Sailors Snug Harbor, Staten Island, New York City
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Founded in 1808 by Captain Robert Richard Randall (for whom the nearby neighborhood of Randall Manor is named), Sailors Snug Harbor was the first and only home for retired merchant seamen in the history of the United States, when it opened in 1833. By 1900 it housed approximately 1,000 ex-sailors; however this number would decline soon after the Social Security system was implemented in the United States, and by the mid-1950s less than 200 residents remained.
In the 1960s the 83 acre (336,000 m²) site was being coveted by land developers, leading to the formation of a local movement whose goal was the preservation of the property; this goal was met in 1976 when the City of New York bought the land, and the few retired sailors still living on the grounds were relocated to a facility in North Carolina.
On September 12, 1976, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center was officially opened to the public. Its attractions include the Newhouse Center For Contemporary Art, the John A. Noble Maritime Collection, the Staten Island Botanic Garden, and the Staten Island Children's Museum.
Conveniently located a short distance from the St. George ferry terminal, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center is one of the most visited tourist sites on Staten Island. A station on the now-defunct North Shore Branch of the Staten Island Railway bore the name Sailors Snug Harbor, but was actually located almost ½ mile to the east of the property's main entrance; the stop immediately to the west of this - known as Livingston - was the closest station to the center's front gate.
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