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Landmarks Podcasts

The Story of Grant’s Tomb: Upper Manhattan’s Magnificent Mausoleum

The fascinating story of Grant’s Tomb — and a quirky history that includes an ambitious architect, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, lots of ugly raspberry paint, and strange charges of animal sacrifice. The history of Grant’s Tomb plays an important role in the story of Riverside Park (released in 2018). Listen… Read More

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Revolutionary History

Theodore Burr built the first Hudson River bridge – in the same year his cousin shot Alexander Hamilton

People have schemed to put a bridge over the Hudson River for well over two hundred years.  That task would prove most difficult to those in Manhattan, given the distance between its shores and those of New Jersey. After several failed proposals, the two were linked with the Pennsylvania Railroad tunnels (1910), the Holland Tunnel… Read More

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American History

The doctor, the heiress and the accidental nanny: New York women who survived the Titanic

Over fifteen hundred people died the night the Titanic sank, April 14-15, 1912. The early reports from the New York newspapers, of course, spent their time mourning the city’s most connected figures to society. Even from some of the most obsessive sources on the Titanic, the details on the lives of dozens of men and… Read More

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Revolutionary History The First

The Unbelievable Life of Benjamin Franklin: A Podcast in Three Parts

Benjamin Franklin helped to create the modern world. His legacy is all around you — from the electricity which powers and illuminates our homes to the ideas that form our system of government. For the past three episodes of The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences (the Bowery Boys spin-off podcast from 2016-2018), Greg… Read More

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Brooklyn History Parks and Recreation

The disappearance and mysterious death of Calvert Vaux

On November 19, 1895,  Calvert Vaux went for a morning walk from his son’s home in Brooklyn. He never returned. The 70 year old architect had helped to create the greatest parks in the cities of New York and Brooklyn. His landscape collaborations with Frederick Law Olmsted had given Manhattan its Central Park and Brooklyn… Read More

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Parks and Recreation

Ten unusual views of Prospect Park and Grand Army Plaza

When park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux regrouped after the success of Central Park to design another great park for Brooklyn — encompassing Prospect Hill and the Revolutionary War site Battle Pass — they preserved a greater amount of natural topography than they had in Manhattan. But that doesn’t mean that Prospect Park… Read More

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Parks and Recreation Religious History

The Convent of Central Park and a famous Revolutionary War site

Pictured above is a remarkable structure that once dominated the scenery on the northern side of Central Park. This was the Academy of Saint Vincent on a hill that bore its name. Located on the northern portion of the park, next to the charming Harlem Meer (and nearest 103rd Street), the Academy sat nestled amid a collection… Read More

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Parks and Recreation

Where was Manhattan Square? The Gilded Age remaking of a neglected park

Theodore Roosevelt Park (77th and 81st Streets, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue), which contains the beloved American Museum of Natural History, is the oldest developed section of the Upper West Side, purchased by the city in 1839 as a possible strolling park to be called Manhattan Square. Central Park was but a gleam in the eye back in… Read More

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Friday Night Fever Gilded Age New York

What’s behind the Bronze Door? Gambling in the Gilded Age

A tantalizing stretch of New York nightlife history lies in the shadows, illegally operated, often fueled by police bribes — the opium dens of Chinatown and the speakeasies of the Village and midtown. There were also hundreds of illicit gambling rackets, called ‘poolrooms’, throughout the city in the late 19th century, usually alongside the seediest… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The Doomsman: an apocalyptic view of New York City in 2015, written in 1906

“Such is the world, or, rather, one infinitesimal portion of the cosmos, in the year 2015, according to the ancient calendar, or 90 since the Terror.” From the original illustrations of The Doomsman: a look up Park Row in 2015, a decrepit row of deteriorating structures. You can clearly see the ruins of old Post… Read More

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American History Podcasts The Immigrant Experience

The Arrival of the Irish: An Immigrant Story

PODCAST One of the great narratives of American history — immigration — through the experiences of the Irish. You don’t have a New York City without the Irish. In fact, you don’t have a United States of America as we know it today. This diverse and misunderstood immigrant group began coming over from Ireland in significant… Read More

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Gilded Age New York Podcasts

Electric New York: Illuminating the shadows, re-visualizing the night

This classic episode of the Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast (originally released in December of 2021) is featured in this week’s episode of the History Channel podcast HISTORY This Week. Since 2011 the Bowery Boys Podcast has revisited a few of the themes featured in this show. After listening to this episode, give… Read More

Categories
Film History Science

The original IMAX: Jacob Riis and his magic lantern

Jacob Riis changed the world with “How The Other Half Lives.” By using the new technology of flash photography, Riis was able to capture the squalid conditions of Manhattan tenements in a way no mere paragraph, drawing or sermon could. The startling photographs contained in this book did not originate there, however. Riis debuted them… Read More

Categories
Landmarks Neighborhoods

When the Statue of Liberty left her arm in Madison Square

Above: The arm of the Statue of Liberty stood solitary in Madison Square for six years, from 1876 to 1882. Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, one of the forgotten names in Statue of Liberty history was born in Paris.  As the godfather of historical restoration, Viollet-le-Duc would rescue countless medieval structures from decay, helping to preserve the… Read More

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On The Waterfront

In 1863, the Russians invaded New York City

In 1863, New Yorkers flocked to the waterfront to see a startling sight — Russian war ships in New York Harbor. They were here as a display of force, but not to threaten the United States. The fleet of Russian ships, sailing into New York Harbor in September 1863, as depicted by Harper’s Weekly. Russia’s… Read More