JOYCE GOLD HISTORY TOURS OF NEW YORK

PUBLIC WALKING TOURS SCHEDULE – 2016

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Private custom tours are available all year long.

*Fall 2016 Public Tour Schedule available for viewing and pdf download.*
 

Harlem Cotton club

July 30   SATURDAY   1 to 3:30 PM

HARLEM HISTORY WALK

MEET: City College, 138th St. & Amsterdam Ave. Take #1 subway to 137th St. station; go to 138th St. & walk 1 block up the 138th St. hill.

Sugar Hill, Strivers Row, the Schomberg Library, and Abyssinian Baptist Church— highlights of Harlem’s history and renaissance. In the 1880s, the new elevated railroad converted Harlem from a rural district into tracts of beautiful homes for wealthy New Yorkers. By the 1920s, downtown development and the new subway changed the neighborhood into one of the nation's most famous African-American communities.
 
Highlights of the tour include:
•  The birth of jazz and sites of the artistic and literary
•  Alexander Hamilton''s last home
•  Strivers Row, Sugar Hill, and Hamilton Heights
•  Abyssinian Baptist Church
•  One of world's greatest collections dedicated to the study of black culture  

Grassy park land on Governer's Island

August 7   SUNDAY   12:45 to 3:30 PM

GOVERNORS ISLAND

MEET: Outside Gov. Island ferry building (light green), 10 South St. in Manhattan, next to the Staten Island Ferry. Look for our yellow umbrella. Take #1 subway to South Ferry, #4 or #5 to Bowling Green, or R to Whitehall South Ferry. Ferry tickets cost $2; $1 seniors; or IDNYC card.

Early 19th century forts and residences, wide-open lawns, and competitors vying to control the island’s future, just a short ferry ride from Lower Manhattan. Governors Island is a prime piece of real estate with phenomenal views of the Lower Manhattan skyline. Until recently the island was federal land and closed to the public. Today government, private interests, and the public are all involved in defining the future of this unique section of New York.
 
In Dutch and British colonial times, the island was pasture, timberland, game preserve, and summer resort. For nearly two centuries after the American Revolution it served as guardian of the harbor and was in continuous military use.
 
A visit today includes areas designated as national monuments, temporary art installations, and activities from jazz concerts to children’s activities to biking in a car-free environment. It’s a visit to quiet, green, and open-spaces. The big question to consider is — what lies ahead.  

Brooklyn Bridge

August 14   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

BROOKLYN BRIDGE — “ROMANTIC PASSAGEWAY” THAT JOINS TWO ISLANDS

MEET: City Hall Park fountain, Broadway & Park Place.

An icon of architectural grace and strength. Since its opening in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge has been an icon of New York City. It still evokes amazement for its engineering, its beauty, and the views from its raised, wooden walkway. Poets, novelists, filmmakers, and painters have celebrated it, as “a living connection” of architectural grace and strength.
 
Tour highlights include:
•  The fascinating story of the site, design and construction of the bridge
•  Spectacular views of the Lower Manhattan skyline and the great harbor of New York
•  The first section of the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, eventually to encompass 1.2 miles along the Brooklyn waterfront  

5th Ave Mansions

August 20   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

FIFTH AVENUE GOLD COAST

MEET: The Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St. between Fifth & Madison Aves.

Tycoons, Central Park, and great mansions created the New York avenue “paved with gold.” The creation of Central Park in the 1870s destined Fifth Avenue — the park’s eastern border — to become one of New York’s most elegant addresses. Great historic mansions, including those of Henry Clay Frick and James B. Duke, began to line the avenue. Much of the wealth that created this Gold Coast was earned rather than inherited.
 
Highlights include
•  The American Dream and its dark side
•  American tycoons with aristocratic yearnings
•  Grandiose homes and what happened to them
•  Landmarked district 1 mile long  

Historic illustration of old new york

Sept. 10   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

GANGS OF NEW YORK AND THE BLOODY FIVE POINTS

MEET: The Bowery & Bayard St. (1 block south of Canal St.) northwest corner at Bank of America.

The infamous 19th century immigrant neighborhood of poverty, violence, and gangs. Just east of today's City Hall and Municipal Building, this was once was a foul-smelling, disease-ridden district. Brought to life in the movie Gangs of New York, it was a place of violence, gang wars, poverty, and corruption. The district evokes such places of notoriety as Paradise Square, Cow Bay, Bottle Alley, and such gangs as the Roach Guards, Plug Uglies, Shirt Tails, Dead Rabbits.
 
Highlights include:
•  Five Points visitors — Davy Crockett, Charles
          Dickens, and Abraham Lincoln
•  A Five Points success story
          —Tammany Hall's Al Smith
•  protege, state governor, presidential candidate
•  The oldest Jewish graveyard in North America
•  The Roman Catholic church with Anglican, Cuban, Irish, Italian, Chinese, and Buddhist history  

Grassy park land on Governer's Island

Sept. 18   SUNDAY   12:45 to 3:30 PM

GOVERNORS ISLAND

MEET: Outside Gov. Island ferry building (light green), 10 South St. Manhattan, next to the Staten Island Ferry. Look for our yellow umbrella. Subways: #1 to South Ferry, #2 to Wall St., #4 or #5 to Bowling Green. Ferry tickets cost $2/$1 or IDNYC card.

Early 19th century forts and residences, wide-open lawns, and competitors vying to control the island’s future, just a short ferry ride from Lower Manhattan. Governors Island is a prime piece of real estate with phenomenal views of the Lower Manhattan skyline. Until recently the island was federal land and closed to the public. Today government, private interests, and the public are all involved in defining the future of this unique section of New York.
 
In Dutch and British colonial times, the island was pasture, timberland, game preserve, and summer resort. For nearly two centuries after the American Revolution it served as guardian of the harbor and was in continuous military use.
 
A visit today includes areas designated as national monuments, temporary art installations, and activities from jazz concerts to children’s activities to biking in a car-free environment. It’s a visit to quiet, green, and open-spaces. The big question to consider is — what lies ahead.  

Washington Square Park

Sept. 22   THURSDAY   11 AM TO 1 PM

THE FLAMBOYANT AND THE BOHEMIAN — GREENWICH VILLAGE AND HOW IT BECAME FAMOUS

MEET: Washington Sq. Arch, Fifth Ave. 1 block south of 8th St.

Essentials of the Village—history, theater, culture, tragedy, architecture, and celebrated personalities. In its earliest years Greenwich Village was a refuge from the yellow fever epidemic downtown. By the early 20th century, the Village had become home to artists, writers, and playwrights looking for an unconventional environment and creative freedom. Protesters came here in their struggles for the vote for women, better working conditions, opposition to war, and gay and feminist rights.
 
Highlights include:
•  The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the labor movement
•  Literary figures — Henry James, Edna St Vincent Millay, Willa Cather, Eugene O'Neill
•  19th century residential architectural as a social document
•  Coffeehouses of the Beat Generation
•  The Minetta trout stream and street design
•  Landmarking and preservation controversies  

New Amsterdam, Jews Enter

Sept. 25   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

JEWISH COLONIAL MANHATTAN

MEET: Museum of the American Indian, south end of Bowling Green park, at foot of Broadway. Subways: #4 or #5 to Bowling Green, or R to Whitehall.

In 1654, 23 Jewish immigrants arrived in Dutch New Amsterdam. Settling into their new life included adapting to restrictions imposed by the frontier town, and dealing with subsequent Jewish arrivals with traditions different from their own. The first Jewish immigrants to Manhattan arrived in 1654, during Dutch colonial times. The small group of 23 men, women, & children were allowed to stay, but with considerable restrictions. Their immediate concern was how to earn a living when many occupations were closed to them.
 
During the Dutch and British periods groups of Jews arrived from a variety of countries. The process of their making Manhattan a home involved creating a place to pray, providing kosher food, keeping their children within the faith, and balancing the interests of Sephardic and Ashkenazi residents.  

Roosevelt Island
** NEW **

Oct. 1   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

ROOSEVELT ISLAND – FROM HOGS AND MADMEN TO INNOVATION HOTSPOT

MEET: On Roosevelt Island at the tram station. Take tram from 2nd Ave & 60th St. Manhattan, or subway: F train to Roosevelt Island & walk toward the 59th St. Bridge.

Separated from Manhattan by a 300-yard span of the East River, Roosevelt Island served as a place to pasture swine for the Dutch, and later as the Blackwell family farmland. In the early 19th century the city bought the island and for 100 years used it to house the unsavory services of prison and madhouse. In the last few decades, it has become a thriving mixed-income town built from a Master Plan. And major changes are on the way.
 
Highlights include:
• Preparations for the upcoming Cornell-Technion venture—their institute for innovation
• The Roosevelt Island Tramway, a picturesque & reliable transport
• Blackwell’s Farmhouse, a centuries-old residence
• Spectacular views of Manhattan

Brooklyn Bridge

Oct. 8   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

BROOKLYN BRIDGE — “ROMANTIC PASSAGEWAY” THAT JOINS TWO ISLANDS

MEET: City Hall Park fountain, B’way & Park Place.

An icon of architectural grace and strength. Since its opening in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge has been an icon of New York City. It still evokes amazement for its engineering, its beauty, and the views from its raised, wooden walkway. Poets, novelists, filmmakers, and painters have celebrated it, as “a living connection” of architectural grace and strength.
 
Tour highlights include:
•  The fascinating story of the site, design and construction of the bridge
•  Spectacular views of the Lower Manhattan skyline and the great harbor of New York
•  The first section of the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, eventually to encompass 1.2 miles along the Brooklyn waterfront  

Jewish Harlem

Oct. 16   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

JEWISH HARLEM

MEET: NYS Office Building Plaza, W. 125th St. & Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. (Seventh Ave). Take #2 or #3 subway to 125th St.

Harlem was once the third largest Jewish settlement in the world, after Warsaw and the Lower East Side. In the neighborhood more than 150,000 Jews listened to the great Yossele Rosenblatt chant Sabbath services and were terrified when gangsters like Lefty Louie Horowitz and Whitey Lewis fought gun battles on 125th St. They bought at Blumstein’s Department Store and saw teen-age singers Walter Winchell and George Jessel begin their careers.
 
The tour considers the following questions —
Why did Jewish New Yorkers move to Harlem?
What was their reception?
How did they keep the children within the fold?
Are any synagogues still active in Harlem?

5th Ave Mansions

Oct. 22   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

FIFTH AVENUE GOLD COAST

MEET: The Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St. between Fifth & Madison Aves.

Tycoons, Central Park, and great mansions created the New York avenue “paved with gold.” The creation of Central Park in the 1870s destined Fifth Avenue — the park’s eastern border — to become one of New York’s most elegant addresses. Great historic mansions, including those of Henry Clay Frick and James B. Duke, began to line the avenue. Much of the wealth that created this Gold Coast was earned rather than inherited.
 
Highlights include
•  The American Dream and its dark side
•  American tycoons with aristocratic yearnings
•  Grandiose homes and what happened to them
•  Landmarked district 1 mile long  

Greenwich Village Ghost

Oct. 30   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

MACABRE GREENWICH VILLAGE

MEET: Washington Sq. Arch, 5th Ave. 1 block south of 8th St.

Celebrate the Halloween season with some of the spookiest stories in New York — murders, hangings, explosions, famous missing persons, specters, hauntings, and ghosts. Death lies in plain view —if you know where to look.
 Highlights include:
• Washington Square Park graveyard
• The 19th century Jewish graveyard
• Newgate prison
• The murdered architect
• The tale of the haunting artist
• America's most famous missing person
• Hangings, and the hangman's house
• Edgar Allan Poe's home and his inspiration for The Raven
• The day the music died  

Civil War

Nov. 6   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

THE CIVIL WAR IN MANHATTAN

MEET: Cooper Union, the brown Foundation Building entrance at the north end of Cooper Triangle Park (7 E. 7th St., between 3rd & 4th Aves). Subways: #6, N, or R to 8th St./Astor Place.

During the Civil War, escalating ethnic and class tensions culminated in the draft riots, which tore the city apart. NYC played a crucial role in winning the war, which ended in April 1865. As the inevitability of the Civil War increased, New York faced conflicts within its varied population. Family connections with the South brought personal strife for some. Business interests dreaded the potential loss of Southern markets for finished goods. Ever present ethnic and class tensions increased.
 
Once war was declared, New York officially supported the Northern cause. But as the war dragged on, ethnic and class tensions escalated between the Irish and blacks, and the poor and the governing class. Groups actively engaged with the war included shipbuilders, manufacturers, newspaper publishers, humanitarian philanthropists, and soldiers returning from the Battle of Gettysburg.  

West Village

Nov. 12   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

THE INTIMATE WEST VILLAGE

MEET: Father Demo Square, Sixth Ave. & Bleecker St., northwest corner.  

The West Village is a 19th century preserve with its concealed-yet-open garden, complex web of streets, and a house 9½ feet wide. Classic 19th century 3-story townhouses set the stage. This is a community neighborhood of quirky angled streets with 1920's speakeasies, literary hang-outs, European-style coffeehouses, and Off-Broadway theatres — the quintessential American Bohemia. Its sites inspired Edgar Allan Poe's “The Raven”, and O. Henry's “The Last Leaf.”
 
But one block west of its border, the neighborhood changes abruptly. Gone are the run-down remains of a long-disappeared waterfront commerce — transient hotels, cheap bars, and old factories. Now new glass-covered high-rise buildings rise with celebrity-filled condominiums and look out over a spectacular, transformed waterfront. Today the shoreline is alive again, this time with grassy playing fields, quiet lawns, children's playgrounds, and 800' long restored piers.

 
Hells Kitchen Mural

Nov. 20   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

IRISH HELL'S KITCHEN

MEET: Ninth Ave. & W. 43rd St., southeast corner at The Bread Factory.

Fleeing starvation during the Famine, Irish immigrants poured into New York City in the mid 19th century in search of a better life. One of the few jobs open to Irish men was back-breaking work on the docks. Hell's Kitchen faced the westside waterfront, a squalid, crime-ridden and overcrowded slum. Here the Irish families struggled to survive poverty, violence, corruption and discrimination.
 
The area's name still evokes images of:
• gang fights along Tenth Avenue
• Design that made traffic flow and luggage glide
• Irish killers with names like Happy Jack Mulraney, Goo Goo Knox, Stumpy Malarkey, and One-Lung Curran
• Cattle pens and slaughterhouses on West 39th St.  

Historic illustration of old new york

Dec. 3   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

GANGS OF NEW YORK AND THE BLOODY FIVE POINTS

MEET: The Bowery & Bayard St. (1 block south of Canal St.) northwest corner at Bank of America.

The infamous 19th century immigrant neighborhood of poverty, violence, and gangs. Just east of today's City Hall and Municipal Building, this was once was a foul-smelling, disease-ridden district. Brought to life in the movie Gangs of New York, it was a place of violence, gang wars, poverty, and corruption. The district evokes such places of notoriety as Paradise Square, Cow Bay, Bottle Alley, and such gangs as the Roach Guards, Plug Uglies, Shirt Tails, Dead Rabbits.
 
Highlights include:
•  Five Points visitors — Davy Crockett, Charles
          Dickens, and Abraham Lincoln
•  A Five Points success story
          —Tammany Hall's Al Smith
•  protege, state governor, presidential candidate
•  The oldest Jewish graveyard in North America
•  The Roman Catholic church with Anglican, Cuban, Irish, Italian, Chinese, and Buddhist history  

exterior of Grand Central Terminal NYC

Dec. 11   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL – “CROSSROADS OF A MILLION PRIVATE LIVES”

MEET: Just inside GCT entrance at E. 42nd St. under the Park Ave. viaduct.

New York’s monument to movement, Grand Central Terminal opened over 100 years ago and it remains one of great architectural beauties of the city. The dramatic structure is a thrilling symbol of the fast-expanding commercial and intellectual reach of what was becoming the greatest city in the U.S.
 
A majestic Beaux Arts rendition of a classical form, Grand Central is impressive outside and within. A monumental sculpture crowns its 42nd Street façade. The Main Concourse has the soaring dimensions of a cathedral. The building seems to embody the huge purpose of the terminal — to move great numbers of people, to provide services for travelers, to outshine its rival, and to create a real estate boom with the innovation of air rights. 
 
Additional highlights of the walk include:
• The tragedy that led to its creation
• Design that made traffic flow and luggage glide
• Its history-making role in landmarking New York City’s heritage
• The Campbell Apartment
• Commodore Vanderbilt, Whitney Warren, Jackie Onassis
• The Whispering Arch  

Washington Square Park

Dec. 17   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

THE FLAMBOYANT AND THE BOHEMIAN — GREENWICH VILLAGE AND HOW IT BECAME FAMOUS

MEET: Washington Sq. Arch, Fifth Ave. 1 block south of 8th St.

Essentials of the Village—history, theater, culture, tragedy, architecture, and celebrated personalities. In its earliest years Greenwich Village was a refuge from the yellow fever epidemic downtown. By the early 20th century, the Village had become home to artists, writers, and playwrights looking for an unconventional environment and creative freedom. Protesters came here in their struggles for the vote for women, better working conditions, opposition to war, and gay and feminist rights.
 
Highlights include:
•  The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the labor movement
•  Literary figures — Henry James, Edna St Vincent Millay, Willa Cather, Eugene O'Neill
•  19th century residential architectural as a social document
•  Coffeehouses of the Beat Generation
•  The Minetta trout stream and street design
•  Landmarking and preservation controversies  

Public Walking Tours will resume in early 2017.

Private tours are always available.