In 1998, a 15-ton, 26-foot-by-12-foot section of Titanic’s hull was salvaged from the wreck. Since its raising, this powerful remnant of that ship of near-mythic status has been on exhibit at the MGM Luxor Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. Charlie Deroko, marine surveyor and retired waterfront director for the South Street Seaport Museum, joins us to discuss his project “A Quiet Sea,” which seeks to bring this artifact to New York City to symbolically complete Titanic’s maiden voyage.>> Continue reading
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
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.
On May 22, 1819, Savannah departed its namesake harbor bound for Liverpool on the first transoceanic voyage by a steamship. The mark this historic event, each year we celebrate National Maritime Day to recognize the contributions of the maritime industry and country’s working waterfront. Join us for a an evening of nautical trivia, about New York Harbor and beyond, from the 18th century to the present day. Presented by our maritime mavens Stefan D-W and Andrew Gustafson, we will also be joined by some special waterfront guests.
Running from the Canadian border to Long Island Sound, the Connecticut River cuts through the heart of New England. And for a period of about 40 years, a concerted effort was made to turn the rather wild and narrow river into a transportation superhighway to rival the Hudson. Between 1792 and 1835, seven canals were built to circumvent rapids, with the dream of making the river navigable as far as Barnet, Vermont, 280 miles from the Sound. In this virtual program, Andrew Gustafson, who has paddled most of the river by canoe, will trace the history of engineering and navigation, why the effort ultimately failed, and where this disused infrastructure can still be seen today.
- Farmington, Hampshire, Hampden Canals, 1828 Map (David Rumsey Map Collection)
- Connecticut River Museum
- The Connecticut River and the Valley of the Connecticut (1906)
- Boats Across New England Hills (1941)
- Farmington Canal Heritage Trail
Celebrate NYC X DESIGN Interior Design Day with a virtual visit to Bednark Studio, a vertically-integrated design and fabrication company that specializes in retail environments, experiential marketing, and architectural millwork. Based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Bednark is a custom fabricator with manufacturing capabilities in wood, plastic, metal, print, and integrated lighting. On this virtual tour, we will be joined by founder Michael Bednark, who will walk us through their 65,000-square-foot shop and discuss their process, capabilities, and a selection of their 3,000+ premium projects for local clients and global brands including Balenciaga, Nike, and St. Germain.
Since its founding over a century ago, Bush Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn has been a center of industry and innovation. Today, the city-owned site is being transformed into a campus for the Made in NY initiative to support cornerstone industries of the city’s economy: fashion and film. On this virtual tour, we will learn how the historic campus is being repurposed to provide affordable space and support services to garment manufacturers, alongside facilities for film and television production, and an expanded public realm to open the campus to the community. We will be joined by Mimi Hoang of nARCHITECTS and David Ostrich of W Architecture & Landscape Architecture, who will walk us through the reimagined campus and adaptively reused buildings.
For NYC x Design Architecture Day, we’re taking a closer look at one of the most recent adaptive reuse projects of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Building 127. Constructed in 1904 for fabricating wooden boats, the 95,000-square-foot building recently underwent a full gut renovation, and its high ceilings, large windows, and uncolumned spaces made it ideal for repurposing for design and manufacturing businesses. We will be joined by architect Rosario D’Urso, Construction Project Manager at BNYDC, who will walk us through the project and discuss how their team brought this historic building back to life.
On this virtual walk, we will join Prospect Park Alliance’s gardeners for a tour of their work doing spring plantings around the Lakeside section of the park, including on the intensive green roof garden atop the LeFrak Center skating rink. Corbin Laedlein, Lakeside Lead EcoZone Gardener for the Alliance, will walk us through the landscape and discuss how they choose different plants for ecological, aesthetic, habitat purposes.
Plants mentioned in the program included: Rhus aromatica, Fothergilla gardenii, Cornus florida, Achillea millefolium, Pycnanthemum muticum, Monarda fistulosa, Cirsium arvense, Amelanchier canadensis, Betula nigra, Chionanthus virginicus, Artemisia vulgaris, Elymus virginicus, Penstemon digitalis, Phragmites, Galium mollugo, Ampelopsis glandulosa, Celastrus orbiculatus, Convolvulus, Cyperus esculentus, Lemnoideae, Typha
- WATCH our programs with Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein on trees, pollinators, planning for climate change, and forest management
- Volunteer with Prospect Park Alliance
- Become a Prospect Park Alliance member
Maps hold the power to organize and explain the world beyond what we can observe with our own eyes, making them extremely powerful political tools. Maps that express a geopolitical vision of how the world works (or should work) have been hugely influential in shaping military strategy, international relations, and public opinion. In this virtual program, our resident political geographer and cartographer Andrew Gustafson will give a crash course on the history of geopolitics as a discipline, using examples of these influential geopolitical imaginings from the past 150 years, from Halford Mackinder’s Heartland to Ronald Reagan’s Chokepoints; Karl Haushofer’s Pan-Regions to George W. Bush’s Axis of Evil.
- Cornell University Library Persuasive Cartography Collection
- Alfred Thayer Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History (1890)
- WATCH Victory Through Air Power (1943)
- Nicholas Spykman, The Geography of the Peace (1944)
- Saul B. Cohen, Geography and Politics in a World Divided (1963)
- President Reagan’s Address to the Nation on Central America, May 9, 1984
- Gearóid Ó Tuathail, Critical Geopolitics (1996)
- Daniel Immerwahr, How to Hide an Empire (2019)
- Thomas Barnett, “Why the Pentagon Changes Its Maps” (Esquire, 2003)
- Nick Danforth, “The End of History and the Last Map” (Foreign Policy, 2020)