Write write write!

In conjunction with the SAVE BOWNE petition, we believe writing letters to our local and state representatives will be a critical next step.  In the event that the Seaport Museum finally declares insolvency, New York City and State government officials are very likely going to be the ones holding power over the Museum’s – and Bowne’s – future.  Anything we can do to raise their awareness now of Bowne’s value and Friends of Bowne’s mission, then the stronger our narrative will be when the time comes to take serious action.

Okay, now that that activist rhetoric is out of the way, here are the details:

  1. The Letter. We drafted a sample one for you! You can copy it as text below, or download and print out a copy of your own: Friends of Bowne letter to government officials. Of course, it’s always nice if you can personalize it somehow.
  2. Send It. You can mail or email your letter to the recipients listed below.
  3. Write and send another one.

If you can think of another office/commission/board/etc that we should add to this list, please by all means write a comment or email us directly (friendsofbowne@gmail.com).


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Kate D. Levin
New York City Department
of Cultural Affairs
31 Chambers Street
New York, New York 10007

Members of NYS Board of Regents
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Board of Regents, Room 110 EB
Albany, New York 12234

Council Member Margaret Chin
New York City Council, District 1
Chatham Green
165 Park Row, suite #11
New York, NY 10038

Gov. Cuomo: http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php

Senator Schumer: http://schumer.senate.gov/new_website/contactchuck.cfm
-Schumer Aide – Ariel Simon, ariel_simon@schumer.senate.gov
-Schumer Aide – Eric Morrissette, eric_morrissette@schumer.senate.gov

Senator Gillibrand: http://gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/
-Gillibrand Aide – Steve Adams-Smith, steve_adams-smith@gillibrand.senate.gov

Manhattan Borough President’s Office: http://mbpo.org/free_details.asp?id=49
-Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President: bp@manhattanbp.org
-Audrey Gelman, Press Secretary: agelman@manhattanbp.org
-Rose Pierre-Louis, Deputy Borough President: rpierre-Louis@manhattanbp.org
-Jessica Silver, Director of Community Affairs: jsilver@manhattanbp.org
-Susannah Vickers, Director of Budgets and Grants: svickers@manhattanbp.org
-Alaina Gilligo, Chief of Staff: agilligo@manhattanbp.org

Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio: http://pubadvocate.nyc.gov/contact-us

Comissioner: Department Of Youth And Community Development, Jeanne B Mullgrav: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/maildycd.html

Council of American Maritime Museums (the museum is a member): http://www.councilofamericanmaritimemuseums.org/pages/Contact-Us.html

National Maritime Historical Society: nmhs@seahistory.org

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman: http://www.ag.ny.gov/contact.html



As a member of the grassroots organization Friends of Bowne, I am writing to you today to ask for your help and support in saving Bowne & Co., Stationers, an irreplaceable piece of the history of technology, manufacturing, and trade in New York City, as well as letterpress printing and typeface design today.

Bowne was a beloved re-creation of a small nineteenth-century printing and stationer’s shop in Lower Manhattan, part of the Seaport Museum New York. It was a living museum, a working press that still took custom orders, a destination for researchers and school groups, and a beautiful neighborhood shop that inspired passionate responses from visitors from around the world. On February 14th, the shop was closed without warning by the Seaport Museum New York. Since then, hundreds have spoken out; a sampling of these reactions is included below:

Pamela Jacobson, Bowne shopper
I fell in love with Bowne from the minute I walked through its doors. Bowne’s merchandise is beautiful, unique, and incomparable in quality to any other print work in the city. To lose Bowne would be nothing short of tragic. We need to do everything within our power to keep this important part of NYC, and of NYC’s history, alive.

Paul Romaine, President, American Printing History Association
Bowne & Co. was one of the few remaining collections of 19th century iron presses complemented by a marvelous collection of cuts and antique type…. New York is a center of graphic design and education, so losing Bowne and access to its collections represents a loss of knowledge and perspective that no amount of films and PowerPoint slideshows can replace. We owe future and current students better than this.

We at Friends of Bowne believe that Bowne & Co., Stationers should:

•    reopen in its existing location with its existing collection kept intact
•    be self-managed, by persons with knowledge of printing history and design
•    be a center for type and printing history, for public service and profitability
•    remain accessible/visible to students and interested members of the public
•    use its unique collection to develop products that financially support the shop

I urge you to call upon the President and Board of the Seaport Museum New York to reopen Bowne and allow for operation under the above conditions.



About Friends of Bowne: https://friendsofbowne.wordpress.com




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