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Landmarks Mysterious Stories

The Ghost of Peter Stuyvesant May Still Haunt the East Village

St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery is the oldest standing structure in the East Village.  Upon seeing it, you’re almost forced to reevaluate where you are.  It’s intriguing even to those who pass by it everyday. It’s mysterious even to those who work and worship here. Built in 1799 by the Stuyvesant family, St. Mark’s chapel and cemetery […]

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Landmarks

It’s Open House New York 2015! Adventures await at these free sites

 Open House New York is the absolute best time of the year to wander the city and visit dozens of New York City’s greatest historical landmarks and architectural wonders.  Unfortunately, reservations for some of those places pretty much filled up within ten minutes. But never fear! This year, it seems that a great number of the most interesting […]

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Landmarks

Disaster at the Empire State Building

Seventy years ago today, July 28, 1945, a B-25 bomber on its way to Newark Airport swerved off course, meandering over the foggy city and smashing into the Empire State Building.  Some rather startling details of the event: — The pilot, Lt. Colonel William Smith, was simply on his way to pick up his commanding […]

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Landmarks

PODCAST REWIND: Rockefeller Center

PODCAST REWIND:  JD Rockefeller Sr. may have earned his money is some rather unscrupulous ways, but his son Junior made good by giving midtown a towering city-within-a-city, a complex of Art Deco buildings that serves as New York’s beating heart. We take a compact look at the complicated lineage of Rockefeller Center, from its controversial […]

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Landmarks

Podcast Rewind: Saks Fifth Avenue

PODCAST REWIND: A podcast that’s “very Saks Fifth Avenue,” we get to the origins of the famous upscale retailer, follow its path from Washington D.C. to Heralds Square and then to “the most expensive street in the world,” and tell you a little about a glamorous milliner. NOTE: This show was originally recorded in December 2008. A […]

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Landmarks Podcasts

Flatiron Building: A Three-Sided Story

PODCAST For our 8th anniversary episode, we’re revisiting one of New York City’s great treasures and a true architectural oddity — the Flatiron Building. When they built this structure at the corner of Madison Square Park (and completed in 1902), did they realize it would be an architectural icon AND one of the most photographed […]

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Landmarks

The Plaza Hotel: From the Champagne Porch to the Black and White Ball

PODCAST REWIND  The Plaza Hotel has become one of the most recognizable landmarks in New York City, a romantic throwback to the last days of the Gilded Age. It epitomized the changes that were arriving on Fifth Avenue, steering away from the private mansions of the moneyed class and towards a certain kind of communal living […]

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Landmarks

A celebration of New York City and the Leonard Nimoy Thalia

Last night the Guides Association of New York City (GANYC) presented their first-ever GANYC Apple Awards at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater (part of Symphony Space), honoring accomplishments in preservation, history, museum exhibition and tourism. It was a rather lively evening, thanks to the night’s hilarious hosts Kevin James Doyle and Olivia Petzy whom you may know from the […]

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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. Two hundred years ago today, Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc was born in Paris.  As the godfather of historical restoration, Viollet-le-Duc would rescue countless medieval structures from decay, helping to preserve the spirit of French architecture through […]

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Landmarks

The wonder of the Chelsea Hotel: ‘Inside the Dream Palace’ — an interview with author Sherill Tippins

The Hotel Chelsea, August 1936, photograph by Berenice Abbott (NYPL) Inside the Dream Palace The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel by Sherill Tippins Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Few places in New York exist with so many ghosts as the Chelsea Hotel. Oh, I don’t know if it’s really haunted, but the historical […]

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Landmarks Podcasts

The Hotel Theresa: An historic treasure of Harlem

The Hotel Theresa, as it looks today, White Castle and all. PODCAST The Hotel Theresa is considered a genuine (if under-appreciated) Harlem gem, both for its unique architecture and its special place in history as the hub for African-American life in the 1940s and 50s. The luxurious apartment hotel was built by a German lace […]

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Landmarks

The Astor House came tumbling down one century ago

The Astor House was New York City’s first great hotel, opened in 1836 by John Jacob Astor himself, a premier accommodation for the city throughout the 19th century.  But by 1913, it was time to tear it down. It was a symbolic moment for many older New Yorkers.  As you can tell from the image […]

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Landmarks

Green-Wood Cemetery, Katz’s Deli and The Cloisters: Three great New York institutions, three big anniversaries

Green-Wood Cemetery celebrates its 175th year as Brooklyn’s oldest greenspace, populated with deceased politicians, writers and actors.  It’s the final resting place for some of New York’s most famous and notorious characters — Henry Ward Beecher, Horace Greeley, DeWitt Clinton and Boss Tweed among them. The Museum of the City of New York debuts its […]

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Landmarks

The many mysterious and tragic events that befell the Woolworths after constructing the Woolworth Building

The dramatic Woolworth mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery  With completion of the Woolworth Building in 1913, the leader of the five-and-dime retail craze Frank W. Woolworth had his grand declaration of success in New York, widely feted and proclaimed.  His hundreds of stores would go on to define the shopping experience around the world over the […]

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Landmarks

The Woolworth Building at 100: How they partied in 1913, with the “highest dinner ever held in New York”

This is how they turn on the lights at the tallest building in the world in 1913: At some time after 7 pm,  according the New York Sun the following day, “President [Woodrow] Wilson pushed a button in Washington last night, a bell tinkled in the engineer’s quarters far below the street level in the Woolworth Building and […]