From the Civil War through the 1960’s, a site next to the Staten Island Ferry terminal served as the central depot supplying America’s lighthouses and Aids to Navigation. Join us for a virtual visit with historian Wade Goria to the National Lighthouse Museum, which tells the story of this essential service and the people, equipment, and structures that have kept America’s shipping channels safe.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, we are listening to the voices of men and women who lived through the war in Brooklyn. We will share a selection of the 100+ oral histories that make up the collection in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Archives to bring the city at war to life. Learn what it was like to be one of the first female shipworkers in 1942, or to face discrimination as a Black sailor in the segregated Navy, or to witness battered ships and sailors limp into the Yard from the war zone. Our team will also share our experiences recording oral histories with these remarkable people over the past 12 years.
Take a deep dive into the art and architecture of Prospect Park Zoo on this virtual program that will include a live broadcast interview with Zoo Director Denise McClean of the Wildlife Conservation Society. We will learn about the history of architectural designs for zoos across New York City, the story of architect Aymar Embury III and his designs for the zoo, stories behind the animal-inspired bas reliefs and sculptures, (including the artist behind the beloved topiary sculptures), and the evolution of the zoo itself over time.
For well over a century, City Island in western Long Island Sound was an important maritime community, not only as a destination for tourists — which it still is — but also as a center of yacht building and sail-making. As fiberglass superseded wood, the boatbuilding ceased, and the sail-making industry moved on to other locations, but the island remains proud of its nautical heritage, which is celebrated in the City Island Nautical Museum.
By the time he published Moby-Dick in 1851, Herman Melville’s career as a popular prose writer was almost over. While Melville was working on the docks as a customs inspector to support his family, his younger brother Thomas was across the harbor with one of the best jobs in New York City: governor of Staten Island’s Sailors’ Snug Harbor. Join this virtual program to celebrate Herman’s 201st birthday with John Rocco, a Distinguished Teaching Professor and Coordinator of the Maritime and Naval Studies (MNST) Master’s program at SUNY Maritime College, who will introduce us to the Melville brothers’ relationship and its impact on Melville’s “lost” years and final work, Billy Budd, Sailor.
Since its founding over 52 years ago, South Street Seaport Museum has faced the daunting job of preserving its historic fleet. Join us for a photographic voyage with Director of Historic Ships Jesse Lebovics to see the challenges and remarkable efforts made for the long term preservation of 1885 ship Wavertree, 1930 tugboat W.O. Decker, 1885 schooner Pioneer, and the planned upcoming work on 1907 lightship Ambrose.
Bowne & Co., Stationers opened their doors at the South Street Seaport Museum in 1975, 200 years after Robert Bowne founded his shop across the street on Queen Lane. Today Bowne & Co., continues the tradition of 19th-century letterpress printing. This virtual program with Art Director Rob Wilson – co-hosted with Stefan Dreisbach Williams from the home of Robert Bowne’s ancestors, the 1661 Bowne House in Flushing, Queens – investigates the changing role that stationery and printing offices played in New York City, and the ways in which Bowne & Co., uses its collection of 34 printing presses, and more than 2,400 cases of movable type in contemporary ways today.
Vermont is known for its natural beauty, but the National Park Service has only one property in the state, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park. Established in 1992, the park tells the story of three men who occupied the same piece of land over time in the small town of Woodstock, and each had a unique impact on preserving the restoring the natural landscape: diplomat and writer George Perkins Marsh, railroad tycoon Frederick Billings, and scion Laurance Rockefeller. This virtual program will look at the history of conservation as told through this site, and explore some of the features of the park in and around Woodstock.
Manhattan’s Chinatown has been a destination for visitors from around the world seeking exotic food and curiosities for more than 100 years. Think!Chinatown works to demystify this neighborhood, while connecting people and resources to Chinatown businesses and organizations. Co-founder Yin Kong will share some of Think!Chinatown’s most recent projects, discuss their work with the community, and talk about how the neighborhood is working through this difficult time. We’ll explore how the organization uses design, community, and civic engagement as a way to connect visitors and locals alike with a sense of place in one of NYC’s most dynamic and vibrant immigrant neighborhoods. Chinatown is so much more than a culinary destination!
The day that news of the Titanic’s sinking reached New York, dignitaries assembled at 25 South Street on the tip of Lower Manhattan to lay the cornerstone. That building would stand tall among the icons of the Port of New York and vastly improved the lives of the seafarers who helped build this port city’s commerce. In this program, the Seamen’s Church Institute’s Senior Archivist and Queens College Assistant Professor Johnathan Thayer discusses SCI, its iconic building at 25 South Street, and its ongoing commitment to the unseen workforce on our oceans and inland waterways.