Just 27 years after it opened with much hoopla, New York’s South Street Seaport is on the rocks. As David W. Dunlap of the New York Times reported last week, the onetime popular “festival marketplace” was well suited to New York City in the 1970s-80s. At a time when its dockland areas, like much of the city (even Times Square), presented the specter of crime and dinginess, successful attractions like South Street Seaport created insular realms that nevertheless appeared to connect organically with the city’s maritime heritage at wharf’s edge. The festival marketplace concept repackaged abandoned or underutilized structures like public markets, factories, and wharf sheds as tourist-oriented shopping, dining, and entertainment venues. Popularized by the James Rouse Company’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston in 1976,…