love of novelty.

Though the floating chapels are long gone, the Institute has locations throughout the U.S. and serves sailors all over the world. Once operating at 241 Water Street, it has moved its headquarters to 50 Broadway. Its enormous collection of historic items, once on display at its former Water Street location, has been moved to Queens College. Today, 241 Water Street is occupied by the Blue School.
Erected by Alliance for Downtown New York.
Location. 40° 42.475′ N, 74° 0.157′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Water Street near Beekman Street, on the right when
Seamanís Church Institute Marker site image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, April 19, 2019
2. Seamanís Church Institute Marker site
Across the street from 241 Water Street.
traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 241 Water Street, Brooklyn NY 11201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 206 Front Street (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); First ferry service in New York (about 300 feet away); Fulton Fish Waist - 142 Beekman Street (about 300 feet away); 203 Front Street (about 400 feet away); 207 - 211 Water Street (about 400 feet away); Titanic Memorial Lighthouse (about 400 feet away); South Street Seaport (about 400 feet away); First Underground Central Station (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Categories. Churches & ReligionWaterways & Vessels
Seamanís Church Institute building image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, April 19, 2019
3. Seamanís Church Institute building
Ö as the Blue School.
Inset image. Click for full size.
4. Inset
"The Instituteís award-winning former headquarters (now occupied by the Blue School) deftly combines historic preservation and modern whimsy, in a design that suggests nothing so much as a steamship tied up at the South Street Seaport. The architects restored a 1799 ship chandlery, modeled an extension on its brick windows and storefront; and then let their nautical imaginations run riot in upper decks of porcelain-enameled steel panels and railings, and a yardarm flying the Instituteís colors."
Inset image. Click for full size.
5. Inset
A floating chapel
Inset image. Click for full size.
6. Inset
"The shipís bell, now on display in Port Newark, has been with the Institute since 1846, when it hung in the belfry of the first floating chapel. It was recovered from the ill-fated steamboat Atlantic, which sank off the Connecticut shore on its maiden voyage. The bellís urgent ringing could be heard along shore all night – even, according to legend, after the Atlantic had vanished beneath the waves."

More. Search the internet for Seamanís Church Institute.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 24, 2019. This page originally submitted on May 24, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 79 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 24, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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