Can you locate Tudor City on a map? Did you know it was a development used to clear out undesirable slums along the waterfront? Have you heard it contains more than 2,200 apartments smaller than 400 square feet—”the antique mother load of micro-living”? As far as New York City’s hidden gems go, Tudor City is a neighborhood that is often overlooked. But if you’re one who is interested in history, architecture, urban design, or all of the above, this verdant east side enclave is one that deserves at least an hour or two of exploration. On May 5th, 6th and 7th you’ll get a chance delve deep into the history of this incredible 11-building development, as local historian and activist Brian K. Thompson leads several free public tours through early 20th-century development.
“Developed in the late 1920’s as a community where “young executives and librarians” could “Walk to Business” Tudor City is today an Historic District of 3,300 apartments. As nearly 75% of the units studio apartments of less than 400 Sq.Ft., its future is being redefined as a prime example of micro-living in the 21st Century. Mirroring Jane Jacobs’ leadership at Washington Square Park, is Tudor City’s epic struggle of 1970 to 1985 to save its private parks against an “as of right development.” The Tudor City community organized with city leaders as it struggled to retain the parks as a community asset. The effort saw senior citizens confined to walkers grappling with bulldozers as city officials offered several land swaps in an attempt to save the parks. By the end community’s persistence created a widely cited Appellate Division land use decision on the way to an unimaginably narrow victory for one of Midtown’s crown jewels. Today the private parks – open to the public – straddle 42nd Street between the Ford Foundation and the United Nations. They stand as model examples of prudence, zeal, and dedication to the creation of urban culture.”
The event is part of Jane’s Walk, a global event of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by activist Jane Jacobs. Each walk aims to promote community and encourages people to explore their cities, share their knowledge, and connect with their neighbors.
The Tudor City tours last two hours and will be held at:
41st Street Cul de Sac at Tudor City Place
Friday, May 5, 2017, 1:00 PM
Saturday, May 6, 2017, 9:00 AM
Saturday, May 6, 2017, 4:30 PM
Sunady, May 7, 2017, 1:00 PM
You can also check out what other 200+ walks are being offered as part of Jane’s Walk here.
- Radio Row: A Tinkerer’s Paradise and Makerspace, Lost to the World Trade Center
- The History of New York’s Newspaper Row, The Epicenter of 19th Century News
- The history of NYC’s Quonset Huts, Robert Moses-era veterans housing