The Transformation of Lower Manhattan in Photos
All Photos by Barbara Mensch
Learn about the transformation of Lower Manhattan and explore a new permanent photo exhibit inside the historic Tin Building with photographer Barbara Mensch!
- Uncover the history of New York’s South Street Seaport area, once the busiest seaport in the world
- Learn about the history of the Brooklyn Bridge and its importance to the growth of New York, in particular the waterfront area
- Hear stories of the Fulton Fish Market (formerly housed inside The Tin
Building), once the largest wholesale seafood market in the Western Hemisphere
and a stronghold of the mafia throughout the 20th century
- See where seafood was unloaded, stored and sold
- Visit sites where sordid incidents like robberies took place and where bodies of those who mysteriously vanished washed ashore
- Explore the photo exhibit inside The Tin Building, featuring photos of workmen and fishmongers in the
1980s and ’90s, with commentary by the photographer who spent decades documenting their work
About the event:
For nearly 300 years, the waterfront area of Lower Manhattan was the busiest seaport in the world. And the Fulton Fish Market, located in The Tin Building, was the largest wholesale seafood market in the world, which, for most of the 20th century, was ruled by powerful crime families.
On this tour, photographer Barbara Mensch, author of A Falling Off Place: The Transformation of Lower Manhattan (Fordham University Press, September 2023), will explain the history of the waterfront area and share stories from her 30 years of documenting the workers and haunts of the South Street Seaport neighborhood, including tales of where robberies took place and where bodies of those who mysteriously vanished have washed ashore. The tour will end with a visit to Mensch’s permanent photo installation inside the entrance to The Tin Building, where you’ll see Mensch’s photos of the men who used to work at the Fulton Market.
About Barbara Mensch
Barbara Mensch is a fine art photographer whose photos have been included in a collection at MoMA, and whose work has been exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and more. Born in Brooklyn, Mensch studied art at Hunter College before becoming an illustrator at Ms. Magazine. Later, she spent more than three decades photographing the workers and buildings in the South Street Seaport neighborhood of New York, including at the famed Fulton Fish Market, which she took under the scrutinizing eyes of federal law enforcement and organized crime. She is the author of two photobooks: A Falling Off Place: The Transformation of Lower Manhattan (Fordham University Press, September 2023), and In The Shadow Of Genius (Empire State Editions, an imprint of Fordham University Press, 2018). Mensch’s monograph, “New York Photographs,” was published with an essay by art historian Bonnie Yochelson in 2013.
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