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Gilded Age New York Landmarks

The Fifth Avenue Hotel: Opulence, glamour and power on Madison Square

The double-breasted, cigar-chewing gentlemen who gathered in the sumptuous rooms of the Fifth Avenue Hotel were occasional connoisseurs of New York City history, and in particular, these amateur historians spoke of the very street corner where their hotel stood. Before Madison Square, when the area was a barren parade ground, one Corporal Thompson opened a roadhouse… Read More

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Landmarks

A Tour of New York City Through 60 Years of Spider-Man Comic Book Covers

The summer blockbuster Spider-Man: Homecoming may be the greatest New York City superhero movie ever. It doesn’t treat New York like a series of famous backdrops (although there certainly are a couple); it has a familiar landscape and there’s a particular care given to depicting Queens, the home of Peter Parker. There’s even a couple scenes with… Read More

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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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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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Landmarks Music History Podcasts

The Dark, Glamorous, Sexy and Joyously Musical History of the Ansonia

PODCAST The strange, scandalous and sex-filled story of The Ansonia, an Upper West Side architectural gem and a legendary musical landmark. In the television show Only Murders in the Building, Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez play podcasters attempting to solve a mystery in a building full of eccentric personalities. Their fictional apartment building is… Read More

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Landmarks Mysterious Stories

New York City’s Most Famous Haunted Houses

For fifteen years now, The Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast has featured a special Halloween show focusing on some of New York City’s scariest tales. You can find our back catalog of ghost story podcasts here.  Here’s a little tribute to some of our favorite haunted homes — which also just happen to be fascinating historic… Read More

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American History Landmarks

The Statue of Liberty turns 135 years old: Eleven facts about her 1886 dedication

The Statue of Liberty celebrates her 135th birthday today. Technically, I suppose, it’s the anniversary of her dedication, a star-studded, pomp-laden ceremony that took place on Friday, October 28, 1886. But for many months previous, she was a fierce presence in the harbor, as the copper monument was arduously stitched together from far flung pieces —… Read More

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Film History Landmarks

The World Trade Center in its greatest film roles

How do you feel when you see the World Trade Center pop up in a movie from the 1970s and 80s? Sadness? Nostalgia? Or, with so many years gone by, do they just seem unusual to you? Fortunately researcher and movie lover Donna Grunewald had documented every reference you need to revisit all those emotions.… Read More

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Landmarks Music History

Making Music History at the Hotel Pennsylvania

The following article is an excerpt from a new Bowery Boys mini-podcast — following up on this week’s episode on the Hotel Pennsylvania — which has been made available to those who support the show (at the Five Points level and above) on Patreon. In the latest episode of the Bowery Boys podcast on the… Read More

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Landmarks Podcasts Science

The Botanical Gardens of New York City: History in Full Bloom

PODCAST Nature and history intertwine in all five boroughs — from the Bronx River to the shores of Staten Island — in this special episode about New York City’s many gardens. A botanical garden is more than just a pretty place; it’s a collection of plant life for the purposes of preservation, education and study.… Read More

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Film History Landmarks

Cheers to the Ziegfeld Theatre, the ultimate screen for sweeping drama

The Ziegfeld Theater, one of Manhattan’s last single-screen movie theaters, closed for regular film exhibition in 2016.* Its final film was Star Wars: The Force Awakens, an appropriate choice as tens of thousands of movie lovers had gone to the Ziegfeld to see previous films in the series — including the 1977 original. I think… Read More

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Landmarks Podcasts

Harlem Nights at the Hotel Theresa

PODCAST The Hotel Theresa was once called the Waldorf of Harlem, a glamorous New York City accommodation known as a hub for Black society and culture in the 1940s and 50s — and for a few eyebrow-raising political moments in the 1960s. The luxurious apartment hotel was built by a German lace manufacturer to cater… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Landmarks

‘Walking Broadway’: A splendid guide for a summer stroll through Manhattan

Manhattan’s 13-mile stretch of Broadway — as you’ve heard us say many times — has an extraordinary history. Thanks to its unique path up the length of the island, it crosses through a wide variety of fascinating neighborhoods and historical eras. And as it turns out — it also makes for a beautiful stroll. WALKING… Read More

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Landmarks Podcasts

At Home with Lauren Bacall: Living at the Dakota Apartments

EPISODE 321 The Hollywood icon and Broadway star Lauren Bacall lived at the Dakota Apartments on the Upper West Side for 53 years. Her story is intertwined the Dakota, a revolutionary apartment complex built in 1884. In this episode, we tell both their stories. Bacall, born Betty Joan Perske, the daughter of Jewish Eastern European… Read More

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Landmarks

Seward Park Library: One of New York’s most beautiful branch libraries also had a rooftop view

Below is a picture, facing east, of Seward Park Library in the Lower East Side at 192 E. Broadway (picture taken in 1911). This spectacular branch library, funded by Andrew Carnegie, opened in November 1909, two years before the 42nd Street main branch opened.  All of the housing behind the library to the east has… Read More