One of the last vestiges of the shipping industry in Lower Manhattan is following the liner shipping industry to New Jersey.
When the Seamen's Church Institute was founded 176 years ago to minister to the needs of seafarers, lower Manhattan was the center of the shipping universe. It remained that way until about 30 years ago, when containerization sent most cargo handling across the Hudson River to New Jersey. Most headquarters offices departed about the same time, with liner shipping moving to New Jersey and bulk shipping gravitating to Connecticut.
Recognizing the change, the SCI is putting its building at 241 Water Street near Wall Street up for sale and moving the ministry's 18 employees to the institute's newly renovated center at Port Newark.
"We're actually following exactly what the maritime industry has done," the Rev. David Rider, executive director of the institute, told the New York Times. "It used to all be very much lodged in Manhattan, from the various shipping companies and bars and whatever else. But that's all gone. The old guys still cry in their beer about it, but those days are over."
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