Tours

  • “Bayard is a hard street to travel”

    The Fourth of July Riots made such an impact on the city, bands such as the Saugerties band from Hoboken, wrote a song detailing the fight, referencing the “Bloody Sixth Ward.” The extent to which gang life was part of the culture of New York City is evident in the fact that their exploits made ...

  • “No More Rioting”

    The end of the Fourth of July riots came as a relief not only for the people who were afraid to leave their homes, but also for Mayor Wood. The last day of the riots was described in a front page spread by the New York Times: “At 7 o’clock a party came down from the grocery, ...

  • 9th District Marshall Provost’s Office 1863- The Civil War Draft Riots

    9th District Marshall Provost's Office 1863- The Civil War Draft Riots

  • ACT UP City Hall Demonstration

      One of the many ACT UP demonstrations, took place on March 28, 1989 at City Hall. It was the biggest AIDS demonstration with 3,000 people protesting Ed Koch’s AIDS policy.       D.” ACT UP New York records. Accessed December 05, 2017. http://archives.nypl.org/mss/10#overview.  

  • Annotated Bibliography

    Annotated Bibliography Dickens, Charles. “American Notes for General Circulation …” Gutenberg Project. Accessed November 7, 2016.   http://www.gutenberg.org/zipcat2.php/675/675-h/675-h.htm.         This is a book written by Charles Dickens in the mid-19th century which details his experiences and observations on his trip to America. He wrote about Five Points extensively, and I will use his observations ...

  • Bowery Boys and Dead Rabbits

    On the night of July 4th, 1857 tensions between the Bowery Boys and Dead Rabbits culminated in a bang, starting a two day long riot that would captive the city. The New York Times described the scene:  “a crowd of young vagabonds from Cow Bay and the neighborhood proceeded to the Bowery, at Nos. 40 ...

  • Breadlines in Depression-Era New York City

    Whether it was suffering from unemployment, a wage cut, or from not having enough money left over after paying their bills, many New Yorkers found themselves so poor they could not afford to eat on their own expense, and often resulted to waiting on bread-lines for food. The term breadline refers to the lines that ...

  • Carnegie Hall

    Carnegie Hall

  • Copacabana Nightclub

    Copacabana Nightclub

  • Disparity

    The 18th Amendment banned the sale, transportation, and production of alcohol. This effectively prohibited the existence of alcohol in daily life in America. But by the letter of the law, ownership of alcohol was perfectly legal, so long as it was made pre-Prohibition and it wasn’t sold or moved elsewhere. This meant ...

  • Dreamland Park

    The last of the three major amusement parks of Coney Island during the 20th century, Dreamland Park was known as the refined and orderly park. With every structure being pristine white, this business-like amusement park was indeed beautiful, but only lasted from 1904 to 1911 because it did not evoke the same sense of fun entertainment as much as Steeplechase or Luna Park did.

  • Duke Ellington

    Duke Ellington

  • Five Points – Paradise Square

    “All that is loathsome, dropping and decayed is here” is the description Charles Dickens wrote in 1842 about Five Points.5)Charles Dickens, American Notes for General Circulation, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/675/675-h/675-h.htm. jQuery("#footnote_plugin_tooltip_5").tooltip({ tip: "#footnote_plugin_tooltip_text_5", tipClass: "footnote_tooltip", effect: "fade", fadeOutSpeed: 100, predelay: 400, position: "top right", relative: true, offset: }); As you walk in the Civil Center of New York City today, you are surrounded by giant Classical ...

  • Fort George
    Fort George

    Our first stop is Fort George, which no longer exists, but on its site can now be found the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, which now houses the Museum of the American Indian. Fort George, originally Fort Amsterdam, was built by the Dutch in 1626. Once under English control, the fort was called Fort James, ...

  • Fraunces Tavern
    Fraunces Tavern

    The next stop on the tour is Fraunces Tavern, which was originally built as a mansion in 1719 by Stephen DeLancey. Located at Broad and Queen Streets, it was used for residential purposes, then as offices for a mercantile firm from 1740 through 1759. Samuel Fraunces bought it in 1762 and opened what was originally ...

  • Gaiety Theater

    The former location of the Gaiety Theater. Acquired by Abe Minsky shortly after his split from his surviving brothers in 1932, it became the center of Abe’s attempt to present more “highbrow” entertainment than could be found in typical burlesque shows of the time.

  • Garment District

    The Garment District is a neighborhood in which the Lucchese crime family hijacked many trucks and controlled many clothing unions

  • Harlem Riots, March 19, 1935

    Although poverty, hunger, and the need for shelter affected New Yorkers all over the city, there was no place in the city of New York that struggled with these problems more than those who lived in Harlem, New York. Residents of Harlem found themselves not only having to deal with an unemployment rate of over ...

  • Hoovervilles in Depression-Era New York

      One of the most pressing issues during the Depression was the thousands of people who faced the struggle of finding shelter after being evicted from their homes and being forced out onto the streets. Many New Yorkers took to living in make-shift huts and homes located in parks or in alleyways. Large settlements of these ...

  • Iceberg Ride

    Iceberg Ride

  • Idlewild Airport

    Now known as John F. Kennedy International Airport, Idlewild was the airport in which many of the Lucchese Crime Family heists occurred including the famous Lufthansa Heist.

  • Idlewild Airport (JFK International)

    Idlewild Airport (JFK International)

  • Jazz Age Annotated Source List

    Caelynn Robinson Professor Fieldston History of NYC October 5th, 2016 Virtual Guidebook Assignment: Jazz Age New York My topic for the virtual guidebook assignment is the jazz age in New York City. New York City is one of the entertainment capitals of the world, and much of that entertainment is from music. Music is not new to the city, and ...

  • Jazz Age New York

    The jazz age in New York is one of the most infamous times throughout the history of New York. From the booming music scene, to the changing social and sexual norms, New York became the hub for enjoying the newly emerging American culture. New York City is one of the entertainment capitals of the world, ...

  • King’s College

    King’s College was founded in 1754 by the royal charter of King George II of England where it got its name and is now known as Columbia University. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in New York State. When King’s College was founded there was much debate and controversy on the topics of ...

  • Little Apollo Theater

    The approximate former location of the Little Apollo Theater. Not to be confused with the more famous Apollo Theater, this establishment was acquired by the Minskys soon after they left the Park Theater, and quickly became one of their most profitable venues, taking in net profits of around $20,000 a week at its height.

  • Lucky Luciano

    At the end of a long, hard day in New York City, men and women from all races, countries, and classes treated themselves to a well-earned drink at their local bar. When all the bars shut down in January of 1920, all these people had no where to go, and more importantly, no where ...

  • Luna Park

    Luna Park, located between West 12th Ave and Surf Ave, was a vibrant amusement park from 1903 until the 1940s. Known as "Electric Eden" because every structure was dazzled with lights, visitors were often see standing in wonder, taking in all of the magic around them.

  • Minsky’s Burlesque

    Minsky Business: The Minsky Brothers and Burlesque in New York The twentieth century is widely viewed by historians as the beginning of mass, commercialized leisure activities in America. As was the case with most major changes that took place in America during the late ...

  • Morrisey and Poole

    John Morrissey and William “Bill the Butcher” Poole were the heads of their respective gangs, the Dead Rabbits and the Bowery Boys. Morrissey, an Irishman, was affiliated with Tammany Hall while Poole was an enforcer for the Know-Nothing party, a nativist organization that was against the influx of Catholic immigrants. Their rivalry came to a ...

  • National Winter Garden

    The former location of the National Winter Garden. Originally known simply as the National Theater, this was the Minskys’ first theater, and their first foray into burlesque. Originally opened as a combination movie house and vaudeville theater in 1912, the Minskys transformed it into a burlesque house by the end of the decade, and it ...

  • New York Theater Workshop

    The New York Theater Workshop was founded in 1979 and is dedicated to ensuring the presence of artists in society. The New York Theater Workshop states that they do this in two ways, “…first through producing an annual season of productions in our 199-seat theatre in Manhattan’s East Village and second, by inviting theatre-makers at ...

  • Oriental Theater

    The approximate former location of the Oriental Theater. Acquired by H.K. and Morton Minsky in 1936, it was apparently meant to be a permanent home for Minsky productions, but it was forcibly closed by the city government before this vision could become a reality.

  • Park Theater

    The former location of the Park Theater. Briefly owned by Billy Minsky from 1922 to 1923, the Park represented the Minskys’ first attempt to break out of the Lower East Side and into more “respectable” circles. Low ticket sales, however, forced Billy Minsky to abandon the Park after only about a year.

  • Police

    The United States government established the Bureau of Prohibition to fight this new war, a federal task force with the sole purpose of cracking down on illegal alcohol trade and manufacturing. It met moderate success, and brought down numerous large scale operations and speakeasies across the country. Unfortunately, in the early days of the Bureau, ...

  • Republic Theater

    The former location of the Republic Theater, now known as the New Victory Theater. The Minskys first acquired this establishment around 1931, and it remained their principal venue until H.K. and Morton moved operations to the Oriental in 1936.

  • Saint Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center

    This hospital reported one of the very first AIDS cases in the nation. It became one of the primary health centers for AIDS in New York City.   Thomas Rzeznik, “The Church and the AIDS Crisis in New York City.” U.S. Catholic Historian 34, no. 1 (2016): 143-65.

  • Smuggling

    Planes, Trains, and Automobiles make for more than just a setting for a movie. If it moved, smugglers found a way to load it up with booze and bring it to market. Although plenty of trucks, trains, and people brought alcohol in to the city, it was hard to match the shipping industry ...

  • South Bronx Subway Stop

    South Bronx Subway Stop

  • South Street Seaport
    South Street Seaport

    Our next stop on the tour is South Street Seaport. New York was an incredibly important port city in North America and in the British Empire as a whole. Much business was done here both in intercontinental and international trade. In 1769 alone, New York “shipped thirty-four separate commodities to Britain, thirty-five to the West ...

  • Speakeasy

    Music, dancing, having a good time with friends and strangers alike. What’s not to love about a night out on the town, enjoying New York’s nightlife? It certainly didn’t hurt that Speakeasies were the best way to get a drink in a Dry America. Bars didn’t just undergo a name change with ...

  • Steeplechase Park

    Known as the "Funny Place" park, Steeplechase Park was an amusement park in Coney Island designed by George C. Tilyou. The first version of the park was opened in 1897, but a fire destroyed more than half of it in 1907. However, Tilyou rebuilt this iconic amusement center, and the new Steeplechase continued to operate until 1964.

  • Stock Market Crash of 1929

    The cause of this era all falls back to the events within a period of a single week during the month of October, a week where the fate of the nation would be affected for an entire decade. The fateful week started with the events of Wednesday October 23rd, when waves of panicked investors sold ...

  • Temperance

    Prohibition didn’t just happen over night, so much as it was the result of decades of lobbying and fighting on a local and national level for the ban of alcohol. Starting in rural America and working its way in, the Temperance movement saw alcohol as the cause of most social issues that Progressives were ...

  • The Back Room NYC

    The Back Room NYC

  • The Bank of New York

    The Bank of New York, now the New York Mellon, was founded in in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton following the Revolutionary war, a time of chaos. At that time there was only one bank in North America located in Philadelphia, a time where it was very difficult to conduct business. In the conclusion of the ...

  • The Draft Riots: Brooklyn

    Brooklyn had a free black community as well, called Weeksville. Established in 1838, and allowed economic mobility, intellectual freedom, and was self-sustaining . By the 1850s, Weeksville had over 500 residents, “ boasting more opportunity for homeownership, employment and success for its black residents than any other part of Brooklyn, and well beyond.”. Many African ...

  • The Draft Riots: Final Thoughts and Bibliography

    The riots were quelled when federal troops faced off with rioters on Thursday, July 16th, eventually ending the immediate disarray in New York City. After the riots were over, Governor Horatio Seymour addressed the people of New York City and made a statement to the rioters, “I know that many who have participated in these ...

  • The Draft Riots: Its Roots and Occurance
    The Draft Riots: Its Roots and Occurance

    The New York City Civil War Draft Riots of 1863: Four Days of Unrest On the morning of July 13th, 1863, the American Civil War had been ongoing for two years. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln on the first of that year, freeing the slaves. The battle of Gettysburg had claimed its lives, ...

  • The Draft Riots: Staten Island

    Staten Island traditional oral history recalls the events of the initial response to the riots as a single noble defense, but in actuality had two outcomes. The main telling goes that citizens in Port Richmond, which was a ‘hop, skip, and jump’ away from Manhattan, pointed a cannon towards the bridge at Bodine’s Creek to ...

  • The East Village

    The East Village is where the play takes place and where it was written. The East Village has changed over the years, but in the time that Rent was produced, it was a hub of artists. However, it was also where gentrification was occurring. The remnants of 300 homeless people still resided in the East ...

  • The Fraunces Tavern

    The Fraunces Tavern, located at 54 Pearl Street, was purchased by Samuel Fraunces in 1762 and opened what was originally known as the Queen’s Head Tavern. In the 18th century taverns were very important places, they were the center of the community, meeting places, exchanging of ideas and news for both locals and visitors, a ...

  • The Life Cafe

    The Life Café is where the end of the first act of the Rent takes place. The song “La Vie Bohème”, which occurs before the intermission and is one of the most popular scenes from the play, is performed here. The Life Café was chosen for this particular scene because Jonathan Larson was a frequent ...

  • The Nederlander

    Built in 1921, the Nederlander is the theater that premiered Rent in its Broadway debut. The Nederlander is located near the heart of the Times Square theater district. The Nederlander was the perfect theater for Rent and the inside was decorated to look just like the East Village. The interior of the building was inspired ...

  • The Tombs

        Out of all the rioting, the police were noted to “having made only two prisoners whom they carried to the Tombs.”9)“RIOTING AND BLOODSHED; THE FIGHT AT COW BAY. Metropolitans Driven from the 6th Ward. Chimneys Hurled Down Upon the Populace. “Dead Rabbits” Against the “Bowery Boys.” ORDER RESTORED AT MIDNIGHT. Riots in the 6th, 7th ...

  • Trinity Church

    Trinity Church began in 1696 with a small group of Anglicans, members of the Church of England, they created the first Anglican Church in Manhattan, New York. As New York’s population grew the Church built new chapels such as St. George’ Chapel and St. Paul’s Chapel. In 1776, the first Trinity Church was destroyed by ...

  • Trinity Church
    Trinity Church

    The last stop on this tour of Revolutionary New York is Trinity Church. The current building is not the same one that stood during the Revolutionary period, as it burned down in a fire in 1776. Trinity was an Episcopal church whose steeple was an important feature of the city’s skyline, standing at 175 feet. ...

References   [ + ]

1. W.C. Tune, “The Boys of the Bowery Pit,” https://www.loc.gov/item/amss.sb10039a/.
2. “RIOTING AND BLOODSHED; THE FIGHT AT COW BAY. Metropolitans Driven from the 6th Ward. Chimneys Hurled Down Upon the Populace. “Dead Rabbits” Against the “Bowery Boys.” ORDER RESTORED AT MIDNIGHT. Riots in the 6th,7th and 13th Wards. THE STREETS BARRICADED. THREE REGIMENTS CALLED OUT. THE 4TH AND 5TH OF JULY. Six Men Killed and Over One Hundred Wounded. THE CITY UNDER ARMS” New York Times, July 6, 1857,           http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9C07E1DE163CEE34BC4E53DFB166838C649FDE.
3. The Great Metropolis or Guide to New York, Vol. 5, New York, 1849
4. “RIOTING AND BLOODSHED; THE FIGHT AT COW BAY. Metropolitans Driven from the 6th Ward. Chimneys Hurled Down Upon the Populace. “Dead Rabbits” Against the “Bowery Boys.”((ORDER RESTORED AT MIDNIGHT. Riots in the 6th, 7th and 13th Wards. THE STREETS BARRICADED. THREE REGIMENTS CALLED OUT. THE 4TH AND 5TH OF JULY. Six Men Killed and Over One        Hundred Wounded. THE CITY UNDER ARMS” New York Times, July 6, 1857, http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-       free/pdf?res=9C07E1DE163CEE34BC4E53DFB166838C649FDE.
5. Charles Dickens, American Notes for General Circulation, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/675/675-h/675-h.htm.
6. Charles Dickens, American Notes for General Circulation,             http://www.gutenberg.org/files/675/675-h/675-h.htm.
7. “THE PUGILISTS’ ENCOUNTER.; Post-Mortem Examination-Coroner’s Investigation. DEATH OF WILLIAM POOLE.” New York Times, March 9, 1855, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9403E4D6133DE034BC4153DFB566838E649FDE&legacy=true.
8. Elliot J. Gorn, “Good-Bye Boys, I Die a True American”: Homicide, Nativism, and Working-Class Culture in Antebellum New York City” The Journal of American History (September 2, 1987): 399-410, www.jstor.org/stable/1900028.
9. “RIOTING AND BLOODSHED; THE FIGHT AT COW BAY. Metropolitans Driven from the 6th Ward. Chimneys Hurled Down Upon the Populace. “Dead Rabbits” Against the “Bowery Boys.” ORDER RESTORED AT MIDNIGHT. Riots in the 6th, 7th and 13th Wards. THE STREETS BARRICADED. THREE REGIMENTS CALLED OUT. THE 4TH AND 5TH OF JULY.”
10. “DOOM OF THE OLD TOMBS; SOON TO BE REMOVED TO MAKE WAY FOR NEW   PRISON. Something About the Grim Structure in Centre Street Where Many Notorious Criminals Have Been Confined, and Numbers of Executions Have Taken Place — The Structure to Be Substituted Will Have More Room.” New York Times, July 4, 1896.    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9B0DE2D71730E033A25757C0A9619C94679ED7CF&legacy=true.
11. Charles Dickens, American Notes for General Circulation.