NEW YORK (AP) -- The South Street Seaport Museum reopened to visitors Monday for the first time since Superstorm Sandy hit the region and will launch two new exhibits Friday.
The museum, located at 12 Fulton St. in Lower Manhattan on the East River, is one of the last tourist attractions in the city to reopen. Also still closed to visitors are the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, which will not reopen before 2013. The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on the Hudson River is also still closed.
Flooding from Sandy, which hit at the end of October, destroyed electrical and heating systems in many building basements in the South Street area. The Seaport's Pier 17 has reopened and New York Water Taxi service has resumed there, but many businesses and shops remain closed.
The Seaport neighborhood's cobblestone streets, preserved 19th century buildings and tall-masted historic vessels anchored at Pier 17 create an evocative glimpse of New York's old waterfront and is a popular tourist destination.
The historic vessels and the Seaport museum's collections and exhibits were not damaged, but the museum's mechanical, heating and electrical systems were shut down. For now, visitors must use stairs to the museum as its escalators and elevators are still not operating. Heat is being blown into the building from heaters located on the street.
The museum plans to open two new exhibits Friday, "Street Shots/NYC" and "A Fisherman's Dream: Folk Art."