Category:

19th Century

April 2017 marks fifty years since the
Museum received its charter from the New
York State Department of Education Board of
Regents. Over that fifty years the Museum has
grown dramatically, collecting artifacts and
works of art documenting the rise of New York
as a port city.; developing and implementing
innovative and award-winning programming;
mounting exhibitions; and preserving a fleet of
historic ships on the East River. Despite three
massive setbacks: the 9/11 attacks, the Great
Recession of 2008, and the floodwaters of hurri-
cane Sandy, the museum is growing once again.
With support from New York City and a dedi-
cated group of staff, volunteers, members and
friends, the Seaport Museum remains an edu-
cational and cultural gem in lower Manhattan.
The Seaport Museum’s 50th anniversary will
be marked throughout the year with the open-
ing of new exhibitions, including Millions:
Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great
Liners, 1900-1914 (opening June 2017), artistic
and musical performances, lectures and book
talks, walking tours, and a formal 50th anni-
versary cocktail reception aboard the 1885 ship
Wavertree in September. #

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From The New York Post:

Bronx Community College removes Confederate busts

The busts of two Confederate generals have been swiftly removed from Bronx Community College amid a national conversation about the relics — but the school left the bust of one racist scientist in place, The Post has learned.

In a purge for which various officials took credit, the monuments to Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson unceremoniously disappeared from an open-air sculpture gallery overnight Thursday.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has called the presence of Confederate icons in his borough “especially galling,” leading Gov. Cuomo to say they had to go “because New York stands against racism.”College President Thomas Isekenegbe also pledged to replace the busts with other historical figures that would help create a “space where all people feel respected, welcomed, and valued.”

In their rush to remove Confederates and sanitize the school’s “Hall of Fame for Great Americans,” officials left the bronze bust of the racist, 19th-century scientist Louis Agassiz.

The Swiss-born paleontologist landed a professorship at Harvard following a wildly successful American lecture tour in 1846, and he was ­instrumental in establishing the Ivy League school’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, the first publicly funded science building in North America.

Agassiz was the country’s most famous scientist when he died in 1873, but his reputation eventually suffered because of what the University of California Museum of Paleontology calls “his racist attitudes, which were extreme even for his day.”

“Agassiz could not accept that all groups of humans belonged to the same species, and he argued vehemently for the inferiority of non-white human groups,” according to the museum’s Web site.

The move came amid continuing outrage over the deadly violence that erupted at a rally of white supremacists who gathered in Charlottesville, Va., last Saturday to protest the planned removal of a Lee statue.

“That’s pretty f–ked up. We are all people. We bleed the same color,” said Daniel Roman, 20, who was passing through the college campus Friday evening. “Especially with what’s going on in the South, he can go f- -k himself. I’m all about equality.”

 

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Island Historical Tour (North)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

6:00 p.m.7:30 p.m.

This event repeats on the 1st Thursday of every 2 months between 5/4/2017 and 9/7/2017.

Did you know that the Randall’s Island was once three separate land masses? The island has a rich and unique history. Come learn more about the influential people, the bridges, and the landscape changes that transformed the Randall’s Island into the beautiful park it is today!

Location

Randall’s Island Connector in Randall’s Island Park
Manhattan

Directions to this location

Cost

Free

Event Organizer

Randall’s Island

Contact Number

(212) 860-1899

Contact Email

info@randallsisland.org

Categories

Education, Nature, History, Tours, Waterfront

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Thu 08 2017 , by

Bygone Stables

From The New York Post:

The fascinating history behind NYC’s stables-turned-real estate

Washington Mews, a little alley north of Washington Square Park, is an urban gem. Still paved with Belgian block and lined with quaint cottages, it’s a Greenwich Village street that might as well be in Europe. In fact, cities like London and Paris are filled with these tiny picturesque thoroughfares, whose cute little homes once stabled horses, carriages and sleighs.

Due to quirks in New York’s history and design, these mews are exceedingly rare in the city, making carriage-house living both scarce and coveted. Often disguised behind modest, original facades, many converted carriage homes contain architectural wonders hidden from view.

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Washington Mews: One of Manhattan’s rare alleys lined with former stables, this stretch was designed to service a row of 1830s homes along Washington Square Park.Annie Wermiel/NY Post

Take investor David Aldea’s home at 23 Cornelia St., which Taylor Swift rented in 2016. The 5,500-square-foot West Village pad was asking $40,000/month then, and is on the market with Corcoran for $24.5 million. Walking down the street, the home’s massive, arched wooden doors hint at its 1912 carriage house origins, but the unprepossessing facade might not stop passersby in their tracks.

Upon entering, however, it’s clear this is no ordinary stable: today, the garden level is graced by a 25-foot swimming pool, while an ornate Murano glass chandelier hangs from double-height ceilings. But, as Aldea notes, despite these modern touches, original details abound, particularly in the living room, where there are “24-inch square windows that would have been for the horses to stick their heads out for ventilation.”

Considering the fact that New York was a horse-and-carriage town for so many centuries, it’s surprising that there aren’t more such conversions. That’s in part because most remnants of the city’s colonial days are long gone. Also, Manhattan’s populated areas used to be far more compact; their borders barely extended north of today’s City Hall until the 1820s. The majority of New Yorkers, it seems, walked almost everywhere nearly two centuries ago.

A new street layout in the first decades of the 19th century helped the city expand, and travel by private carriage became more common — but only for the city’s elite. So few New Yorkers could afford to maintain a horse that when a commission laid out the city’s famous grid in 1811, the plan purposely excluded rear alleys for stables. Even by the Civil War, a mere 3 percent of NYC residents owned their own horses and carriages.

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Annie Wermiel/NY Post

A few early mews still exist. Take Washington Mews, which was erected behind the stately homes of “The Row,” one of New York’s first planned “terraces” of homes — a clear sign that the 1832-built Washington Square townhouses were only for the well-heeled.

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In: 19th Century , Architecture , Art and Music , Civil War , Colonial Period , Native American , Transit , Visual Documentation , World War I | Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

From “off the Grid”, website of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation:

The Glittering and Gritty History of 24 Bond

If you happen to look up while strolling down Bond or Lafayette Streets, you might come upon a curious sight – dozens of small, golden statues dancing along the wrought iron and brick of a traditional NoHo facade. Celebratory and airy, they’re a delightful addition to the heavy, industrial look of the rest of the area. Who do we have to thank for this artistic juxtaposition? Artist and 24 Bond resident Bruce Williams.

Williams and his wife have lived in the building for over twenty years, and he first began adorning his building’s facade in 1998. At the time, the NoHo neighborhood was much more off the beaten path than now, a small enclave for artists working in a variety of mediums. Since then, the neighborhood has gained quite a bit more distinction, glamour, and recognition. In 2008, 24 Bond Street was included in the NoHo Historic District Extension, officially recognizing the architectural significance of this 19th-century building. To celebrate, Williams added additional golden sculptures climbing up the side of his now-landmarked building. He did this, as he had always done, without asking for approval, but the new landmark status of his building required that he confer with the LPC. Despite a small ado requiring an official hearing on the outdoor art, the spritely statues were permitted to stay.

But those sculptures aren’t the only piece of artistic legacy at 24 Bond. Robert Mapplethorpe occupied a studio on the fifth floor of 24 Bond from the 1970s until his death in 1989. In this cavernous space, Mapplethorpe would invite his subjects to “do drugs, have sex, and then be photographed.” 24 Bond was infamous – Edward Mapplethorpe, Robert’s brother, said it was “so sexually charged that you needed to be pretty certain of who you were to be around it on a day-to-day basis.” Mapplethorpe photographed legions of downtown superstars in his NoHo loft, including frequent collaborator Patti Smith. It was here that they filmed 1978’s “Still Moving” which appeared at the Stephen Miller Gallery and was Smith and Mapplethorpe’s only joint exhibition.

Patti Smith, taken by Robert Mapplethorpe. It is believed that this photo is taken on Mapplethorpe’s 5th floor studio at 24 Bond.

The same year that Mapplethorpe died, the Gene Frankel Theatre moved into the ground floor of the Bond Street building. Already a well-regarded theater with serious Village bonafides, once at 24 Bond the theater nurtured the careers of burgeoning actors and exhibited bold and progressive works. Although Frankel himself died in 2005, the theater still operates out of the ground floor space, advancing its mission to nurture living playwrights and artists and to “revive NoHo as a cauldron of LGBTQI art and ideas by producing new works.”

Considering the building’s long legacy as an arts space, those gold dancers on the facade seem to fit right in.

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In their special section “Summer Fun in Staten Island,” published on June 28, 2017, the New York Daily News said that our monthly Sea Shanty Sessions, led by the Folk Music Society of New York, offer “…a great opportunity to experience authentic, time-honored maritime songs in an appropriately historic setting.” The next session is this Sunday, August 20, from 2 to 5 PM. This even is family friendly and free, but we always appreciate your donations. #NYCulture

Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling

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From Spoiled NYC:

The Sound of Silence: A Tribute To Webster Hall

Subscribe to spoiled NYC’s official newsletter, The Stoop, for the best news, eats, drinks, places to go, and things to do.

For 131 years, Webster Hall has hosted some of the world’s biggest musical acts. Today it closes its doors– at least until it reopens under new ownership, sold in a deal worth an estimated $35 million.

The space, with a maximum capacity of 2,500 people, served as a nightclub, concert venue, corporate events space, and recording studio.

It will reopen in either 2019 or 2020 as the newly christened Spectrum Hall, its space restricted to concerts and sporting events.

I received the phone call in early May. A friend of mine told me management had served all Webster Hall employees with termination notices.

True, it had been a couple of years since I’d set foot in the venue, but a part of me heaved a pained sigh for yet another victim of the city’s changing landscape, for the many dances I’d shared with fellow miscreants who streamed into the place, their wrists ablaze with the shades of kandi bracelets and multi-colored fluffies.

I remembered the faces of the girls I kissed as vividly as I recalled those of the men I kissed– or shyly didn’t kiss. I recoiled at the memory of the crappy wage I made at the time, of the overpriced drinks, the even more overpriced water bottles, a precious commodity in a space that scorched with summer heat even in midwinter.

The people I met there ran the gamut, from frat bros with cockeyed grins, to scene kids with more gumption than me, roadsters who surveyed groups of three or more, code switching and peddling ketamine all the while.

Mirrored behavior existed on the far more spacious dance floor at Amazura Concert Hall in Queens or the even more cramped Electric Warehouse in Brooklyn, and the East Village had long given way to millennial kink, this host of music, bodies, motion, and silent exchanges in bathroom stalls.

“Webster had that old-time New York grunge that made you feel like you were part of the 19th century, in the sense that “fun” could easily involve trying to locate your stolen purse/phone,” says Michael Yates, formerly of Harlem and now living in Los Angeles.

“I’ll miss it. I’m sure the new version of the inside will look fantastic and modern and have a pleasant aroma. Old style Webster Hall was my first immersion into NYC’s EDM scene at the time. It was a place that was magical in the dark, probably because it would look awful when illuminated by sunlight.”

websterhall Having our friend @Halsey visit for an intimate show in the The Studio at Webster Hall tonight before we close for renovations in August. Stay tuned for more surprise shows leading up till then!

The venue, Yates continues, is a “perfect example” of New York City’s infrastructure.

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The Cemetery will be open on Sunday, August 6th from noon to 6:00 pm.
Come and enjoy a lovely and rare afternoon inside the gates!

Welcome to the web site of The New York City Marble Cemetery.

You have most likely come here as part of genealogical research on your family and we are happy for you to visit. This site may well be of some help to you; we certainly hope so.

We also hope that you will be able to be of help to The New York City Marble Cemetery. The Board of Trustees is eager to update our files. If you are able to show a direct line of descent from any of the vault holders, you are entitled to participate in the management of the cemetery and, most particularly, the use of your family vault. Our annual meeting, open only to vault owners, is on the first Monday in May. Please contact the office for more details.

Whether you are interested in becoming more involved in the Cemetery or not, we would be very interested in any information you can offer about family members interred in the Cemetery and, if you desire, would be happy to post this information on our site.

The New York City Marble Cemetery is a small jewel of beauty and peace. Although we have a small endowment, it is not enough to maintain the cemetery as it could be or even should be. While the cemetery is generally closed to the public, entrance may be arranged by special appointment; a donation is requested for this service.

While there is no formal connection between the two cemeteries, you may also wish to visit the web site of the neighboring (and similarly named) New York Marble Cemetery.…

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Through the month of August, Ace Hotel will display key objects from our permanent collection in their Gallery Annex. See relics of New York, including terracotta fragments of landmark skyscrapers, geological specimens from the 2nd Avenue Subway, an artifact from one of the last surviving coal-fired pizza ovens in NYC, and cultural ephemera spanning from Coney Island to the Bronx.

Join us for complimentary wine and a live DJ set at 7 PM tomorrow, August 2 as we kick off this exciting new off-site exhibition! RSVP with Ace is suggested but not required.

Ace Hotel is located at 20 W29th St. in Manhattan.…

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Mon 07 2017 , by

Up On The Roof

From the blog of The Museum of the City of New York:

Up on the roof, entertainment en plein air

Spring in New York City is glorious.  Allergy issues aside, the season of rebirth is especially welcome after this winter’s polar vortex shenanigans.  And though I celebrate the sunny days and refreshing rain of spring, I can see the heat waves forming on the horizon.  Summer is coming and with it a suffocating wall of humidity.

One of my best strategies to beat the heat is going to the theater. Be it a movie, musical, or play,  the cool darkness of a theater combined with a few hours of entertainment is my preferred place to be on an unbearably hot day.  A hundred years ago, this wasn’t so much the case.  Without air conditioning, the heat of the lights and the crush of fellow audience members could make visiting the theater  intolerable.  Not wishing to lose business during the summer months, theater owners came up with a new strategy: the roof!

Byron Company (New York, N.Y.) [Roof Garden, Madison Square Garden Theatre.] ca. 1900.

Byron Company (New York, N.Y.) Roof Garden, Madison Square Garden Theatre. ca. 1900. Museum of the City of New York, 93.1.1.10866.

In the photograph above, a rooftop audience enjoys some light entertainment on the Madison Square Garden roof.  This MSG was located at 26th Street and Madison Avenue.  Designed by Stanford White, it was the second tallest building in the City at the time construction finished in 1890. Part of the fun for the audience was the chance to watch musical comedies and operettas from 32 stories off the ground. (Check out Mia’s early blog on the theater’s Diana statue.)

Further uptown at 44th and Broadway, the New York Theatre roof offered similar entertainment fare. The New York Theatre was originally built as the Olympia Theatre by  Oscar Hammerstein I (the grandfather of the Oscar Hammerstein from musical theater’s famous “Rodgers & Hammerstein”).

Byron Company (New York, N.Y.) Roof Garden, New York Theatre. ca. 1901. Museum of the City of New York. 93.1.1.10880.

Byron Company (New York, N.Y.) Roof Garden, New York Theatre. ca. 1901. Museum of the City of New York. 93.1.1.10880.

Though a financial failure for Hammerstein I, the theater was only the second to be built in what would become the Times Square Theater District.  In 1895, the area was known as Longacre Square.

Byron Company (New York, N.Y.) Roof Garden, New York Theatre. ca. 1901. Museum of the City of New York, 93.1.1.10877.

Byron Company (New York, N.Y.) Roof Garden, New York Theatre. ca. 1901. Museum of the City of New York, 93.1.1.10877.

Hammerstein I’s second effort at extravagant outdoor entertainment was the  Paradise Roof Garden at 201 West 42nd Street.  Part enclosed space and part open air, the Garden spanned the roofs of  the Victoria Theatre and the Theatre Republic next door.

Byron Company (New York, N.Y.). [Roof Garden, Paradise atop Hammerstein's Victoria.] ca. 1904.

Byron Company (New York, N.Y.). Roof Garden, Paradise atop Hammerstein’s Victoria.]ca. 1901. Museum of the City of New York, 93.1.1.10856.

The Paradise Roof Garden was run by Hammerstein I’s son Willie.  As the noise of an ever expanding New York drifted upward, the vaudeville shows presented on the roof adapted to include wordless routines and pantomime.

Byron Company (New York, N.Y.) [Roof Garden, Paradise atop Hammerstein's Victoria.] ca. 1904.

Byron Company (New York, N.Y.). Roof Garden, Paradise atop Hammerstein’s Victoria. ca.

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