Living in the City: An Inside Look at Four Decades of Changing Housing in New York City

For the third year, the New York City Municipal Archives is participating in Photoville NYC. Photoville is a pop-up exhibit lasting 2 weeks, directly under the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn. Each participant gets a shipping container to turn into a temporary gallery and we have found it a great way to engage with the public and reach new audiences. This year's exhibit is drawn from the Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) photo collection recently processed and digitized through two New York State grants.

A Look into the Life and Death of the Opulent Loews Theaters in New York City

Modern movie theaters are so pedestrian you might not be aware of their more fantastic history. Many of the most spectacular of these “movie palaces” were built by New York City businessman Marcus Loew. From the early 1900s through the 1930s he financed and constructed several architecturally interesting and historically important movie theaters throughout the five boroughs.

Stumbled Upon in the Archives: The Great Tulip Tree

For almost three centuries “the great tulip tree” stood on a knoll on the east side of Inwood Hill and west shore of Spuyten Duyvil Creek. The park itself was purchased from private owners in 1916, but concern over the tree’s declining health led the Parks Department to intervene before then.  In 1912, Parks Commissioner Charles Stover secured private donations to have the Forestry Bureau perform surgery on the then-estimated 225 year old tree. Dead wood was cut out of the tree, cavities were filled “with cement according to modern methods of tree surgery,” and an iron fence was erected under the perimeter. These activities, as reported in the 18th Annual Report of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society (1913), were performed “in the hope that this ancient tree may stand for centuries to come.”

Dispatches from the Urban Heartland, Part 5: Vibing in the Urban Heartland with Ms. Clara & Ms. Catherine

Ms. Clara said Bed-Stuy “was not a restaurant neighborhood” throughout their lives. They occasionally went to places like Junior's or got take out at Royal Rib House, though mostly preferred to eat at home. My home is around the corner from their store, so I know the area very well. However, since I didn’t grow up here, the faint childhood stories from my family who lived here for generations aren’t equivalent to the lived experiences of a person who is 89 years old, as Ms. Clara proudly proclaims herself to be. Ms. Catherine mentioned going to Peaches, but “only for a meeting.” They are of a generation where eating home was seen as something more than a chore. Both recoiled at the idea of eating out all the time, or even often. That is completely understandable.