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Landmarks

Henry Street Settlement and the Legacy of Lillian Wald

Without perhaps intending it, social services pioneer Lillian Wald, in her desire to help thousands of poor immigrant women and children in the Lower East Side, also saved a rare and forgotten part of New York City history. The modern Henry Street Settlement is spread throughout several buildings in the neighborhood, providing health care, shelter, […]

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Landmarks

Courting New York’s Legal Landmarks

Civic buildings are often beautiful architecture in plain sight. Their uniformity — many rendered in classical styles — often finds them less appreciated than other forms of urban architecture.  In a city like New York, skyscrapers, hotels and brownstones are more likely to get the attention of camera-wielding tourists over courthouses. After all, doesn’t every town have a […]

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Landmarks

Fall Foliage Alert! Talk a lovely walk through Green-Wood Cemetery

The stunning colors of autumn are upon us, and  you can appreciate the full glory of fall within the limits of New York City, accessible by public transportation. In past years, I’ve focused on the spectacular leafy vistas at Woodlawn Cemetery, Wave Hill and the New York Botanical Garden, as well as Sailors Snug Harbor in Staten […]

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Landmarks

The Statue of Liberty turns 130 years old: Eleven facts about the near calamity that was her 1886 dedication

The Statue of Liberty celebrates her 130th birthday tomorrow. 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 — including an arm which […]

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Landmarks

African Burial Ground: New York’s unforgettable monument (NPS 100)

This month America celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the organization which protects the great natural and historical treasures of the United States. There are a number of NPS locations in the five borough areas. Throughout the next few weeks, we will focus on a few of our favorites.   For more information, […]

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Landmarks

Stonewall Inn: The story of New York’s newest National Monument (NPS 100)

This month America celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the organization which protects the great natural and historical treasures of the United States. There are a number of NPS locations in the five borough areas. Throughout the next few weeks, we will focus on a few of our favorites.   For more information, […]

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Landmarks

How to climb the Woolworth Building, courtesy the Historic Districts Council

Ever been to the top of the Woolworth Building? Most people haven’t. There are some good lobby tours but rarely any that take you to the very top of the building which was once the world’s tallest when it was completed in 1913. Well thanks to the Historic Districts Council (along with Sotheby’s International Realty and […]

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Landmarks Podcasts

The Complicated History of the Waldorf-Astoria

PODCAST The surprisingly complex history of one of the world’s most famous hotels. You might think you know this tale, but do we have some surprises for you. The Waldorf-Astoria — or the Waldorf=Astoria or even the Waldorf Astoria — has been a premier name in hotel accommodations since the opening of the very first edition on […]

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Landmarks

The Puck Building and its mischievous tenant, Puck Magazine

PODCAST  A 6-foot plump gold impish figure stares down at you as you look up to observe the gorgeous red-brick design of the Puck Building, built for one of the 19th Century’s most popular illustrated publications. But this architectural masterpiece was very nearly wiped away by a sudden decision by the city. How did it […]

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Landmarks

History in the Making 5/10: After the Riot Edition

The Astor Place Riot erupted onto the streets outside the Astor Place Opera House on this date in 1849.  (You can listen to the thrilling details in our podcast on the subject from 2014.)  The opera house didn’t last much longer and was turned Clinton Hall, site of the New York Mercantile Library. Here are a […]

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Landmarks

PODCAST REWIND: The Glory of the Woolworth Building

F.W. Woolworth was the self-made king of retail’s newfangled ‘five and dime’ store and his pockets were overflowing with cash. Meanwhile, in New York, the contest to build the tallest building was well underway. The two combine to create one of Manhattan’s most handsome buildings — the Woolworth Building —  cutting a Gothic profile on […]

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Landmarks Podcasts

Battle for the New York City Skyline: How Tall Can It Go?

PODCAST  The story of growing tall in New York City and the two pivotal laws that allowed for the city’s dynamic, constantly evolving skyline. This year is the 100th anniversary of one of the most important laws ever passed in New York City — the 1916 Zoning Law which dictated the rules for building big and […]

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Landmarks

History in the Making 2/3: Birds of a Feather Edition

Pictured above: Releasing carrier pigeons from the rooftop of Madison Square Garden, February 13, 1915. Per the New York Times:  “More than two dozen homing pigeons were released in New York City on February 13, 1915, as part of the Poultry and Pigeon Show being held in Madison Square Garden. Officials of the show, pictured […]

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Landmarks

History in the Making 1/19: Happy birthday Edgar Edition

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on this day in 1809. There are several places you can visit to make a connection with the writer’s years in New York City, most notably the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage just off the Grand Concourse at Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx.  Poe may have worked on his poem ‘The […]

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Landmarks

Federal Hall: Now and Always An American National Treasure

Federal Hall National Memorial, currently administered by the National Park Service, has always been a popular landmark with tourists thanks to its position on one of the most photographed intersections in New York. Who can resist that noble statue of George Washington silently meditating on the financial juggernaut of Wall Street? Today Federal Hall was officially named […]