In 1881, Spanish engineer Rafael Guastavino arrived in New York City and unveiled his new technology for building self-supporting vaulted tile ceilings. These ceilings are now iconic elements of many New York landmarks, and the city is home to more than 250 of them, more than any other city in the United States. On this virtual tour, we’ll look at many of the ceilings up close, in both grand public buildings and out-of-the-way places, including in Prospect Park, Grand Central Station, Ellis Island, and the Municipal Building, as we discuss this engineering marvel.
You may have seen people collecting cans and bottles, dependent upon the few cent deposit for their livelihood. For the past 10 years, Sure We Can has provided a sustainable and safe space for this community to thrive. The non-profit organization is not only a recycling center, but also an art space, community center, garden, composting facility, and a place for the local community to learn about sustainability. Join us as we chat with executive director Ryan Castalia and take a virtual tour through this incredible facility in Brooklyn, where we may even get to meet a canner or two to hear their stories.
Originally from Connecticut and of Portuguese descent, New York-based artist Ralph Almeida creates colorful and imaginative “pop-surreal” works of ceramic and acrylic art that combine many influences – of indigenous and modern artists, the ancient and contemporary, nature and spirituality, and his own background as a textile designer. Ralph is perhaps best known for his painted decorative tiles, and he will walk us through a hands-on tile demo and some of his favorite projects, from tiles inspired by the stained glass windows of the Museum at Eldridge Street, to special commissions for people’s homes to decorative face masks.
Take a virtual ride with us on the South Brooklyn route of the NYC Ferry. We will board at Corlears Hook and examine the Brooklyn waterfront as we ride past DUMBO, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Red Hook, Sunset Park, and finally end in Bay Ridge. Along the way, we will look back at the industrial history of these neighborhoods and see some of the last vestiges of the industrial and working waterfront in Brooklyn, including the Red Hook Container Terminal, Erie Basin, and the Brooklyn Army Terminal. We will also discuss many of things to see and do near the ferry stops.
Join us for story-time with Canadian children’s author Peter G. Reynolds. Peter will read from his illustrated book Lost Hallway which follows the adventures of a young boy who discovers a magical world that contains all lost things, as well as selected stories from his podcast, “Musings and Other Nonsense.” There will also be an “interactive story” with Peter inviting the youngsters to help him create a children’s story live during the show. Suitable for kids 3 and up and anyone who likes a good tale.
November 24 marks the 161st birthday of the famed architect Cass Gilbert, and to celebrate, we are taking a deep dive into his body of work in New York City. We will be joined by Helen Post Curry, Gilbert’s great-granddaughter, an expert on his life and work, and the founder of Woolworth Tours. Though born and raised in the Midwest, he rose to national prominence after moving to New York, where he built such landmarks as the Custom House, 90 West Street, the Woolworth Building, and of course, the Brooklyn Army Terminal. We will also discuss some of the less well-known buildings of his portfolio, including Brooklyn’s Austin, Nichols & Co. Building and a string of small railway stations in the Bronx, and his mastery of a wide diversity of styles that made him one of the most versatile architects of his era.
Renowned nautical photographer Jonathan Atkin takes us on a high-flying tour of New York’s working waterfront, which he often photographs from the air to capture container ships, cruise liners, military vessels, and any other type of working craft. For every shoot, Atkin must coordinate logistics among at least 40 people in a high value, high security setting while hoping the weather cooperates. His experience as a merchant seaman and his knowledge of the harbor and its operations are critical to his success. Come along for a ride like no other as Atkin shares a bit of his knowledge and some of his work.
Broadway is still shuttered, and theaters across the country are trying to figure out how to stay afloat during an age of social distancing. Shelley Butler and West Hyler are both acclaimed international theatre directors who have worked everywhere from Broadway to Denver to Bulgaria. Together they came up with a concept for a new socially-distanced type of theatre – an interactive way of telling stories that does not involve a screen. Artistic Stamp is currently in its first season, where audience members get to interact directly with characters through a series of letters that come through the mail. It is a unique and utterly original way to support theatre artists and the craft of storytelling. Join us as we meet this talented and innovative couple to discuss the concept, execution, and what the future may hold for theatrical stories.
More than 2,800 Brooklynites were killed in World War I, and Prospect Park quickly became one of the borough’s key points of remembrance and commemoration. On this virtual walking tour for Veterans Day, we will explore some of the memorial sites in the park and they people they memorialize, including the memorial trees along Prospect Park West, Bartel-Pritchard Square, and the striking 1921 memorial by Henry Augustus Lukeman. We will also discuss the ways in which the park was mobilized and transformed as a result of the war.
Join us for a virtual exploration of Prospect Park’s waterways. We will look closely at the ingenious drainage system and chain of manmade streams and ponds that terminate in Brooklyn’s largest lake, follow the park’s scenic watercourse, and go inside one of the most unique features of the park: the 1869 Wellhouse, the park’s last remaining building by park designer Calvert Vaux, which once housed the machinery that fueled the watercourse and was recently restored by the Prospect Park Alliance and converted into the first composting restrooms in a NYC park.