JOYCE GOLD HISTORY TOURS OF NEW YORK

PUBLIC WALKING TOURS SCHEDULE – FALL 2015

Just show up for a Joyce Gold scheduled tour and discover treasures in every NYC neighborhood.

*Fall 2015 Public Tour Schedule available for viewing and pdf download.*
 

Grassy park land on Governer's Island

Open seasonally until the end of September

Sept. 13   SUNDAY   12:45 to 3 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. Allow extra time to purchase ferry tickets ($2/$1).

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.  

West Village

Sept. 17   THURSDAY   11 AM to 1 PM

THE INTIMATE WEST VILLAGE AND ITS SPECTACULAR WATERFRONT PARK

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.  

New Amsterdam, Jews Enter

Sept. 20   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

JEWISH COLONIAL MANHATTAN

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 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.  

5th Ave Mansions

Sept. 27   SUNDAY   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  

Tribeca

October 1   THURSDAY   11 AM to 1 PM

TRIBECA—NEW SCENE IN AN OLD INDUSTRIAL STREETSCAPE

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 and raised loading docks. Loft conversions and hot spots of food, film, and design have not changed that look.
This historic district was once one man’s great estate, and later upscale residential area with 2-3 ½-story homes. In the late 19th century, wholesale distribution businesses took over organized around the Washington Market. A center for meat and produce, cheese, butter and eggs, huge warehouse buildings and market-related businesses defined the area.
 
More recently, the area has become home to hip families, including those of artist Marisol, movie stars Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro, and writers, most notably playwright Edward Albee. With the death of John Kennedy, Jr., the neighborhood was thrust into the international spotlight.
 
Highlights include
•  The Coconut King
•  The woman who owned all of Tribeca
•  Changing street names
•  The Taste of Tribeca and the Tribeca Film Festival

Historic illustration of old new york

October 4   SUNDAY   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
          — Al Smith — Tammany
•  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  

Jewish Harlem

October 11   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

October 14   WEDNESDAY   11 AM to 1 PM

CRIMES OF THE FIFTH AVENUE GOLD COAST

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  

Gramercy Park

October 25   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

THE GENIUS AND ELEGANCE OF GRAMERCY PARK

MEET: Gramercy Park, Lexington Ave. & 21st St.  

Discover a London Square that became home to creative minds, elegant salons, and the taste-setting Lady Mendl. Samuel Ruggles, lawyer, developer, and urban design visionary, purchased a piece of marshland in 1831 in order to create a park for local citizens. Over the next several decades, a private London square emerged, surrounded by substantial homes. This landmarked district became home to some of America's greatest inventors, architects, actors, doctors, diarists, publishers, writers, painters, and losing and winning presidential candidates.
 
Highlights include:       
•  Manhattan's only private park       
•  The National Arts Club       
•  The Players Club       
•  The Salon of Elizabeth Marbury and Elsie de Wolfe       
•  O. Henry's home and bar       
•  Homes of Peter Cooper, Edwin Booth, and Stanford White       

Greenwich Village Ghost

October 31   SATURDAY   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. 8   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

THE CIVIL WAR IN MANHATTAN

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.  

West Village

Nov. 15   SUNDAY   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.”

5th Ave Mansions

Nov. 21   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  

Washington Square Park

Nov. 28   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  

exterior of Grand Central Terminal NYC

December 6   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, a thrilling symbol of the city’s energy—with one of the best holiday fairs in town. 100 years ago Grand Central Terminal opened to great acclaim. More than 150,000 people visited it on opening day. The dramatic new structure was a thrilling symbol of the fast-expanding commercial and intellectual reach of the second largest city in the world.
 
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  

Historic illustration of old new york

December 12   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
          — Al Smith — Tammany
•  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  

Chelsea

December 19   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

CHELSEA AND A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS

MEET: 20th St. & Ninth Ave., northwest corner at La Bergamote.

As Clement Clark Moore’s home, Chelsea has evolved from its pastoral history to a bohemian culture epitomized by The Chelsea Hotel.
Beginning in the 18th century as one man’s farm, the neighborhood changed over the next 150 years into a district of great theater, Tenderloin entertainment, and silent movie production, as well as home to the garment industry and great department store palaces.
 
Highlights of the walk include:
•  The first Episcopal seminary in the United States & it’s gorgeous campus.
•  An international art center with 300 galleries of modern art
•  The 3 principal styles of 19th century residences
•  A building that began as coop apartments in 1884

Private tours are always available.