On a bitterly cold January morning in 1917, the painters John Sloan and Marcel Duchamps, along with friends, climbed to the top of Washington Square Arch to proclaim the secession of Greenwich Village from the United States. Thenceforth the neighborhood that stood as America’s repository of avant-garde art, literature and social enlightenment would be known as the Free and Independent Republic of Washington Square. The stunt defined the character of the Village, as it is popularly known to New Yorkers, for the ensuing half century. Continue reading
This conflict also known as “The New York Conspiracy Riot” was an amazingly intricate and brutal affair that in addition to its local implications had an international twist as well.
In the context of the longstanding European conflicts, English colonists in New York City felt anxious about the French presence in Canada to the north and Spanish colonies in the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River Valley to the South and West. They also felt threatened by a recent influx of Irish immigrants, whose Catholicism might incline them to spy for France and Spain. 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 Lower Manhattan Historical Society and the Veteran Corps of Artillery of the State of New York have announced the third annual celebatory commemoration of Evacuation Day, on Friday, November 25th, 2016.
On November 25, 1783, the British occupying garrison evacuated New York City at the conclusion of the Revolutionary war. On this day general George Washington, Commander-in-chief of the continental army, marched his troops into Lower Manhattan, thereby liberating New York City from British occupation. Continue reading
On November 25, 1783, George Washington marched down Broadway in New York City retaking the last British stronghold in the United States. By prearrangement, the British and their many Tory supporters were to leave the City by 12 pm. The American flag was to be raised at the flagpole at the north end of what is today Bowling Green park, officially ending the American Revolution. There was, however, one minor snag. When the American advance guard sought to put up the 13-star American flag, they discovered the British had greased the pole, so that the British flag could not be brought down. Washington said he would not enter the lower part of the City until the American flag was flying. A young sailor John Van Arsdale then bought cleats from a local hardware store and shimmied up the flagpole to raise the American flag, and Washington’s triumphant march to Lower Manhattan continued. Continue reading
National Park Service, Manhattan Sites and the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy (Harbor Conservancy) announced that Federal Hall National Memorial is available to rent for special events.
Federal Hall National Monument is one of 413 units of the National Park Service. From 1789 to 1790, the location of Federal Hall National Memorial was the seat of the United States federal government under the new Constitution. Congress passed many of the founding laws of the nation and approved the Bill of Rights for ratification by the states. The 1883 statue of George Washington commemorates where our first president took the oath of office on April 30, 1789. Continue reading
When it comes to traffic signals, most people overlook them, but many are unaware that there is a history behind them.
Steven Gembara’s new book New York City’s Red and Green Lights: a Brief Look Back in Time (FastPencil, 2015) offers a unique perspective on the two-color traffic signal’s existence in the 20th century in New York City and how it helped evolved the city’s streets to what they are in the modern day. Continue reading
The Lower Manhattan Historical Society as announced the third annual commemoration of the American Revolutionary War victories at the battles of Saratoga and Yorktown, at the Trinity Churchyard, 79 Broadway (at Wall Street), in the City of New York.
The ceremony will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2016, from 2:30 to 3:30 pm, two days before the 239th anniversary of the surrender by British General Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne of his 10,000 man force to American General Horatio Gates, the commanding general at the Battle of Saratoga, on October 17, 1777. Continue reading
The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) has announced the release of anew book, New York City Municipal Archives: An Authorized Guide for Family Historians (NYG&B, 2016), by Aaron Goodwin.
The 245-page guide will help make research at the New York City Municipal Archives far more approachable and will introduce researchers to many previously-unknown record collections housed there. Continue reading
339 West 29th Street, aka the Hopper-Gibbons House in the Lamartine Place Historic District is a former Underground Railroad stop in Chelsea, Manhattan.
The house and the row was designated as an historic district for cultural reasons – the family of no. 339 was violently attacked in the 1863 Draft Riots for harboring runaway slaves. The abolitionists escaped via the rooftop, hopping house to house until ultimately making a safe exit through a neighboring home. Continue reading