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Private custom tours are available all year long.

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

exterior of Grand Central Terminal NYC

March 6  SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM


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  

Hells Kitchen Mural

March 12  SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM


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.  

portrait of Inez Mulholland

March 20  SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM


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

In few other places on earth have so many notable women lived and achieved. For the last 150 years, it has seen an unparalleled variety of women – working class, gentry, radical, literary, academic, theatrical, convict, and immigrant – remarkable women who left their imprints on the Washington Sq. neighborhood – and beyond.
Highlights of the tour — literary, art, and theatre iconoclasts:
• The salon of Mable Dodge, a center of WW I-era activism
• The tragedy of the Triangle fire and its role in the labor movement
• The Suffrage Movement  

** NEW **

April 2   SATURDAY  1 to 3 PM


MEET: Trinity Church, Wall St & Broadway.

Alexander Hamilton immigrated to British Colonial New York as a young, orphaned nobody, but quickly rose to be an influential player in the Revolutionary War and the founding of the United States of America.
On the southern tip of Manhattan, Hamilton lived, studied, worked, and served to create a financially robust nation in good standing with the international community. Today’s Financial District was the setting for much of Hamilton’s career.
Highlights include
• Site of first capital of the United States
• Society of the Cincinnati
• Trinity Church, the Tory stronghold
• Hamilton’s political foes Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr
• Grave of Hamilton & Eliza Schuyler Hamilton

Civil War

April 9  SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM


MEET: Outside the entrance to Cooper Union, the brown Foundation Building at E 7th St & 3rd Ave. west side.

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.  

New Amsterdam, Jews Enter

April 17   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM


MEET: Museum of the American Indian, south side of Bowling Green, at foot of Broadway. Best subway: #4 & #5 to Bowling Green.

In 1654, 23 Jewish men, women, and children 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. 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.
Highlights include Site of the first synagogue in North America
• The 18th century Jewish ghetto
• George Washington’s letter affirms tolerance toward Jews
• Minuit Plaza—the flagpole inscription honors the original 23 Jews in New York
• The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island—great symbols of America

Roosevelt Island
** NEW **

April 24  SUNDAY  1 to 3 PM


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

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

5th Ave Mansions

May 1   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM


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  

East Village

May 4  WEDNESDAY  11 AM to 1 PM


MEET: St. Mark’s Church, 10th St. & 2nd Ave.

Peter Stuyvesant, a Director General of the New Netherlands, was the first owner of the farmland now known as the East Village. Later, Irish laborers moved into the area to build ships along the East River. Germans also thrived here, until a tragedy resulted in the death of over 1000 of their people. As Germans left the neighborhood, Italian, Jewish, Polish, and Ukrainian immigrants moved in, bringing new life, food, and traditions.
Highlights include:
•  St. Marks-in-the-Bowery Church
•  McSorley’s Old Ale House
•  Cooper Union for the Advancement of Arts and Sciences
•  The Astor Place Opera riot
•  The General Slocum Disaster
•  Yiddish Rialto theatres

East Village

May 13  FRIDAY  11 AM to 1 PM


MEET: Duane Park, at Duane & Hudson Sts. Best subways: #1, #2, or #3 to Chambers St.; walk north on Hudson St. for 3 blocks.

Tribeca’s industrial past remains visible in its cast iron buildings & raised loading docks. Although reconfigured into residential lofts and hotspots of food, film, and design, these industrial buildings facing Belgian block streets retain the character of their original use. This historic district was once a great estate. In the late 19th century wholesale distribution businesses organized in the area, a center for meat and produce, cheese, butter & eggs, and huge warehouses.
Highlights include;
• Architectural mix of Harrison St
• Hudson Street property line
• Vauxhall Gardens now Washington Market Park
• Tribeca Film Festival

West Village

May 15  SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM


MEET: Leroy St. & Seventh Ave. So. southwest corner. Take #1 subway to Houston St.; walk 2 blocks north on Seventh Ave. South.  

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.

Jewish Harlem

May 17  TUESDAY  11 AM to 1 PM


MEET: NYS Office Building Plaza, W. 125th St. Martin Luther King Blvd. & Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. (Seventh Ave.) Best subways: #2 or #3 to 125th St. , Walk west for 1 block.

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

May 21   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM


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

Fraud, procuring, and murders most foul, all on the New York avenue of wealth and privilege. The American Dream and its dark side reside even on Fifth Avenue. 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. But as the wealth moved in, so did chicanery and violence. Great historic mansions housed both perpetrators and victims, sometimes both living together.
Highlights include;
•  American tycoons with aristocratic yearnings
•  Grandiose homes and what happened in them
•  Landmarked district one mile long
•  Private armies, criminal intent, financial skullduggery  

Washington Square Park

May 28   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM


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  

Private tours are always available.