New York City Hall: Open for business for 200 years!

Above: City Hall in 1900 (Courtesy NYPL) Never have I been more elated to write about a City Council meeting. At the start of the 19th century, city affairs were still being conducted on Wall Street at Federal Hall. For many years they shared the corridors with George Washington and the first American Congress.  By […]

Categories
Health and Living Podcasts

Building Blocks: The Commissioners Plan of 1811, inventing a New York grid of streets and avenues

The simplicity of the New York grid system, seen overhead in a 1939 classic photo by Margaret Bourke-White. PODCAST The Commissioners Plan of 1811 How did Manhattan get its orderly rows of numbered streets and avenues? In the early 19th century, New York was growing rapidly, but the new development was confined on an island, […]

First officer down: Highbinder riots at St Peter’s Church

Broadway and City Hall, in 1809. The mobs of the so-called ‘Augustus Street Riot’ would have scuffled just to the west of this illustration. (Courtesy NYPL) According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, there have been 778 New York law enforcement officers who have died in the course of duty. Fourteen of the last fifteen […]

Mayor Cadwallader D. Colden: Would grandpa be proud?

KNOW YOUR MAYORS Our modest little series about some of the greatest, notorious, most important, even most useless, mayors of New York City. Other entrants in our mayoral survey can be found here.Mayor Cadwallader D. ColdenIn office: 1818-1821 The most remarkable thing about New York City having a mayor named Cadwallader Colden is the fact […]

Know Your Mayors: Jacob Radcliff and John Ferguson

ABOVE: Jacob Radcliff, politically wishy-washy, multi-term mayor Our modest little series about some of the greatest, notorious, most important, even most useless, mayors of New York City. Other entrants in our mayoral survey can be found here. Politics is a messy, incomprehensible thing sometimes. Keep Blagojevich, Senate appointments, and all other recent government scandals in […]

Categories
Podcasts

PODCAST: Green-Wood Cemetery

Green-wood Cemetery is one of New York’s oldest burial grounds, but its development reaches back all the way to the beginning of Brooklyn’s surprising history — in fact, to the founder of Brooklyn Heights. Find out why it took an inventive city planner with a funny name, a dead New York icon, and a few […]

McGown’s Pass: the original tavern on the green

McGown’s Pass Tavern (date unknown, but possibly around 1913 We’re finally moving on from Central Park, but not before observing perhaps its most historically significant area — McGown’s Pass and the Block House. Located on the northern portion of the park, next to the charming Harlem Meer, are a collection of hills and bluffs left […]

Categories
On The Waterfront Podcasts

PODCAST: DeWitt Clinton and the Erie Canal

Meet former mayor, governor, senator and privileged son DeWitt Clinton, one of New York’s most successful politicians and champion of the Erie Canal. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE In this painting by C.Y. Turner, Clinton ceremonially pours a bucket of […]