Take a virtual visit to one of the most popular sites of Open House New York Weekend, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and join us for a live exploration of the site’s architecture, history, and industry. Designed by architect Cass Gilbert and built in 1918–1919, the Terminal is an architectural and engineering marvel that served as a major military installation for nearly 50 years. Today it is a city-owned industrial park that is home to over 100 tenants, including manufacturers, technology companies, nonprofits, artists, and more. On this virtual tour, we will explore the history and architecture of the stunning atrium, and visit with Adapt Ability Bikes, a nonprofit that builds adaptive bicycles for people with disabilities, and stop into BioBAT Art Space to see the work of artist Tatiana Arocha.>> Continue reading
In colonial New York, reliable power came from muscles (human and animal), firewood, and tides. From Spuyten Duyvil to Marine Park, Wallabout Bay to Flushing Bay, settlers turned many tidal marshes across New York’s vast estuary into millponds to run machinery as the water ebbed. In this virtual program, Brad Vogel of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club and the Tide Mill Institute will share examples of this green energy from the past.
- Sergey Kadinsky’s Hidden Waters Blog
- Verdant Power
- Pliant Energy Systems
- PortSide NY’s Red Hook WaterStories
- Marine Park Alliance
- New York Preservation Archive Project
To celebrate Brooklyn Battle Week, take a virtual walk through Prospect Park and follow the battle lines of the largest engagement of the Revolutionary War. We will see see where American forces tried unsuccessfully to stop the British advance at Battle Pass, follow the path some used to escape to join the main battle in Gowanus, and visit the many Revolutionary War monuments in the park, including Daniel Chester French’s sculpture to the Marquis de Lafayette and Stanford White’s memorial to the 1st Maryland Regiment.
- Old Stone House – Brooklyn Battle Week Events
- Old Stone House Battle of Brooklyn Walking Guide
- Henry P. Johnston (1878) Plan of the Battle of Long Island and of the Brooklyn Defences
- George S. Sproule (1781) A Plan of the Environs of Brooklyn Showing the Position of the Rebel Lines and Defences
- Green-Wood Cemetery
Built in 1874, the Concert Grove Pavilion is a stunning example of Prospect Park co-designer Calvert Vaux’ colorful and decorative style. Earlier this year, the Prospect Park Alliance completed a $2 million restoration of the pavilion, which was last restored in 1988. Joined by Prospect Park Alliance Assistant Architect Sheena Enriquez, we will look closely at the pavilion’s beautiful details, including its cast iron columns that contain motifs borrowed from Hindu, Chinese, Moorish, and Egyptian architecture, its elaborate roof finials and eaves, and its newly-illuminated stained glass ceiling. Sheena will share how the restoration team did extensive archival research, conducted color testing to match the pavilion’s original design, and repaired and recreated damaged or missing pieces.
- WATCH Restoring the Endale Arch
- “Return to Splendor” (Architectural Record)
- Prospect Park Alliance Gala, Sep 30, 2021
- Become a Prospect Park Alliance member
Photo by Paul Martinka
Concrete may seem like an odd material for shipbuilding, but during World War I, severe shortages of steel led to this innovation. Devised by Norwegian immigrants the Fougner brothers, they built one of the first such ships in the US at their shipyard in Flushing, Queens. The technology reached its apex during World War II, when the US built over 100 ships and barges, and they were used as freighters, tankers, and even floating ice cream factories. Large-scale concrete shipbuilding is a thing of the past, but we will examine the fates of these wartime ships, and discuss many examples of concrete boatbuilding today.
- Concrete Ships
- Nicolay Fougner (1922) Seagoing and Other Concrete Ships
- John Vasta (1952) The Concrete Ship Program of World War II
- “How Poured Ships are Built” (Popular Science)
- “How the Navy’s ban on booze birthed a million-dollar floating ice cream parlor” (Task & Purpose)
Earlier this month, Boom Technology announced that United Airlines planned to purchase its Overture supersonic airliner, which they hope to bring into service by the end of the decade. If successful, it will begin the first supersonic passenger service since the retirement of Concorde in 2003. Though a monumental engineering achievement, Concorde was always a star-crossed money-loser, facing technical challenges, high operating costs, and local opposition to its ear-splitting noise. This program will look at the airplane’s development, its controversial arrival in New York in 1977, its 26 years of New York service, and its return to the city as a part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Hosted by Andrew Gustafson, he will also show some of his collection of Concorde memorabilia, gathered mostly by his father on 60+ lifetime flights.
- Concorde SST history
- Heritage Concorde history
- Flights of the Concorde (in French)
- Mach 2 Concorde history magazine
- Concorde at Intrepid Museum
- Empire State Aerosciences Museum
- WATCH: AP report on Concorde’s first flight to JFK, Nov 22, 1977
Built on the footprint of the piers and warehouses of the historic Bush Terminal, Bush Terminal Park provided much-needed green space and waterfront access to the Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood when it opened in 2014. Join us for a virtual walk through the 22-acre park, which offers remnants of the site’s maritime and manufacturing history, unique engineered tide pools and a wild-growing forest, and unparalleled views of the harbor and skyline.
- WATCH Made in NY Campus at Bush Terminal Virtual Tour | Episode 218
- “Finally, A Park Grows in Brooklyn’s Last Industrial Pocket” (Curbed)
- Sunset Park 197-A Plan (2011)
- SCAPE Studio Deconstructed Salt Marsh (2014)
- Billion Oyster Project in Bush Terminal Park
- “Carnage and Heroism: Memories of 1956 Bush Terminal Explosion” (NY Times)
The formal education of Black New Yorkers began with the Manumission Society’s African Free Schools, which first opened in 1787. Though the city was at the forefront of Black education, it would take decades to break down barriers to higher education, and schools, students, teachers, and benefactors were under threat of racial violence. This virtual program will examine the early history of Black schools in the city and neighboring Brooklyn, and the impact the evolving political discourse – and violence – around slavery had on them. This discussion will be hosted not in New York, but near the small town of Canaan, New Hampshire, which was the site of a horrific act of racial violence in 1835: the destruction of the Noyes Academy, the first racially-integrated college preparatory school in the country.
- African Free School Collection (New-York Historical Society)
- The Battle over Abolition (Museum of the City of New York)
- Mabee, Carleton (1979). Black Education in New York State: From Colonial to Modern Times
- Pride and Prejudice at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University
- The Charles A. Dorsey Community School P.S. 67
- Canaan Historical Society Noyes Academy Study Group
Join us for a special panel discussion and virtual tour of Staten Island’s landmark Olmsted-Beil House, an historic farmhouse and museum where landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted began his monumental career. While Central Park, Prospect Park, and countless other parks across America display Olmsted’s genius, beginning in 1848, this farmstead is where he developed his professional interest in landscape design. Here he learned horticulture, experimented with different plants and landscape forms, and wrote about his travels to public parks in Europe. On this program, we will explore the property grounds with historian and Friends of the Olmsted-Beil House board member Patricia Salmon, and we will be joined by Justin Martin, author of Olmsted biography Genius of Place.
As we approach New York City’s primary elections on June 22, housing, as always, is a key issue on the ballot. So we are looking back at the history of social housing in New York – not just the city’s vast NYCHA public housing system, but also other forms of government and philanthropic intervention that have tried to tame the beast of unsafe, unsanitary, and unaffordable housing over the past 100+ years. This program will look at examples of model housing designed by social reformers, landmark cooperatives built by labor unions and community groups, the rise of public housing beginning in the 1930s, and public subsidies for private developments. This wide-ranging examination will take us from the Home and Tower Buildings to the First Houses, from Stuy-Town to the housing lottery.