The Waterfront Museum, founded in 1985, exists on the 1914 Lehigh Valley Barge #79 which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It can be accessed at Pier 44 in Red Hood, Brooklyn. The Museum’s mission is to provide free and low-cost opportunities for education, exhibition, and the performance arts; promote historic preservation and our maritime heritage and an understanding of the importance of our water highway for commerce, carrying commuters, culture, and recreation; provide public access to waterfront piers, their unparalleled vistas and recreational opportunities; be an active voice for public waterfront access issues up and down the river.
Backstory and Context
The Waterfront Museum is open year round and hosts a variety of performances, art exhibits, and other special events throughout the year. It was founded in 1986 to provide programs in education and culture aboard an historic vessel and to advocate for and expand public waterfront access in the NY Metropolitan area.
The Museum previously operated in several other locations but completed its move to Brooklyn in 1994. Volunteer cleanup efforts helped make the move to Red Hook possible. The Museum’s wooden barge is nearly one-century old and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On board the barge are relics of a bustling waterfront of days gone by. Old tugs, tools, a wooden dingy and much more shine a light on a past era. Rotating exhibitions as well as live music and theatrical performances add to the Museum’s offerings.