The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation will give $4.8 million to the South Street Seaport Museum to help its recovery from severe damage incurred four years ago when Hurricane Sandy flooded streets around the seaport, according to state and museum officials. That damage came as the museum was just beginning to emerge from a decade of economic difficulties.
The grant is part of a package of that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced in recent days that will use $50 million from the development corp’s legal settlement with a construction company. The money will be used to finance 14 cultural, recreational and educational projects, including a new complex in TriBeCa for the Flea Theater, improvements to a Lower East Side community center run by University Settlement and the Chinatown Y.M.C.A., and several initiatives meant to increase public access to the Hudson and East River waterfronts.
Jonathan Boulware, executive director of the seaport museum, said it would use the money to pay for improvements, including an elevator and new electrical, lighting, fire safety and security systems, to its five-story Thompson warehouse on Water Street and three adjoining storefronts that it owns. The grant will also go toward a new 11,000-square-foot educational community center on the warehouse’s upper floors.
“The L.M.D.C. funding is absolutely critical,” Mr. Boulware said by telephone. “The museum is vital to New York but has been hit very, very hard by 9-11, by the recession, by Sandy.”
The 2015 legal settlement stemmed from a lawsuit between the development corp and the construction company, Lend Lease Construction LMB, over costs connected to the demolition of the Deutsche Bank Tower, which was badly damaged in the attacks of September, 11, 2001. That project, which was plagued by delays, political disputes and a fire in 2007 that killed two firefighters, became one of the country’s most expensive and long-running demolitions.
Earlier this month the South Street Seaport Museum opened its first exhibition since 2012. That show, “Street of Ships: The Port and Its People,” includes art and artifacts from the museum’s permanent collections related to the 19th-century history of the Port of New York, once the world’s busiest shipping hub.