History

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Features, History, holidays, Top Stories

Photo courtesy of Macy’s, Inc.

Since New York City invented the Holiday Season as we know it, it’s only fitting that this city kicks things off in fine form. Thankfully, the good folks at Macy’s have been doing just that since 1924, when they sent the very first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade sauntering down Broadway. The Parade has been synonymous with Thanksgiving for more than 90 years, and it has more secrets up its sleeve than it has balloons in the air. From “balloonatics” and “falloons” to the only time in history the parade was canceled, here are 10 things you might not know about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Float on!

Events, Harlem, History

Museum of Food and Drink, African/American: Making the Nation's Table

Exhibition renderings courtesy of the Museum of Food and Drink

Next February the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) will bring together the country’s first exhibition celebrating the countless ways in which African Americans have shaped American cuisine. Curated by Dr. Jessica B. Harris, a leading expert on the foods of the African Diaspora, African/American: Making the Nation’s Table will take place at The Africa Center in Harlem and feature musical selections by Questlove, tastings by Chef Carla Hall, and a restoration of the historic Ebony Magazine Test Kitchen.

More details

Featured Story

Features, History

Where to see pieces of the Berlin Wall in NYC

By Dana Schulz, Wed, November 6, 2019

This Saturday, November 9th, marks the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down. Many people might know of pieces of the wall on display in various museums such as the Newseum in DC and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in southern California, but did you know there are four places in NYC to see segments of the Berlin Wall? One is in a touristy Times Square museum, another at the United Nations, a third at a public plaza in Battery Park City, and the last inside a public office building lobby in Midtown (though recent reports say this piece has been moved to storage).

Learn more about these four spots

History, West Village 

6 Weehawken Street in 2017; Map data © 2019 Google

Three years after Jean-Louis Goldwater Bourgeois announced plans to transfer the deed of his West Village townhouse to a nonprofit organization run by a former chief of the Ramapough Indians—part of the Lenape Nation, the original Manhattanites—the millionaire activist (and artist Louise Bourgeois’ son) has decided to hold onto it after all. Bourgeois was working on plans to transform the historic wood-frame home into a patahmaniikan, or a prayer house, when he decided that he was in fact “married to this building” and no longer eager to give it away, as the New York Post reports.

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Events, History, holidays

Photo by Elena Gaillard on Wikimedia

To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, New Yorkers can take a free paddling tour of the Bronx River this weekend while learning about the experiences of 16th-century indigenous communities. Hosted by the Bronx River Alliance and Moskehtu Consulting, the event takes visitors on a 30-minute canoe paddle through the Mitshubishi River Walk in the Bronx Zoo and explores the life and culture of Native Americans with a living village.

How to sign up

Harlem, History

Mount morris fire watchtower, harlem fire watchtower, renovation, restoration, city landmarks, parks

Photo credit: Daniel Avila / NYC Parks.

The Harlem Fire Watchtower, also known as the Mount Morris Fire Watchtower, is the last structure of its kind in New York City. The 47-foot-tall tower was erected in 1856, the third of 11 fire towers built in Manhattan. Fire watchtowers were discontinued after 1878, but the bell in its tower continued to ring at 9am and noon for years after. The historic cast-iron tower has been restored and reunited with its original surroundings in Marcus Garvey park after having been in storage since 2015.

Find out more

Featured Story

Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History

17 legendary musicians who called Greenwich Village home

By Andrew Berman and Hunter Lane of Village Preservation, Thu, October 31, 2019

Photo of Bob Dylan by Chris Hakkens on Wikimedia, Photo of Janis Joplin via Wikimedia, Photo of Buddy Holly via Wikimedia, Photo of Jimi Hendrix via Wikimedia, Photo of Lou Reed by Mick Rock on Wikimedia

For generations, Greenwich Village, and particularly the historic district which lies at its core, has attracted musicians of all stripes. They’ve been inspired by its quaint and charming streets and the lively cultural scene located in and around the neighborhood. It would be a fool’s errand to try to name every great musician who ever laid their head to rest within the Greenwich Village Historic District’s boundaries. But as we round out a year’s worth of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the district’s designation, here are just a few of the greats who at one time or another called it home, from Bob Dylan to John Lennon to Jimi Hendrix to Barbra Streisand.

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Events, Features, History

The lead female runners at 81st Street and 1st Avenue in 2015, photo © 6sqft

The 49th New York City Marathon, taking place this Sunday, November 3rd, is the world’s largest marathon, and this year it will bring together more than 50,000 runners from over 125 countries, plus 10,000 volunteers and one million spectators. It wasn’t always this way, though. Started by the New York Road Runners Club in 1970, the race began as a few loops around Central Park with just over 100 runners. But the passion of its founders, coupled with the spirit of the city, grew the marathon into an event that generates $415 million for New York. In honor of the upcoming 2019 Marathon, 6sqft is taking a look back at the history of the race, its greatest moments, and what’s in store for this year.

All that right this way

Featured Story

Features, History

8 of New York City’s spookiest abandoned sites

By Lucie Levine, Mon, October 28, 2019

It often seems as if the jackhammer is the soundtrack to New York, as construction is a constant in this city. Given the frenetic pace of development in the five boroughs, it feels almost unbelievable that there are abandoned sites all over New York, left to go to seed as the steel skeletons of ever higher, newer, glassier structures rise around them. Here are eight of the most interesting abandoned sites in NYC, from the site of the city’s first airport to a defunct freight line.

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History, Policy

Photo by Si B on Flickr

As part of the city’s plan to diversify public art and recognize figures overlooked by history in New York City, Central Park is getting another statue, as the New York Times reports. The privately-funded monument will commemorate Seneca Village, the predominantly black community that was thriving until the 1850s in what became Central Park. Once again, however, the city’s commemorative statue planning has fallen afoul of historians. The proposed structure won’t be located at the site of Seneca Village, which for nearly three decades stretched between West 83rd and 89th streets in Central Park. Instead, the monument’s home will be in the park, but 20 blocks to the north on 106th street.

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