Our Facebook page is active

October 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Since Bowne re-opened, we haven’t written much here. However, our Facebook page is active and we continue to post photos and news there. We’ll leave this blog live for now.

a SPECIAL THANKS to Friends of Bowne

December 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Bowne & Co., Stationers is having a holiday open house to thank the Friends of Bowne for their support during the past year.

Please stop by Bowne on Monday, Dec. 19 from 6 to 8 pm to share snacks and drinks with master printer Robert Warner and other Friends of Bowne. Guests are welcome. RSVP for entry.

Bowne is at 211 Water Street and the phone number is 212-748-8651.

We hope to see you there!







South Street Seaport Museum Offers Programs for Children Again

November 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

The South Street Seaport Museum would like to announce that programs for children are being revived. A program that was popular in the past was “Mini Mates” and it begins soon. Spread the word that the museum is back in business!

Crafts, Music, and Movement for Toddlers 18 Months to 3 Years
Beginning Thursday, November 17

Every Thursday morning beginning November 17 (excluding Thanksgiving)
10 a.m.

South Street Seaport Museum
12 Fulton Street
 New York City

“Mini Mates,” which features crafts, music, and movement activities for toddlers 18 months through 3 years of age; all activities are led by Museum educators and designed to engage adults and children

The South Street Seaport Museum will re-launch a program designed for young children aged 18 months to 3 years, and their adult caretakers. “Mini Mates” features educational activities related to water, boats, animals, sea creatures, and more, every Thursday, excluding Thanksgiving. All “Mini Mate” programs begin at 10 a.m. Light refreshments will be served.

“Mini Mate” programs are $15 per individual program; or $40 for one month, or four consecutive programs, in advance.

Pre-registration is required. Reservations for single programs must be made by 3 p.m. the day prior to the desired “Mini Mate” program. Participants may also save money on the cost of the program by purchasing one month, or four consecutive sessions, in advance.

For reservations, information, and registration, please e-mail reservations@seany.org, or call 212-748-8786.

New News is Good News

September 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Museum of the City of New York on Fifth Avenue

Some of you may have seen this recent article from DNAinfo regarding the future of our beloved Bowne & Co., Stationers. We are thrilled to report that the MCNY, who will be managing the Seaport Museum for the next 18 months at least, has told us that they do plan to reopen Bowne, and soon.

We’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who has supported Friends of Bowne over the last seven months — your notes of encouragement, attendance at our exhibition, and petition signatures provided just the spark and passion we needed. But the journey of our group is far from over. In communications with new museum management, we will continue to advocate for Bowne and its rare and wonderful collection.

The new management has seen our business plan, but many questions about the shop’s renewed operation remain unanswered. We will keep everyone informed as we get news. In the meantime, we have discussed what roles Friends of Bowne can play going forward, and came up with three main goals:

1. Help create a Bowne & Co. Advisory Board

Using existing connections with former master printers, volunteers, printing historians, and design professionals, form a body that the museum can consult when needed.

2. Help revitalize and staff the Bowne & Co. volunteer program

Recruit and manage volunteers to help organize and run the print shop, helping with everything from redistributing type to job printing.

3. Help fundraise for Bowne & Co.

Attract and retain potential donors interested in giving funds specifically earmarked for Bowne and its continued operation as a living and functional exhibit.

If you are interested in getting involved, please shoot us an email at friendsofbowne@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Bowne at Greater Risk?

August 29, 2011 § 1 Comment

We have not been blogging much the last month, because of vacations, work, and also uncertainty about what to do next. However, today, Monday, August 29, feels like the beginning of the fall season in New York, when the business of life picks up again.

Right on cue, this weekend I received a letter from the Seaport Museum that officially terminated my position at Bowne & Co., bringing to an end the limbo state of furlough that began on February 14.

This letter could mean several things. Perhaps the museum will re-open Bowne and simply doesn’t want me there. It could also be a sign that the museum has decided that Bowne will not reopen for a while, if at all; or the museum may have made a plan with an institution such as the Museum of the City of New York, a plan that does not include Bowne in its current form.

Over the last month we – the Friends of Bowne – have written a document that describes a future for Bowne and lists ways that Bowne could become a self-sufficient operation. We would like to make it available to anyone who would like to help us help Bowne more aggressively. Here are some things you can do:

• Read the plan and offer your suggestions to improve it.
• Use the plan to approach the Seaport Museum or other institutions who have power over the fate of Bowne. Do you know anyone at the Museum of the City of New York? City government?
• Put us in touch with still other organizations or individuals you know who may be interested in supporting Bowne and in a position to negotiate with the Seaport Museum / City at an institutional level.
• Simply let us know if you know anything about the future of the Seaport Museum.

Here is a link to a PDF of the plan: BownePlan2011

You can post your comments here or email us directly at friendsofbowne@gmail.com.

Thank you,
Doug Clouse and the Friends of Bowne

CB1 Resolution

June 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Below is a copy of the resolution passed by a very concerned CB1 last night. Four members of SOS spoke during the public session, two of them mentioning Bowne (thanks!). Doug was there keeping an eye on things. A representative from Council Member Chin’s office said in his update that Chin has a meeting with the Cultural Affairs office this week about the Museum, and that their interns are researching Seaport-area leases and subleases. Hopefully, these inquiries will produce information. In the meantime, we will continue to bring Bowne to the attention of our representatives through mailings and, we hope, some meetings.

Sciame, Pelzer no-shows at CB1’s Seaport Committee

June 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Downtown Express, June 29, 2011:

Scores of people crowded the Southbridge Towers Community Room on June 21 expecting to hear from Frank J. Sciame, chairman of the Seaport Museum New York, and from Mary Ellen Pelzer, president of the museum, but the guests of honor didn’t show up for Community Board 1’s Seaport/Civic Center meeting. All of the 40-year-old museum’s galleries are currently closed and most of the staff has been dismissed. Bowne & Co. Stationers, the museum’s historic print shop, is also closed….


Board Gets Stood Up by Seaport Museum Officials

June 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

WNYC, June 22, 2011:

The president and chairman of the Seaport Museum New York opted out of attending a meeting on the maritime museum’s future at the last-minute Tuesday night, drawing the ire of community members who felt they were stood up by the officials for the second time in as many months.

An hour into the meeting in Lower Manhattan, the Manhattan’s Community Board 1 Seaport/Civic Center Committee received a letter from the museum’s president and CEO, Mary Ellen Pelzer, saying she and chairman Frank Sciame would not be attending.


Many Angered by Silence from Seaport Museum Officials

June 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

From the Tribeca Trib, June 22, 2011:

Leaders of the financially capsized Seaport Museum drew anger from a standing-room-only crowd on Tuesday after backing out of their promised appearance before a Community Board 1 committee.

For the second month in a row, CB1’s Seaport Committee had expected to hear what is going on in talks between the museum and the city over the institution’s future and the possible sale of its boats, docked at Piers 16 and 17.


History + Architecture 4ever (why wedding photographers like the Seaport)

June 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

Water Street

Water Street at Bowne, before the renovation of Titanic Park

As the Save Our Seaport rally was breaking up on May 22, a few of us attending the event were distracted by a wedding party being photographed nearby. Oblivious to the rally’s cheers and singing, a wedding photographer arranged a couple and their attendants in front of the Seaport Museum’s ship Peking. We joked that the museum should raise money for the ships by charging photographers for using the ships as picturesque backdrops.
On the way out of the Seaport neighborhood after the rally, a couple of us peered in the windows at Bowne, which looked untouched. Another wedding group came up Water Street towards us and began to pose for photos in front of Bowne, despite the “Closed” sign on the door.
Wedding photography was common at Bowne when it was open. Formally dressed couples stood on the steps in front of Bowne, embraced awkwardly on the bench in Cannon’s Walk behind the shop, and even occasionally asked to come inside. The appeal of good-looking old buildings and ships as background scenery is obvious, but insufficient explanation for the number of weddings photographed at the Seaport, and, by extension, for the desire by anyone to visit the neighborhood. Newlyweds are notable representatives of all who visit the Seaport District because they choose to publicly record their union (perhaps legalized in nearby City Hall) in a space that is not only pretty and represents New York City, but is equal to the momentous experience of marriage. The couples at Bowne wanted to cleave to the significance of the place.
The appeal of the Seaport District transcends the picturesque. Effective preservation retains the sense of the “historical sublime” that first inspired preservationists. The surviving, decrepit Seaport neighborhood of the 1960s struck the founders of the South Street Seaport Museum as a thrilling link to the past, a place that evoked visions of life at sea, the frantic merchant activity along the water’s edge, and the emotional tumult of arrivals and departures by all nationalities and classes.
Judging by the number of newlyweds who are photographed in the neighborhood, the Seaport, despite its many setbacks, still retains some of what inspired the Seaport founders. Subtle scale differences in the streetscape signal that this place is significant, though most visitors may not be able to say exactly why. By trying NOT to change details of the Seaport, its founders passed on an environment that can still resonate today, if it is allowed to.