Memorializing a Neighborhood Advocate

| 17 Feb 2015 | 01:00

Effort underway to co-name Peck Slip after community board member

Community Board 1 is spearheading an effort to co-name Peck Slip after a longtime Community Board 1 member and Seaport resident who recently passed away.

Harold Reed, a former art dealer and theatrical producer, chaired CB1's Arts and Entertainment Committee since 2001 and was a fierce advocate for downtown artists, working to create opportunities for them to exhibit their work.

Friends and fellow community board members also remember Reed as a tireless advocate of the South Street Seaport and a champion of issues important to residents of Lower Manhattan.

"He was CB1's representative on the board of the South Street Seaport Museum, a role he took very seriously. He was outspoken on many issues affecting the community. It would be weird if Harold was not in attendance at the Seaport Committee," said John Fratta, who chairs the same committee. "One of his passions was to create an arts performance theatre at the Seaport. This was an issue that he raised over and over again. His presence is sorely missed in the community and on the Seaport Committee."

Another friend and community board member, John Connolly, remembered Reed as a standout in the community who brought everyone together.

"I recall the crowds that frequently gathered at Harold's home for one of the many parties he hosted over the years. My favorites were always those that celebrated the change of season, which he thought was as good a reason to have a party as any," said Connolly. "I also recall the image of Harold greeting everyone personally and roaming around the room introducing this person to that person, knowing what each was interested in and constantly making new connections, opening new doors, or sharing some insight."

Connolly said Reed was passionate about making the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center a reality, but that the project was far from the only arts-based initiative he undertook.

"From advocating for public art in the parks of lower Manhattan, to supporting local organizations like the Church Street School for Music and Art and, of course, the Seaport Museum, where we are now, to his proposal for a theater at Pier 17, Harold was always out front as an advocate for the arts in our community," said Connolly. "He was also a true leader and an unparalleled member of our community as a whole."

Reed passed away in Hong Kong last January, at the age of 75.