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Podcasts Skyscrapers

The World Trade Center in the 1970s

PODCAST The World Trade Center opened its distinctive towers during one of New York City’s most difficult decades, a beacon of modernity in a city beleaguered by debt and urban decay. Welcome to the 1970s. EPISODE 350 This year, believe it or not, marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the Twin Towers on […]

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At The Ready: The History of the New York City Fire Department

  The distinguished members of New York’s various volunteer fire brigades, posing for the photographer Matthew Brady in 1858PODCAST  The New York City Fire Department (or FDNY) protects the five boroughs from a host of disasters and mishaps — five-alarm blazes, a kitchen fire run amok, rescue operations and even those dastardly midtown elevators, always […]

“Not since the Great Blizzard!” “Bigger than 1821!” Hurricane Sandy inspires historical superlatives

When things get really, really bad, history provides validation and context.   The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has already inspired newscasters, meteorologists and journalists to reach to the greatest disasters in New York City history for comparison. These can seem very hyperbolic at times and even a little weird. (‘7 Devastating Hurricanes: Where Will Sandy Rank?‘ […]

A strange, new skyline: World Trade Center 1971

Two beautiful and unique 1971 photographs by Life Magazine’s Henry Groskinsky showing the nearly completed World Trade Center.  These are fascinating not only for the appearance of the towers as they prepare to lord over the ’70s skyline, but also to note what’s notably not there yet — the entire Battery Park City area. At this point […]

Rockefeller Center’s greatest art scandals!

Above: Diego Rivera’s contentious creation Despite JD Rockefeller Jr’s aversion to the ‘impropriety’ of modern art, Rockefeller Center has always been bursting with it, from the large outdoor installations sprouting up in the plaza to the gorgeous art deco blazing from its walls. As with modern art for public display however, the Rock has sometimes […]