Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 6:00-7:00pm via Zoom
Do statues “belong” in historically important landscapes like Central Park? Did Vaux and Olmsted expect statues in the park? NYC public art and monuments expert Michele Bogart says “Yes!” To prove it, she takes us inside the social and financial networks of the late 19th c. to meet some of the players of the day—August Belmont, Christian Edward Detmold, William Cullen Bryant—and learn why they were early proponents of statues in Central Park and just how they ended up shaping the greenspace that so defines the image of our city.
Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 6:00-7:15pm via Zoom
Emery Roth, born in 1871, was an architect and Hungarian-Jewish immigrant to New York. Roth designed many of the definitive New York City hotels and apartment buildings of the 1920s and 1930s, including the UWS’s Beresford and San Remo, incorporating Beaux-Arts and Art Deco details to create the decorative streetscapes we know and love.
Historic preservation expert Andrew Dolkart and archivist Shelley Hayreh are joined by Richard Roth, Jr. and Emery Roth II for a history-filled discussion about Roth’s architecture, work, life, archive and legacy.
Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021 6:00-7:00pm via Zoom
The development of the rocky, hilly Upper West Side into the neighborhood we now know was due in great part to the tireless work of someone practically unknown today: Cyrus Clark.
Get the full story on “The Father of the West Side” as only Tom Miller (the famed “Daytonian in Manhattan” blogger) can tell it! Miller rewinds the clock to 1880s Manhattan, when Clark used his wealth, prestige, and love of the UWS to help create a truly unique NYC community. Come wander (virtually) the streets of those early days on the “Wild West Side” and visit the Clark’s first mansion on Riverside Drive that cost a cool $2 million in today’s dollars to construct. (Note that elsewhere, as his contemporaries recalled, “the district was covered with market gardens, shanties, and desolate lots, where vagrant dogs and goats reigned supreme.”) Then grab a hansom cab down to W. 76th Street to see the stately 8,000-square-foot second mansion where the Clark family downsized in 1898. (Landmarked, so still here!)
There will be history and politics and tales of UWS shenanigans. Of course there will be fabulous architecture. But most important, there will be an incredible person, the city he envisioned and the very special neighborhood we know today.