This week on “The Historians” podcast, Jerry Snyder of Historic Amsterdam League talks about the mansions built during the industrial heyday in Amsterdam, NY, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many post card views and photos of these houses are published by the League in the Amsterdam Icons 2017 Calendar. Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
Though Olive Tjaden’s name is not known to most Long Islanders today, a mayor of Garden City in the 1930s reportedly suggested that the community be renamed Tjaden City, because she designed so many houses in the village.
Cornell University, her alma mater, named Olive Tjaden Hall for her in 1980. The story of this prolific woman architect appears in “Designing Suburbia: Olive Tjaden on Long Island,” in the recently issued Nassau County Historical Society Journal. Continue reading
A standard in the field since its publication in 1992, A History of Housing in New York City traces New York’s housing development from 1850 to the present in text and profuse illustrations.
Richard Plunz explores the housing of all classes, with comparative discussion of the development of types ranging from the single-family house to the high-rise apartment tower. His analysis is placed within the context of the broader political and cultural development of New York City. Continue reading
The Brentwood Historical Society has made the preservation of the Modern Times School in Brentwood, Suffolk County, Long Island the primary mission of the group for the past five years.
In 2016, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation awarded a grant in the amount of $72,290.00 for preservation, matching funds already raised by the historical society. The grant is expected to allow work to start. Continue reading
The Copake Iron Works historic site in Taconic State Park has been designated a Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site.
The recognition, awarded through the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, in partnership with the National Park Service, recognizes the Copake Iron Works as a nationally-significant cultural and natural resource of the Hudson River Valley. Continue reading
National Parks of New York Harbor’s Gateway National Recreation Area has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to lease Jacob Riis Beach facilities for adaptive reuse.
The facilities include the historic one story Jacob Riis Beach Entry Pavilion, a portion of the Jacob Riis Beach Bathhouse (excluding the area on the first and second floor of the east wing that currently houses NPS lifeguards), a portion of the East Wing Pavilion Building (excluding the northern half of the building, which contains NPS maintained public restrooms) and a portion of the Courtyard (excluding the area set aside for use by the NPS). Continue reading
The skyscraper can trace its ancestry back many years, millennia in fact, before the existence of New York City. The book of Genesis tells the story of Babel, the Babylonian city in which Noah’s descendants tried to erect the mythological tower: ‘Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into Heaven.’ For their presumption the people were punished: their words were made incomprehensible to one another. This aetiological tale of the diversity of speech could easily be applied to New York, home to the speakers of some 800 languages, a city in which cab drivers routinely set their satnavs to Russian, Bengali or Serbo-Croatian. Continue reading
When you turn on your kitchen faucet you probably don’t give it much thought, yet it’s a marvel of modern history.
For centuries, to get water into the house it was necessary to fill your buckets from a fast moving stream and lug them home. Later, you might have filled them from a well or cistern, but still had the chore of lugging them back to the house. Every drop of water you wanted for drinking, cooking or washing had to be transported this way and it was a seemingly endless task. In winter, you might have to carry an axe with you so you could break through the ice that had formed overnight. Here in the Adirondacks, wells were sometimes dug right under the house so getting water wouldn’t be quite so arduous, especially in winter. Common indoor plumbing with water to a faucet didn’t arrive in most homes in the Adirondacks until the 20th century. But there were exceptions, one of which was the LeRay Mansion near the town of Leraysville in Jefferson County. Continue reading
Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the region’s historic preservation organization, will be presenting its Annual Preservation Awards on Monday, October 3 to eight projects that exemplify the preservation work being done in communities throughout the Adirondacks. These awards are meant to honor the best examples of sensitive restoration, rehabilitation, and demonstrated long-term stewardship by individuals, organizations, local governments and businesses. Continue reading
David Byars’ new book, Our Time at Foxhollow Farm a Hudson Valley Family Remembered (SUNY Press, 2016) is a pictorial history of a wealthy Hudson Valley family in the early decades of the twentieth century. Illustrated with the family’s extensive collection of personal albums compiled during the nascent years of photography, it provides a fascinating insight into the regional, social, and architectural history of the era. Continue reading