History

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Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History

Before the duel: Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton’s NYC haunts

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Thu, July 11, 2019

An illustration of the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, via Wiki Commons

On July 11, 1804, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton crossed paths for the last time. That was the date of their infamous duel on the cliffs of Weehawken, New Jersey when Burr exacted his long-desired revenge upon Hamilton with a gunshot to the abdomen. But this was not the first time the two men’s lives and careers came in contact. One such place of frequent intersection for the bitter rivals was Greenwich Village – where Burr lived and Hamilton ultimately died. And it’s in Greenwich Village, and the nearby East Village and Soho, where many reminders of these two titanic figures of early American politics can still be found today. Ahead, learn about five sites where Burr and Hamilton made history.

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Greenwich Village, History

Via Wikimedia

While upgrading water mains under Washington Square Park in 2015, city workers unearthed two 19th-century burial vaults containing the skeletal remains of at least a dozen people. As part of Landmarks Preservation Commission protocol, intact burials were left untouched, but the city had removed several hundred bone fragments. Four years later, plans to rebury the remains under the park are moving forward as the Parks and Recreation Department presents its idea to place the fragments in a “coffin-sized” box, according to the Villager.

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Downtown Brooklyn, History

Image via Google Maps

Just across the street from Willoughby Park, where the city is planning a memorial to commemorate the abolitionist history of Downtown Brooklyn, the townhouse at 227 Duffield Place—once the home of prominent abolitionists Thomas and Harriet Truesdell and believed to be a stop on the Underground Railroad—is facing an uncertain future. As Brownstoner reported, demolition plans were filed with the city’s Department of Buildings on June 5 and an eviction notice has been posted at the site.

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Features, History

“Gertrude Ederle Parade,” 1926, via Wikimedia Commons

When the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team walks along the Canyon of Heroes from Broadway up to City Hall today in the city’s 207th official Ticker-Tape Parade, they will be in good company. For more than 120 years, politicians, aviators, adventurers, generals, and sports teams have been showered with felicitations and falling office paper. But this beloved tradition actually originated spontaneously on October 28, 1886, when Wall Streeters began throwing ticker-tape out their office windows as an enraptured public marched down Broadway to the Battery to celebrate the dedication of “Liberty Enlightening the World,” or the Statue of Liberty as we know her. Ahead, learn the entire history of Ticker-Tape Parades in NYC, from George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt to Jesse Owens and Joe DiMaggio.

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History, Museums, Starchitecture

Guggenheim, Frank Lloyd Wright

Photo via Wiki Commons

Eight buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright have been named UNESCO World Heritage sites, including New York City’s iconic Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The buildings were given heritage status by the organization’s World Heritage Committee at a July 7 meeting (h/t Dezeen). Additional Wright creations named to the list are Fallingwater (Pennsylvania), Frederick C. Robie House (Illinois), Hollyhock House (California), the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House (Wisconsin), Unity Temple (Illinois), and Wright’s homes and studios at Taliesin, Wisconsin and Taliesin West, Arizona.

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Features, History, Policy

Sea Breeze Hospital in Coney Island via Library of Congress

As of this month, there have been 619 confirmed cases of measles in New York City since September, according to health officials. The current measles outbreak is mostly contained in the ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn communities of Williamsburg and Borough Park. While the city believes the outbreak is slowing, it has revealed just how challenging it can be to keep highly contagious diseases under control in high-density cities like New York. But fortunately, New York has a gold standard for managing outbreaks of contagious diseases. From managing the flu pandemic of 1918 to the tuberculosis surge at the turn of the 19th century, the city’s public health officials have been containing outbreaks for well over a century.

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Coney Island, Features, History

Feltman's Coney Island, Coney Island hot dogs, Coney Island red hots, hot dog history, Charles Feltman

Feltman’s via Boston Public Library

It’s not often that you’ll go to a New York restaurant and find “hot dog” on the menu. The meaty delight is typically reserved for baseball games (in the foot-long variety) and summertime jaunts on the boardwalk. And of course, when we say boardwalk in NYC, we’re talking about Coney Island, widely believed to be the birthplace of the modern American frankfurter.

The name Nathan’s has become synonymous with Coney Island, whether it be for the annual hot dog-eating contest or the childhood nostalgia of the boardwalk. It’s also become arguably the biggest name in the hot dog world in general. But, believe it or not, Nathan’s was not the first place to serve up franks in the seaside neighborhood. That distinction goes to Feltman’s, which was begun in 1867 as a pushcart by German immigrant Charles Feltman, considered the inventor of the hot dog on a bun.

Find out how the Coney Island hot dog got its start

History, Midtown, Museums

declaration of independence, independence day, thomas jefferson

Photo by Nicole Mondrus for 6sqft

While hotels and parks around the city are getting ready for the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show, the New York Public Library is going the historical route with their celebrations–by putting a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence on display. This copy, written in Thomas Jefferson’s handwriting, will be available to view for a limited time next Monday and Tuesday at their iconic Bryant Park location.

Find out when you can take a look…

History, Landscape Architecture

Belvedere Castle, Central Park

The restored Belvedere at night, courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy

As 6sqft reported, Central Park’s Belvedere Castle is open to the public today after a comprehensive $12 million restoration effort. In addition to a restored facade, new clear-pane-glass windows, new mechanical and utility systems and a the re-creation of the wooden tower that was part of Olmsted and Vaux’s original design, the Central Park Conservancy has introduced nighttime lighting. As night falls, the Belvedere will be illuminated and visible from various locations in the park–most strikingly from across Turtle Pond.

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Features, Greenwich Village, History

The long road to landmark: How NYC’s Stonewall Inn became a symbol of civil rights

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Fri, June 28, 2019

Via NPCA on Flickr

Millions will converge in New York City this weekend to celebrate events which took place in and outside of a Greenwich Village bar 50 years ago. The Stonewall Riots will not only be memorialized here in New York City, but those events have come to take on international significance. There are celebrations and marches in countries across the globe, with the name ‘Stonewall’ also used by countless organizations and entities around the world to signify the quest for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality.

But 50 years ago those three nights of protests were barely noticed beyond the boundaries of the local neighborhood and a small but energized group of activists and rabble-rousers. They garnered little media attention, and most of the attention received was pretty negative – including from the gay community. So how did the events at the Stonewall 50 years ago go from an obscure set of disturbances at the tail end of the decade marked by strife and disorder, to an internationally-recognized symbol of a civil rights movement? Ahead, learn about Stonewall’s long road to becoming a civil rights landmark.

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