For the man who knows seemingly everything about New York City history, look no further than Francis Morrone. Francis is an architectural historian best known for his writings and walking tours of New York. Of his 11 books, he wrote the actual guidebook to New York City architecture—aptly titled “The Architectural Guidebook to New York City“—as well as the “Guide to New York City Urban Landscapes,” “An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn,” and “10 Architectural Walks In Manhattan.” For six and a half years, Francis served as an art and architecture critic for the New York Sun, and he now teaches architectural and urban history at the New York University School of Professional Studies.
As for walking tours, Francis was named by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the 13 best tour guides in the world. You can catch his various tours, which sell out quickly and cover everything from “Midtown Manhattan’s Side Streets” to the “Architecture and Changing Lifestyles in Greenwich Village,” through the Municipal Art Society. We caught up with Francis recently after he published a much buzzed-about article for the Daily News entitled, “No, New York City Is Not Losing Its Soul,” to talk about his life and work in the city, his opinions on modern architecture and development, and his favorite time period of New York City history.