Tag Archives: New York City

New York Times Interactive History of the Highrise

Castle Village of New York City, courtesy of Wikimedia

Castle Village of New York City, courtesy of Wikimedia

The New York Times has published an interactive video created by documentary filmmaker Katerina Cizek. The video highlights the history of the high-rise throughout history.

The interactive video allows you to pause and explore various imagery and features. It’s brief yet informative and quite fun! Check out the video by clicking on the link here.

A History of New York City in 50 Objects

Today, the New York Times highlights a history of New York City in 50 objects. The objects range from extravagant to mundane.

  1. Mastodon Tusk, About 11,000 B.C.
  2. Munsee Arrowhead, Pre-1700
  3. The Schaghenbrief, 1626
  4. The Flushing Remonstrance, 1657
  5. Painting of New Amsterdam, 1665
  6. The Oyster, Late 1600s
  7. English-Dutch Dictionary, 1730
  8. Beads From the African Burial Ground, 1700s
  9. A Horse’s Tail, 1776
  10. Washington’s Balcony, 1789
  11. Wooden Water Pipes, About 1800
  12. Randel’s Map, 1811
  13. Lake Erie Keg, 1825
  14. Singer Sewing Machine, 1851
  15. Patent for Otis Elevator Brake, 1861
  16. The Lefferts’ Cookbook, 1800s
  17. Checks of Boss Tweed, 1866-1870
  18. Edison’s Dynamo, 1882
  19. Brooklyn Bridge Toll Ticket, About 1883-1898
  20. Manuscript of ‘The New Colossus,’ 1883
  21. Sculpture of the 1898 Consolidation
  22. Child’s Shoes From the General Slocum, 1904
  23. Tiffany Subway Throttle, 1904
  24. Battle’s Badge, 1911
  25. The Automat Machine, 1912
  26. The Bagel, Early 1900s
  27. 1913 Armory Show Stamp
  28. First Yankee Stadium Program, 1923
  29. Rivoli Air Conditioning Advertisement, 1925
  30. Ticker Tape, 1929
  31. The Artichoke, 1933
  32. Tree of Hope, 1934
  33. Time Capsule From 1939 World’s Fair
  34. Levittown House, 1947
  35. 1955 World Series Banner
  36. Checker Taxicab, 1952-1986
  37. Diplomatic Plates, 1960s Onward
  38. ‘Tonight Show’ Audio Track, 1962
  39. Greek Coffee Cup, 1960s
  40. Bernstein’s Baton, 1969
  41. Saturday Night Special, 1960s Onward
  42. ‘FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD’ Headline, 1975
  43. AIDS Button, 1980s
  44. Loisaida Avenue Sign, 1987
  45. The Boom Box, 1980s
  46. The Phantom’s Mask, 1988
  47. The MetroCard, 1994
  48. 9/11 Dust, 2001
  49. Mast Brothers Chocolate Bar, 2007 Onward
  50. Meng Political Sign, 2012

To learn more about the objects and their relevance to the history of Gotham, see the article: “A History of New in 50 Objects” at the New York Times.

Gilder Lehrman/NEH Institute: The Empire City (Day 2)

So, at the end of a rather full Day 2, I have to admit that I’m a bit on “information overload,” so I’m a little… frazzled. As such, don’t be surprised to see some revisions on this over the next couple of days. It’s been a while since the sheer volume of information has left me felt… exhausted, yet it happened today (and I’m only in Day 1)!

This Seminar Focuses on the Empire City: New York City 1877-2001. It is hosted by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and cosponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. There is no way that I can summarize the entirety of the day, I will just try to relate on some of the experiences that I had.

The first session focused on the resources available via the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. They house thousands of primary source documents related to American History and readily make these resources available to the public. If you have not done so, check out their Affiliate School Program (entirely free), their digital collection, and resources for educators. Their focus is on the importance and practical application of primary sources – they provide documents, resources, and lesson plans for educators (incorporated into common core standards).

The morning, we focused on “The RIse of New York to National Dominance,” in which Professor Kenneth Jackson brought forth the question (and possible answers to) “Why New York? Why did New York become the most prominent and important city in the United States over others like Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc.” New York City has a unique history that has led to its (seemingly permanent) position as the economic and cultural capital of the United States. We discussed issues such as geography, economy, culture, and even ‘pure damn luck.’

The next hour we discussed the “Changing Role of Women in Post-Civil War America,” hostd by Professor Karen Markoe. She was quick to point out that investigating the role and position of 50% of the population in a century and a half period is an impossible task – yet feminist scholars always like to pigeon hole the role of women. She highlighted some common and well-recognized names: Margaret Sanger and Hetty Green (the Witch of Wall Street), but was quick to point out that we had only scratched the surface of prominent New York women.

The afternoon, we began to investigate the experience of literature in Gotham, specifically the work of Edith Wharton and her work The Age of Innocence as highlgihted by Professor John Rocco. We discussed the changing atmosphere of New York’s elite from the late 19th century through the “Jazz Age” (as higlighted by Hemmingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald) – by the way, if you have not seen the preview of the new 2012 film “The Great Gatsby” it is a highly recommend! Even if the film is terrible, the preview is amazing!

The rest of the afternoon we spent at the New York Historical Society, examining primary source documents and learning about the many, many resources available at Giler Lehrman. It was a vastly stimulating and thoroughly exhausting day… and I’m only 20% through the experience!

First Day of Gilder Lehrman Institute’s: Empire City

I recetly posted that I have been honored this summer with the amazing opportunity to participate in the Gilder Lerhman Institute of American History’sEmpire City: New York from 1877-2001.” Today I arrived in New York City ready to begin my intellectual adventures.

I have been to New York many times, but not in more than a decade. In fact, the last time I was here was the summer of 2001. I have not been back since the tragedy of September 11, 2001 – at first I was unable to face head on the tragedy, but then I simply did not have the opportunity. I was excited to be back in the city although I’ll admit, as a lifelong resident of the West Coast and Southern United states, the lack of urban sprawl makes me a bit… claustrophobic.

Photo by Roger Wollstadt

For the first time I flew into New York’s La Guardia airport (I’ve always flown into Kennedy or Newark), named for former (and deceased) mayor Fiorello La Guardia (a rather vibrant subject of our preparatory research for this seminar). The most striking feature of the decent into the airport was the stunning view of the New York Skyline and the Statue of Liberty. It seemed a fitting introducing to the urban culture I would be studying for the next week.

Upon arriving at Columbia University, I met the esteemed Anthony Napoli, the Director of Education at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. He handed me several thick packets, a free flash drive (yay free stuff), and the key to my dorm room – yes, dorm room. For the next week I’ll get to channel my inner 19 year old college student! At dinner, I met my esteemed colleagues from a variety of institutions all over the country. Tomorrow, we begin with “New York City and the Transformation of Post-Civil War America.” We will listen to a series of lectures on the transformation of the Empire City after 1865!

Press Release: NEH Gilder Lehrman Seminar – Empire City: New York from 1877-2001

CONTACT:                                                                             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chelsea Van der Gaag


Tel.: (646) 366-9666 x11

Fax: (646) 366-9669


Fort Worth teacher to Attend NEH Landmarks Workshop on New York and American Urban History at Columbia University 

Fort Worth, TX June 7, 2012 This summer, Trinity Valley School Teacher Jennifer Carey will travel to Columbia University in New York, NY, to attend a weeklong NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop presented by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History entitled “Empire City: New York from 1877 to 2001.”

Led by renowned scholars Kenneth T. Jackson of Columbia University and Karen Markoe of SUNY Maritime College, seminar participants will include K–12 teachers who were selected by the Gilder Lehrman Institute in a competitive process.

Headed by historians Jackson and Markoe, and presented by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the National Endowment for the Humanities, this workshop will explore key moments in the history of the United States. Using New York as a lens, the seminar will focus on the intersection of history and place in one tiny spot on the map with a major role in the history of our nation. In 1624, the Dutch West India Company set up a small trading post in a huge, sheltered harbor where three rivers met and several islands offered protection against potential enemies. Four hundred years later, this small settlement at the southern tip of the island of Manhattan has grown into the center of capitalism and the largest metropolis on earth. Including lectures, discussions, and field trips, the seminar will provide teaching strategies for attendees to bring back to their own classrooms.

In 2012, the Gilder Lehrman Institute will offer more than 1,000 educators the chance to study American history with leading historians at top institutions throughout the United States and United Kingdom. Each participant will work with primary source documents provided by professors and the Gilder Lehrman Collection, and in addition will receive reading materials, room and board, transportation for tours, and a travel stipend. Since the program’s inception, more than 7,000 educators have participated in Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminars, and most attendees rate the program as their best professional development experience.

More information about this seminar and the complete list of 2012 Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminars is available at www.gilderlehrman.org/teacherseminars.

About the Seminar Directors

Kenneth T. Jackson is the Jacques Barzun Professor in History and the Social Sciences at Columbia University.


Karen Markoe is Distinguished Professor of History and Chair of the Humanities Department at Maritime College, State University of New York.


About NEH Landmarks of American History: Workshops for School Teachers

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making agency of the federal government. NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops provide the opportunity for K–12 educators to engage in intensive study and discussion of important topics in American history and culture. These one-week programs give participants direct experiences in the interpretation of significant historical and cultural sites and the use of archival and other primary evidence. Landmarks Workshops present the best scholarship on a specific landmark or related cluster of landmarks, enabling participants to gain a sense of the importance of historical places, to make connections between what they learn in the Workshop and what they teach, and to develop enhanced teaching or research materials.


About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization devoted to the improvement of history education. The Institute has developed an array of programs for schools, teachers, and students that now operate in all fifty states, including a website that features the more than 60,000 unique historical documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection, www.gilderlehrman.org. Each year the Institute offers support and resources to tens of thousands of teachers, and through them enhances the education of more than a million students. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians.


The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

19 West 44th Street, Suite 500

New York, NY 10036


A History of New York City, in 870,000 Photographs

Over 870,000 photographs of the municipal operations of New York City have been made public and tell the history of the city through a unique medium. Some of the photographs date back to the mid 1800s and highlight the unique physical and cultural evolution of the city – highlighting the construction of various important buildings and structures, the rise and fall of celebrities, and even grisly gang-land murders.

The publication and availability of these photographs is a move by the Department of Records to make these records more readily accessible via the internet.

“We all knew that we had fantastic photograph collections that no one would even guess that we had,” Kenneth Cobb.

The database, while impressively large, still has some prominent gaps that the city is consistently working to fill – and it is growing daily.

To learn more about the project, read the article at MSNBC (or the Photoblog here) or search the archives yourself at the NYC Department of Records.

1914 - Painters Suspended from the Brooklyn Bridge

1936 Babe Ruth and his Second Wife Signing Autographs for the Crowd

1918 Police Investigate the Homicide of Gaspare Candella

A Little Self-Congratulations – Attending the NEH Gilder Lehrman Institute: “Empire City: New York 1877 – 2001”

I just learned that I will have the privilege of attending a National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Seminar, hosted by the prestigious Gilder Lehrman Institute. The seminar is entitled: “Empire City: New York from 1877 – 2001.”  It was an honor and a privilege to be chosen. Today, I booked my (way overpriced) flight to NYC.

I get to spend a week at Columbia University attending lectures and hiking around the city learning about urbanization. I’m so excited! Of course, I’ll be blogging the whole thing.