By Aaron Ginsburg, Fri, January 13, 2023
Photo courtesy of Whitney Cox
Tours of Brooklyn’s historic Kings Theatre are back. Over the course of the 75-minute tour, guests will be transported nearly 100 years into the past, learning about the opulent theater’s history and striking architecture. Highlights include insight into the theater’s baroque stylings and a closer look at the Robert Morgan Wonder Organ. Tours will be hosted on February 18 at 1 p.m., March 11 at 1 p.m., and for the first time, a weekday tour on Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m.
Learn more here
By Devin Gannon, Mon, January 9, 2023
Photo courtesy of Friends of the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse
Plans to restore New York City’s Titanic Memorial Lighthouse are moving forward. Built in 1913 to honor those who died aboard the Titanic, the 60-foot-tall lighthouse featured a working “time ball” that dropped down the pole each day, along with a green light. After a four-year campaign, a request for proposals has been issued to restore the monument to its original working condition.
Get the details
By Aaron Ginsburg, Tue, January 3, 2023
Image via WikiCommons
Sahadi’s, a New York City staple for more than 120 years, has been added to the state’s Historic Business Preservation Registry, as first reported by the Brooklyn Paper. The Middle Eastern grocery store and cafe first opened in Lower Manhattan in 1895 before moving to Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue in 1948 where it has been located ever since. The registry, overseen by the Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, recognizes businesses that have operated for at least 50 years and have “contributed to their communities’ history.”
Get the details
By Michelle Cohen, Wed, December 21, 2022
Bain News Service, Publisher. Xmas tree in Madison Sq. Park, N.Y.C. , ca. 1910. [Between and Ca. 1915] Photograph. Library of Congress Digital Collections.
On December 21, 1912, a 60-foot-tall tree arrived by horse-drawn truck from the Adirondacks to provide Manhattan’s Madison Square Park with the glow of 2,300 colored electric bulbs. The twinklers were donated by the Edison Company, and the tree was the first of its kind: Having a Christmas tree in one’s living room was a familiar custom, but a tree outside in a public park was something new.
Get the whole history right this way
By Devin Gannon, Wed, December 21, 2022
Photo by Wes Tarca
An iconic sign that was part of the Brooklyn skyline for nearly a century has returned to its rightful place. A replica of the 40-foot Domino Sugar sign was installed and fully illuminated this week atop Williamsburg’s Domino Sugar Refinery building, which was part of a massive sugar factory that operated from the 1880s to the early 2000s. Located at the 11-acre Domino Sugar redevelopment, the landmarked 19th-century building is currently being transformed into a modern commercial building.
By Aaron Ginsburg, Tue, December 6, 2022
Julius’ Bar. Map data © 2020 Google
New York City’s oldest gay bar is the city’s newest landmark. The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to designate Julius’ Bar as an individual landmark, citing the significant role the historic Greenwich Village establishment played in advancing rights for LGBTQ+ New Yorkers. The bar was the site of the 1966 “Sip-In,” a protest by members of the Mattachine Society against a New York state law that prohibited bars from serving “suspected gay men or lesbians.”
By Lucie Levine, Thu, December 1, 2022
Shoppers check out a holiday window, via The Library of Congress
Santa rode in on his sleigh at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Christmas Tree is now lit at Rockefeller Center, so you know what that means: It’s officially the holiday season in New York. It’s fitting that Macy’s heralds the beginning of our collective good cheer since R. H. Macy himself revolutionized the holiday season when he debuted the nation’s very first Christmas Windows at his store on 14th Street in 1874. Since then, all of New York’s major department stores have been turning merchandise into magic with show-stopping holiday window displays. Historically, New York’s holiday windows have deployed a combination of spectacle, science, and art, with cutting-edge technology and the talents of such luminaries as Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, and Robert Rauschenberg. From hydraulic lifts to steam-powered windows, take a look back at the history of New York’s holiday windows, the last word in high-tech, high-design holiday cheer.
Look at more holiday history here
By Aaron Ginsburg, Tue, November 29, 2022
Photo by Eden, Janine and Jim on Flickr
A historic church that has resided in Manhattan for more than 175 years is set to be demolished, as first reported by Crain’s New York. Located at 154 Lexington Avenue in Nomad, the First Moravian Church served as an important meeting space for patriotic societies and women’s groups and played a critical role in welcoming Armenian immigrants to New York City. An application was filed this month for an 11-story mixed-use building at the site, according to city records.
By Aaron Ginsburg, Mon, November 28, 2022
Photo of the 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree courtesy of Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer
New York City’s annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has been a favorite holiday tradition for New Yorkers and visitors alike since its inception in the early 1930s. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the festive tradition that draws hundreds of thousands of people daily to the area around Fifth Avenue. From the tree’s humble beginnings as a place to gather during the Great Depression to its 50,000 sparkling lights and 900-pound Swarovski crystal-covered star topper, here are 10 things you might not know about the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
Get the fun facts here
By Aaron Ginsburg, Tue, November 22, 2022
Street view of the Lesbian Herstory Archives at 484 14th Street in Park Slope; © Google Maps
A row house in Brooklyn that is home to the country’s oldest and largest collection of lesbian-related historic material is New York City’s newest landmark. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on Tuesday voted to designate the Lesbian Herstory Archives building as an individual landmark, the first in Brooklyn designated for its connection to the LGBTQ+ community.