American History On The Waterfront Podcasts

The Titanic and the Fate of Pier 54

In the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. the White Star ocean liner RMS Titanic struck an iceberg en route to New York City and sank in the Atlantic Ocean. Survivors were rescued by the Cunard liner Carpathia and brought to their berth at Pier 54 at the Chelsea Piers. On that very spot… Read More


Here’s how to view the new display ‘New York 1942’ at Gracie Mansion

Seventy-five years ago, in 1942, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses convinced Mayor Fiorello La Guardia to move his family from their home in East Harlem (Fifth Avenue and 109th Street) to an old mansion in Carl Schurz Park. It was the former home to merchant Archibald Gracie, built in 1799, to look out at the ships… Read More

House party: A weekend of NYC’s most historic homes

Above: the Morris-Jumel Mansion (Postcard courtesy NYPL) If we piqued your interest in last week’s episode on Gracie Mansion, this weekend is an excellent opportunity to check it out along with a couple dozen of the oldest and most famous homes in the New York City area. The Historic House Festival is a weekend long… Read More

Behold, the Wheatons and the Quackenbushes!

Above is the only photograph I can find of Gracie Mansion that features members of both the Wheaton and the Quackenbush families, who took over the manor in the late 19th century. It’s from a book which I had to scan, and the original is courtesy New York Historical Society, so I apologize for the… Read More


Gracie Mansion: How a bucolic summer home survived a couple wars, a society feud and a few live-in mayors

Photo by the Wurts Brothers, date unknown. Courtesy NYPL Archibald Gracie admired the extraordinary vistas at Horn’s Hook — overlooking the East River and the churning waters of Hell’s Gate — and decided to build a house here. Little did he know what an extraordinary journey this comfy little Federal home would take over the… Read More