Image via Wikimedia cc.
The historic East Village music venue Webster Hall is scheduled to reopen on April 26, 2019 after being closed for nearly 19 months for renovations. The concert hall was first opened in 1886, making it New York’s oldest still-operating venue. According to AMNewYork, the Marlin concert room, Grand Ballroom and studio space have had a complete overhaul; the venue, which was acquired by Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment and AEG Presents (parent company of The Bowery Presents) in 2017, has announced a reopening concert featuring Jay-Z performing “The B-Sides,” as well as a month of notable shows that will include Patti Smith, MGMT, Built To Spill, Sharon Van Etten, Broken Social Scene, Real Estate and more.
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The Titanic’s lifeboats at the White Star Lines Pier 54 in NYC after sinking, via Wiki Commons
When you hear “Titanic” you may think of icebergs, tragedy, Jack, Rose, and a two-hour fight between life and death in the North Atlantic some 375 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. You may not necessarily think of New York City. But the ship, which left Southampton, England on April 10, 1912, was bound for New York and due at Pier 59 on April 17th. After sinking during the early hours of April 15th, the Titanic would never dock in New York, but survivors of the tragedy sailed into the city aboard the Carpathia on April 20th and disembarked at Pier 54. Ultimately, New York’s connection to that fateful voyage goes well beyond its waterfront. In fact, you’ll find sites associated with the Titanic and its passengers throughout the city.
10 NYC sites associated with the Titanic
This post is part of a series by the Historic Districts Council, exploring the groups selected for their Six to Celebrate program, New York’s only targeted citywide list of preservation priorities.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first historic district designated by New York City in the Bronx. Mott Haven was designated in 1969 by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission for its architecture “representative of the best of the second half of the nineteenth century.” Landmarks later designated the Mott Haven East Historic District and the Bertine Block Historic District, also in the neighborhood, in 1994. Designated the same year as the Greenwich Village Historic District, the Mott Haven Historic Districts Association is working to bring this historic neighborhood to the same level of local and national prominence as its Manhattan sibling.
In honor of the 50th anniversary, the Association uncovered the story behind 10 historic sites in Mott Haven–from the ironworking factory that lent its name to the neighborhood to two incredibly intact stretches of rowhouses to an early piano factory.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the designation of the Greenwich Village Historic District. One of the city’s oldest and largest landmark districts, it’s a treasure trove of rich history, pioneering culture, and charming architecture. Village Preservation will be spending 2019 marking this anniversary with events, lectures, and new interactive online resources, including a celebration and district-wide weekend-long “Open House” starting on Saturday, April 13 in Washington Square. Check here for updates and more details. This is part of a series of posts about the Greenwich Village Historic District marking its golden anniversary.
Few places on Earth have attracted more or a broader array of activists and agitators for social change than Greenwich Village. And much of that activity took place right in the heart of the neighborhood in the Greenwich Village Historic District, where that rich history has been preserved through landmark designation for the past half-century. Here are just a few of the many who lived within its bounds and toiled to make the world a better or more just place.
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Images of the 108 Leonard’s newly restored facade courtesy of Hundred Stories PR
Update 4/1/19: The New York State Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled against a group of preservationists who sued to stop developers from turning a historic clock tower into a penthouse. According to the judge, the LPC does not have the authority to give access to the building and the agency’s plan to make the 19th-century clock run electronically is reasonable.
Developers had big plans for the luxury condominiums they were creating at the block-long former site of the New York Life Insurance Company at 346 Broadway (also known as 108 Leonard Street) since purchasing it from the city in 2014. The new residential project would hold 140 units starting at $1.5 million, capped by a stunning penthouse that would be priced at over $20 million. The one snag in this golden opportunity: The building’s iconic Clock Tower–sometimes called New York’s ‘Big Ben,’ which sits atop the building and was designated an interior landmark in 1987. The clock must be wound by hand, a process which requires access through, as the New York Times reports, the future penthouse. A case against the developers’ plan and a subsequent appeal were both won by the opponents, saying the LPC couldn’t unwind the clock’s landmark status–but an appeal in the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, is still pending.
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Babe Ruth shakes the hand of actor Gary Cooper (playing Lou Gehrig) during the filming of the movie “Pride of the Yankees” in 1942. The scene is a recreation of “Gehrig Appreciation Day” on July 4, 1939 when Gehrig retired due to his diagnosis with ALS; Via NYC Municipal Archives
To celebrate the start of the baseball season this week, the city’s Department of Records & Information Services released a series of artifacts and historic photos for sale. From architectural drawings of Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field to photos of Babe Ruth at the 1936 World Series, the images provide a look back at our national pastime’s origin in New York City.
How to buy them
Shepard Hall at the City College of New York via Wikimedia
Now that “Operation Varsity Blues” has shown afresh the ways in which the nation’s elite can buy admission into prestigious universities, it may be instructive to consider the history City College, the flagship of the CUNY system, and the first free institution of higher education in the nation. Founded as The Free Academy of the City of New York in 1847, City College has long nurtured brilliant students from all walks of life as the “The Harvard of the Proletariat,” and served as an engine of upward mobility for New Yorkers and other strivers from around the world. As the home of the first student government in the nation, the first student-led strike, and the first degree-granting evening program, City boasts a legacy of equity and equality that reflects the best ideals of the city it serves.
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To the dismay of many New Yorkers, the Waldorf Astoria closed its doors in 2017 for a huge renovation project that will ultimately create larger hotel rooms and add a new set of luxury condos. After the plans were announced, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the hotel’s first three floors as an interior landmark, meaning the new owners will need to preserve the 1931 Art Deco spaces. But after a four-year hiatus (the hotel will reopen in 2021) and a completely new vibe, it’s not clear if those interiors will have the same glamorous, old-school New York vibe that they were once famous for. Luckily, photographers James and Karla Murray captured the Waldorf in all its glory before it closed its doors. Ahead, take a tour of the old Waldorf, from its iconic, two-ton lobby clock to the three-tiered grand ballroom.
Take the tour
Image via New York State Board for Historic Preservation
The New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 17 properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places today, sites that represent New York’s rich history from Long Island through the Finger Lakes. In New York City, four nominees made the cut: the Alku and Alku Toinen buildings in Brooklyn, East Harlem Historic District, George Washington Hotel in Gramercy, and St. Luke’s Hospital in Morningside Heights. Once the recommendations are approved by the state historic preservation officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register.
“Mourners from the Ladies Waist and Dressmakers Union Local 25 and the United Hebrew Trades of New York march in the streets after the Triangle fire” 1911. Reproduction. The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library, via the Luce Center at the New York Historical Society
Around 4:30pm on March 25, 1911, a fire broke out on the eighth floor of the Asch Building at Washington Place and Greene Streets, just as the young employees of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, who occupied the building’s top three floors, were preparing to leave for the day. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire killed 146 people, nearly all of them Jewish and Italian immigrant women and girls who toiled in the city’s garment industry. Triangle stood out as the deadliest workplace tragedy in New York City before 9/11. It served as a bellwether in the American labor movement, galvanizing Americans in all walks of life to join the fight for industrial reform. It also highlighted the extraordinary grit and bravery of the women workers and reformers – members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and the Women’s Trade Union League – who fought and died for fairer and safer working conditions in New York and around the country.
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