Waterfront Barge Showboat & Museum

Waterfront Museum Showboat Barge

Our Mission

The Waterfront Museum, founded in 1985, is located in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It is housed aboard the 1914 Lehigh Valley Barge #79, which is  listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its mission is to:

Lehigh Valley No. 79

Erie Basin barge and schooners

History of the Barge

The Lehigh Valley No. 79 barge is an all-wooden lighter built for the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1914 to shuttle cargo between New Jersey railyards and ships around the Port of New York. David Sharps found it in the Edgewater, NJ tideflats in 1985 and began its restoration into what would become the Waterfront Museum.

The Barge in 1985 out of the mud

History of the Museum
(since 1985)

The Waterfront Museum was founded in 1986 aboard the Lehigh Valley No. 79 barge. Pier 44 in Red Hook, Brooklyn has been its homeport since 1994.

The Waterfront Museum showboat barge hosts frequent performances. Past shows include our Circus Sundays series and the Sunset Music Series . View some of our favorite events from the past.

The Waterfront Museum displays paintings and sculptures from guest artists, works from the museum collection, and historical exhibits. Learn about some of our favorite exhibits from the past.

Who We Are

Pier 44 & Garden

The Waterfront Museum is moored at Pier 44, a privately owned waterfront access on a dismantled and partially rebuilt pier. The current garden and meadow was designed by Lynden Miller, who is best known for restoring the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. Pier 44 park and garden are open daily to the public from sunrise to 9pm and features views of the Statue of Liberty.

We welcome volunteers to help maintain the garden.

Learn more about the 19th century history of Pier 44 at Red Hook WaterStories, a project of our friends at Portside New York.


Check out these titles that mention The Waterfront Museum, barge captain David Sharps, lighterage, and the Lehigh Valley No. 79

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