While New York City sat at the nexus of many important canals built in the 19th century — the Erie, Morris, and Delaware & Raritan among them — the city had its own internal network of lesser-known canals, some filled in, some never built, and some still with us today. As part of our ongoing virtual program series on canals, we will examine the ambitious schemes from the 17th century onward to connect the city’s bays and streams, from the Heere Graft of New Amsterdam to the Wallabout Canal of Brooklyn.
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.
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.
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.
When the Beatles began their “invasion” of America, New York City was their landing point, and the city would remain the site of many significant milestones in the band members’ careers. Join Beatles expert and museum professional Judy Vannais as she shares stories about the Beatles in New York City and their impact on American music, culture, and society. We virtually visit some of the Beatles’ most significant landmarks, from their arrival and first appearance on American TV, to venues for some of their biggest concerts, to sites of significant events that would impact American business and jurisprudence. So take a break from the “Taxman” and join our discussion!
Research supporting educational field trips to Four Freedoms Park // 2016
Turnstile Studio was selected by the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy to conduct supporting research for an educational program focusing on the history of social welfare in New York City. Using the landscape visible from the park, located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island in the East River, we identified a series of structures that typified different modes of housing to trace the history of housing for New Yorkers in need from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. Research included examining primary and secondary source materials from local archives, including the New-York Historical Society, the New York City Municipal Archives, the New York Public Library, and the La Guardia and Wagner Archives at La Guardia Community College.
Our good friend Jeff Orlick, who runs food tours in Queens, is working with the 82nd Street Partnership to organize a free festival in Elmhurst/Jackson Heights on Friday called Viva La Comida! The event will showcase the exciting diversity in the community and celebrate the food, music, craft, and culture of the area.