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Past Events

Bus and Walking Tours
Brooklyn Heights & Downtown Brooklyn Walking Tour
Saturday, November 10, 2019, from 1:00–3:30 p.m.

ADSNY joined architectural historian Matt Postal for a delightful, fall walking tour to explore Brooklyn beyond the brownstones.

 

We learned how many Brooklyn neighborhoods flourished during the 1920s and 30s and this special tour gave attendees a chance to see examples of some of Brooklyn’s best Art Deco, which can be found in Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn.

Downtown Brooklyn boasts a surprising number of Art Deco delights. Our meandering route, which concluded in Brooklyn Heights, showed varied and often overlooked selections of commercial and residential works, including memorable designs by Ralph Walker, H.I. Feldman, Rene Chambellan, and Starrett & Van Vleck.

About the Guide:

Matt Postal is a historian specializing in the architecture of New York City. He teaches in the Graduate program of the New York School of Interior Design and is co-author of the Guide to New York City Landmarks (2003 and 2009) and Ten Architectural Walks in Manhattan (2009).

 

 

 

Discovering Newark Art Deco
Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 9:45 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

On this a day-long exploration of the surprising Art Deco heritage of Newark, New Jersey, ADSNY members had special access to some of the city's most impressive Art Deco structures.

This immersive walking tour featured special interior access at several notable Art Deco landmarks, including:

  • The Lefcourt Building, which was designed by prominent Newark architect Frank Grad in 1929 and is know known for its conversion into luxury residences known as Eleven 80

  • Well-preserved ceramic subway art from the WPA era

  • Another 1929 stunner, a Ralph Walker-designed telephone building, which had just undergone a restoration and adaptive reuse project to transform into Walker House. We got an inside look into the restoration project from the team and were one of the first to explore this remarkable building

  • Newark Penn Station, an expansive and impressive 1935 design of McKim, Mead & White which is known for its Art Deco style

  • A series of original, large-scale painted murals from 1931 inside the 35-story Newark National Building, which was the tallest building in Newark until 1989

 

And, as if seeing all of these stunning interiors and works of art weren’t enough, the day’s festivities also included a guided tour through 1920s and 30s highlights from the impressive collection of the Newark Museum.

Additionally, attendees were welcomed into the Sky Tower of Walker House to enjoy a catered lunch sponsored by Newark Happening.

 

About the Guide:

Glen Leiner is a long-time friend of ADSNY and served as the organization’s Executive Director in 2005. In this role he was instrumental in the success of the World Congress on Art Deco, when it was held in New York, and continues to support ADSNY.

Hildreth Meière’s Art Deco New York Tour
Saturday, September 7, 2019, from 1:00–3:00 p.m.

This special-access walking tour explored an exceptional collection of 20s and 30s deco ornamentation by renowned craftsperson Hildreth Meière. On this newly developed tour, unlike any tour ADSNY has done before, the artist's granddaughter Hildreth Meière Dunn, historian Kathleen Murphy Skolnik, expert Becca Earley, and Sibyl McCormac Groff got attendees up-close-and-personal with several of the artist's most recognizable and inspiring commissions.

In St. Bartholomew's Church, we learned the story of Meière's designs that beautifully merge the style of early Byzantine mosaics with the unique design principles of Art Deco. We saw how her glittering apse mosaics from 1929 and the stunning domes of the narthex from 1930 create the unique atmosphere of this iconic space. We also dove into how, almost two decades later, Meière was commissioned to design six clerestory windows in stained glass to advance the vision of St. Bart's.

The tour also included a stop at St. Thomas Church for a special chance to see inside the remembrance shrine that Meière designed in 1935. The cabinet was opened just for us so that we could see how the stunning ornamentation inside reinterpreted medieval prototypes to create a unique Art Deco style. We also learned how this unique work continued to inspire the artist for decades.

Stops also included the artist's work in St. Patrick's Cathedral and on the façade of Radio City Music Hall, as well as the chance to learn about the striking mixed metal and enamel piece created for the façade of the 1932 RKO Center Theatre, the only building in the original Rockefeller Center complex to have been torn down.

About the Guides:

Hildreth Meière Dunn, granddaughter of the artist, is the official photographer and Vice President for the International Hildreth Meière Association.  She was the principal photographer for the The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière (Andrea Monfried Editions 2014). She is strongly committed to the permanence of the artistic legacy of Hildreth Meière and in the preservation and re-location of decommissioned works.

Kathleen Murphy Skolnik teaches art and architectural history at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois and leads seminars on Art Deco design at the Newberry Library, also in Chicago.  She is the co-author of The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Art Deco Society of New York.

Sibyl McCormac Groff––a.k.a. The Spirited New Yorker––is an experienced and highly acclaimed licensed New York City tour guide whose expertise includes the architecture, artwork, and history of Rockefeller Center, midtown Manhattan, and New York City. Sibyl coined the expression, Gothamtide, to describe the secular and universal holiday traditions that have historically been associated with New York City and her most recent publication is A New York Christmas Ho-ho-ho at Gothamtide.

Deco Along the Hudson: From Canal to Christopher Street
Thursday, August 1, 2019, 6:30–8:00 p.m.

 

ADSNY members were led on a newly-developed walking tour with architectural historian, Matt Postal. Among our discoveries were Hudson Square, an emerging tech hub with impressive Art Deco-era factories and loft structures, some with remarkable sculptural reliefs, as well as stylish recent designs that evoke the 1930s.

 

From Canal to Christopher Street, this evening walking tour also explored some of the finest blocks in the West Village, where often overlooked Deco apartment buildings and retail structures enliven the 19th century streetscape. Highlights included the Holland Plaza and Green Sixth Avenue Buildings by Ely Jacques Kahn, the former Standard Statistics Building by Benjamin H. Whinston, and 45 Christopher Street by Boak & Paris.

 

About the Guide:

Matt Postal is a historian specializing in the architecture of New York City. He teaches in the Graduate program of the New York School of Interior Design and is co-author of the Guide to New York City Landmarks (2003 and 2009) and Ten Architectural Walks in Manhattan (2009).

 

The Glamour of Rockefeller Center
Thursday, July 11, 2019, 6:30–8:00 p.m.

 

ADSNY members spent a memorable summer evening experiencing New York’s luxurious and chic architectural jewel, Rockefeller Center.

 

On this walking tour we were led through a wealth of visual delights by The Spirited New Yorker, highly regarded cultural historian, and renowned Rockefeller Center tour guide, Sibyl McCormac Groff. Sibyl encouraged us to carefully observe the beauty of this iconic New York destination, while giving us the inside scoop on the secrets behind the glamorous walls and hidden spaces of the world's greatest Deco center.

 

This city within a city was created for commerce but conceived with art in mind. We will see the beautiful Deco ornamentation, hear about Rockefeller Center’s underground concourses, the world’s first artificial ice skating rink, and so much more.

 

About the Guide:

Sibyl McCormac Groff––a.k.a. The Spirited New Yorker––is an experienced and highly acclaimed licensed New York City tour guide whose expertise includes the architecture, artwork, and history of Rockefeller Center, midtown Manhattan, and New York City. Sibyl coined the expression, Gothamtide, to describe the secular and universal holiday traditions that have historically been associated with New York City and her most recent publication is A New York Christmas Ho-ho-ho at Gothamtide.

 

 

Grand Concourse Deco: A Bronx Summer Stroll
Saturday, June 22, 2019, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

 

Bronx historian and expert, Sam Goodman, led ADSNY members on a stroll along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, to discover the many Art Deco treasures that define the development of this special boulevard.

 

Highlights of the afternoon included visits to numerous buildings on the Grand Concourse, including Emory Roth’s only Bronx apartment house and the famous Fish Building. We walked to Jerome Avenue to explore two of the neighborhood’s most outstanding buildings, 1001 Jerome Avenue and the Park Plaza Apartments.

 

Goodman offered the inside scoop of why this community developed as it did and why it is considered so unique.

 

About the Guide:

Sam Goodman is an urban planner for the Bronx Borough President's office and an expert on the history of the Bronx. He has worked as a city planner in the Bronx since 1993, working with the city to create solutions to the borough's infrastructure challenges. He was active in gaining Landmark designation of a section of Grand Concourse by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Art Deco Treasures of Central Park West
Sunday, June 2, 2019, 3:00–5:00 p.m.

 

Acclaimed Art Deco expert and architectural historian, Tony Robins, led us on a captivating walking tour along Central Park West to get a closer look at the Art Deco gems that form Manhattan’s major residential skyline.

 

We learned that, in 1890, a prescient real estate broker wrote: “Central Park West seems to have only one future––it is destined to become an avenue of grand apartment houses and hotels.” And indeed, over the next several decades, Central Park West sprouted many apartment houses with small religious and cultural institutions scattered in between.

 

On this engaging afternoon stroll we explored how development continued into the 1920s when major architectural projects brought color and Jazz to the formerly sedate Boulevard. Robins led us on visits to the iconic twin-towered skyscraper apartment buildings––the Century, the Majestic, and the Eldorado––and many other multi-colored jazz-age fantasies of high living that overlook the park.

 

About the Guide:

Anthony W. Robins has been guiding natives and visitors to the city’s wonders of steel and stone for twenty-five years. He has led hundreds of walking tours of New York history and architecture. A founding member of ADSNY, Robins created the Society’s original tour program in 1981. In 2017, the Guides Association of New York City honored him with the “Guiding Spirit Award.” He lectures on New York history and architecture to audiences both in the United States and abroad, teaches various levels of students about architecture and the development of New York City, and has authored five books and a number of short guide books, as well as many newspaper and magazine articles. His latest award-winning book, New York Art Deco: A Guide to Gotham’s Jazz Age Architecture, explores Art Deco throughout the five boroughs.

Revisiting Opening Day of the 1939 World’s Fair
Sunday, April 28, 2019, 1:00–5:00 p.m.

 

This special afternoon combined two unique programs into a single celebration of one of New York’s most revered events of the 1930s––the 1939 World’s Fair!

 

On the 80th anniversary of the opening of the spectacular Fair, on the very grounds where it took place, this celebration included a private tour of Flushing Meadows Park, the legendary Fairgrounds that were visited by over 44 million visitors, and an exclusive opportunity to see Fair ephemera from the archives of the Queens Museum selected specifically for us.

 

On the walking tour of Flushing Meadows Park, Ken Frenkel, our knowledgeable guide, shared interesting stories about the legendary sites that composed the grounds and the larger-than-life personalities that came together to plan the fair. As we heard tales of what daily visitors experienced we relived the excitement and drama of the fabled opening day. On this walk through the Park we learned more about the 700-foot-tall Trylon and the 200-foot-wide Perisphere; Norman Bel Geddes design for the fanciful Futurama sponsored by General Motors; Biily Rose’s Aquacade, the most successful production of the fair, housed in Sloan & Robertson’s stunning Art Deco amphitheater; and the streamlined buildings that stirred the imagination of a generation.

 

The walking tour ended at the only surviving building from the Fair, The New York City building––now the Queens Museum. After a short break, we were met by Louise Weinberg, the Archives Manager at the Queens Museum, who led us on our own, private tour of special World’s Fair memorabilia. The Museum owns more than 10,000 objects related to the Fair that commemorate its architectural and cultural symbols—the Trylon and Perisphere, The National Cash Register building, International Pavilions, Life Savers Parachute Jump, and so much more. These mementos––including tabletop radios, Tiffany’s collectible plates, jewelry, cosmetic cases, silverware, games, cane-seats, salt and pepper shakers, postcards, photo books, etc.––allowed the Fair’s impression of Utopia to linger long after it was demolished.

 

In addition to seeing the museum’s vast exhibition of ephemera on display in the World’s Fair Visible Storage, Weinberg shared with us important memorabilia from the Museum’s archive that are normally off-limits to the public.

 

We were delighted that we were able to offer this once-in-a-lifetime event on this memorable anniversary.

 

About the Guide:

Ken Frenkel has been a licensed NYC Sightseeing Guide for ten years, creating custom walking tours of the city and its art, architecture, and cultural history. A graduate of The City College of New York with a BA in Speech/Theatre Arts, Ken has often led romps across city streets and neighborhoods throughout a 35-year sales career. “It is immensely gratifying to show someone a detail or give context to a feature that was seen but never paid attention to; there is a new discovery waiting for someone around every corner.” In addition to his time spent as a private guide Ken also leads tours at The New York Historical Society, The Hudson River Park Trust, Open House New York, and, of course, the World’s Fair sites at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

 

Sunnyside Art Deco Walking Tour

Saturday, March 30 2:00­–4:00 p.m. & Sunday, March 31, 2019, 11:00 a.m.–1 p.m.

 

Due to popular demand, ADSNY members had two opportunities to see many rarely explored architectural treasures in a newly developed walking tour of Sunnyside Queens, led by architectural historian, Matt Postal.

 

Like many New York neighborhoods, Sunnyside grew exponentially in the early twentieth century due to the development of mass-transit rail services; roadways, such as Queens Boulevard; and in this case, the completion of the Queensborough Bridge in 1909. Almost all of the buildings in Sunnyside were either built before or during the height of the Art Deco style. Many of the sites we saw featured richly decorated façades, entrances, and lobbies.

 

Between 1924 and 1929, convenient rail services and bridge accessibility to and from Manhattan lead to the creation of complexes and apartment houses, such as Sunnyside Gardens. This complex, consisting of apartment building and attached two and a half story houses, each with basements and attics, front and rear gardens, and a landscaped central court, was one of the nation’s very first planned communities. Hailed for its innovative design by such scholars as Lewis Mumford, the area is a subject of study among architecture students worldwide.

 

Most of the buildings we visited are apartment houses dating to the 1930s. Highlights included the iconic black and gold terra-cotta entrance of the Golden Gate Apartments, the beautifully restored Packard Towers, and back-to-back twin apartment buildings by Kavy & Kavovitt.

 

About the Guide:

Our guide, Matt Postal, is an architectural historian, licensed New York City tour guide, and researcher and writer of designation reports for the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Postal also lectures about architecture and teaches graduate level classes on the nineteenth and twentieth architectural history in New York.

 

Dorothy Parker’s Upper West Side Walking Tour
Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

 

Kevin Fitzpatrick led us on a walking tour to celebrate the anniversary of the famous writer, personality, and wit, Dorothy Parker’s 125th birthday!

 

As a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table, Parker developed a national reputation as a wit through newspaper columnists Franklin Pierce Adams and Alexander Woollcott’s re-printing of her lunchtime remarks and short verses, particularly in Adams’ column The Conning Tower. Parker became famous for her short, viciously humorous poems, many about the perceived ludicrousness of her (largely unsuccessful) romantic affairs.

 

On this tour we saw one of Manhattan’s most beautiful and historic neighborhoods through the eyes of a young Dorothy Parker.

 

Highlights included:

  • Her childhood homes & beautiful apartments

  • A visit to Riverside Park, where Parker walked her beloved dogs

  • A glimpse into the lives of Parker’s famous neighbors such as Babe Ruth & Flo Ziegfeld

  • Stunning Art Deco architecture

  • Learning about the history of the Upper West Side, its architecture and development, all related to Parker’s life

This tour let us explore many local landmarks, architectural gems, and historic sites as we’d never before seen them!

 

Art Deco in Manhattan’s East Fifties Tour
Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

 

Architectural historian and Deco expert, Tony Robins, led us on a tour exploring the varied Art Deco architecture along Manhattans East Fifties, from Beekman Place to Rock Center.

 

On this tour, we visited a handful of Art Deco and modernistic residential buildings that range from apartment houses designed for the fabulously wealthy, such as River House, to the more modestly middle-class residences of the equally beautiful Southgate apartments.

 

Highlights also included:

  • Panhellenic Tower, originally designed to be a redoubt for young professional women taking on the big city in the 1920s

  • The over-the-top, original General Electric Building, which reflects the modernity of its original tenants

  • The Waldorf Astoria, New York’s preeminent skyscraper hotel that is currently undergoing a massive restoration and conversion project

  • The delightful Goelet Building, New York’s best kept Deco secret.

  • Rockefeller Center, one of the most famous Art Deco centers in the world

 

 

Deco from Murray Hill to Gramercy Park Walking Tour
Sunday, April 22, 2018, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

 

Architectural historian and Deco expert, Tony Robins, lead us on a new ADSNY tour exploring the varied Art Deco architecture and design from Murray Hill to Gramercy Park.

 

Although the low-scale residential neighborhood of Murray Hill, tucked in the shadows of Midtown skyscrapers, still shelters many of its residents in brownstones and townhouses dating back as far as pre-Civil War days, this tour featured some of New York’s most notable examples of Art Deco architecture and design.

 

This unusual collection of buildings highlights how the Art Deco style was utilized to create unique architectural treasures––each different from the next.

 

On this walk-through Manhattan, we saw:

  • A surprising modernist apartment building tucked among the genteel townhouses of Murray Hill

  • One of Ely Jacques Kahn’s most impressive office buildings, as well as another wonderful Kahn design

  • A work designed by the great French ironwork master, Edgar Brandt

  • The iconic Empire State Building, inside and out

  • An incomplete attempt by Metropolitan Life to capture the Empire State Building’s “World’s Tallest” title

  • A special building that has some of the most eye-catching Art Deco terracotta ornamentation in the city, Gramercy House

…and much more.

 

Financial District Deco
Sunday, November 12, 2017, 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

 

Architectural historian and Art Deco expert, Tony Robins, led ADSNY members on an insightful tour of the Deco towers that have long made the fairytale skyline of Downtown Manhattan a symbol of the world’s first modern metropolis.

 

On this tour ADSNY members visited more than a dozen stunning buildings that range from iconic skyscrapers to smaller but equally stylish Deco structures tucked between the towers of the Financial District.

 

Highlights included unrivaled skyscraper designs such as Ralph Walker’s Gothic Modern fantasy of the Irving Trust tower, now known as 1 Wall Street and his equally stunning, Art Deco-encrusted Cities Service headquarters, now known as 70 Pine. The tour also included stops at buildings designed by Ely Jacques Kahn, Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, Louis Allen Abramson, and a pair of buildings by Starrett & Van Vleck.

 

Brighton Beach Walking Tour
Saturday, October 21, 2017, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

 

It finally happened! Through the Exploring Deco In… column of the Art Deco New York Journal and a few of our bus tours, we’ve had a small taste of the stunning Art Deco architecture and design of Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach neighborhood. But, on this tour, architectural historian Matt Postal led us on an in-depth feast exploring the many remarkable Art Deco buildings of the enclave that is Brighton Beach.

 

A closer examination into the interwar past of this neighborhood, on the Coney Island peninsula, showed it to be one of the city’s top destinations for Art Deco explorers. As we strolled through this Art Deco Mecca we discovered residential and commercial buildings that rival those found in the more well-known Grand Concourse neighborhood in The Bronx.

 

Like it’s Bronx counterpart, Brighton Beach is filled with magnificent examples of the modern architectural vocabulary that we know today as Art Deco. Behind many of these beautifully preserved façades are even more stunning interior spaces that we will have a chance to visit.

 

Bay Ridge Art Deco Walking Tour
Saturday, July 15, 2017, 3:00–5:00 p.m.

 

On this special tour, ADSNY partnered with Victoria Hofmo, founder of the Bay Ridge Conservancy, and Kelly Carroll of the Historic Districts Council, to explore the significant architecture and Art Deco splendors of Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge neighborhood.

 

Like many neighborhoods with wonderful Art Deco apartment houses, Bay Ridge’s development exploded at the turn of the 20th century due to access improvements in trolley, elevated railroad, and eventually subway service. Bay Ridge’s built environment appears much the same today as it did nearly a century ago. The remarkable architecture of this area is significantly intact and includes stately Art Deco and 1920s-30s apartment buildings, with original and ornate lobbies.

 

Additional stops highlighted the area’s vast history and included uniform row house blocks, historic wood frame farmhouses, Victorian mansions, and magnificent places of worship.

 

Upper East Side Art Deco Walking Tour
Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 6:15–8:15 p.m.

 

Tony Robins led us on a walking tour of the fabulous Art Deco treasures on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. As we explored the Upper East Side we saw, tucked among the Beaux-Arts town houses and sedate neo-Georgian apartment buildings, the neighborhood’s remarkable examples by some of the best architects.

 

We saw an apartment house by Raymond Hood (built for the owner of the Daily News), one of Manhattan’s very few Art Deco town houses, the elegant Carlyle Hotel, and apartment houses by Sloan & Robertson, Horace Ginsberg. and George and Edward Blum.

 

Bronx Art Deco Bus Tour
Sunday, April 9, 2017, 1:00–6:00 p.m.

 

Always fresh and interesting, this bus tour of the fabulous Art Deco treasures of The Bronx was led by our own Tony Robins. Of all the boroughs beyond Manhattan, none can match the Bronx’s reputation as an Art Deco stronghold. Besides the many wonders on the Grand Concourse–notably its famous “fish building”–the tour included visits to The Park Plaza Apartments, the first Art Deco apartment house built in the Bronx, The Wagner Building and the Dollar Savings Bank at Fordham Road, The main Bronx post office, The Bronx County building, The Rainey Gates at the Bronx Zoo and Herman Ridder Jr. High School on Boston Road, a rare Art Deco public school building.

 

The afternoon included a private visit and reception in the splendidly restored Art Deco lobby of an ADSNY member’s stunning apartment building.

 

Jersey City Art Deco Bus Tour
Saturday, October 22, 2016, 1:00–5:00 pm

 

ADSNY members explored the wonderful Art Deco of Jersey City, New York City’s neighbor to the west. Jersey City has been in the spotlight for its rapid growth and development. Fortunately, there has also been an aggressive historic preservation movement to ensure that this development hasn’t erased the city’s storied history.

 

This afternoon bus tour highlighted a wide array of Art Deco architecture and design in Jersey City, including a variety of residential, commercial, and public buildings.

 

The tour culminated in a special in-depth tour of the Beacon apartments, a former complex of stunning Art Deco buildings that made up the Jersey City Medical Center.  Over the past decade, the Beacon was restored and converted to luxury residences in what was the largest historic preservation tax credit project in the country.

 

Our afternoon concluded with a cocktail reception hosted by an ADSNY couple with a stunning Art Deco terrace at the Beacon apartment complex, which overlooks the Manhattan skyline

 

Brooklyn Heights & Downtown Brooklyn Walking Tour
Saturday, October 1, 2016, 1:00–3:00 p.m.

 

Our members took a walking tour to explore Brooklyn beyond the brownstones.

 

Many Brooklyn neighborhoods flourished during the 1920s and 30s and this special tour gave our members a chance to see examples of Brooklyn’s best Deco when architectural historian, Matt Postal, led us through previously unexplored areas of Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn.

 

Downtown Brooklyn boasts a surprising number of Art Deco delights. Our meandering route, which concluded in Brooklyn Heights, highlighted varied and often overlooked selections of commercial and residential works, including memorable designs by Ralph Walker, H.I. Feldman, Rene Chambellan, and Starrett & Van Vleck.

 

 

Algonquin Round Table Walking Tour
Thursday, August 4, 2016, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

 

The Algonquin Round Table came alive in Kevin C. Fitzpatrick’s walking tour devoted to the famed literary group. The walk celebrated Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman, Harpo Marx, Edna Ferber, Franklin P. Adams, Heywood Broun, Harold Ross, Robert Sherwood, Marc Connelly and the rest of the Vicious Circle.

 

We started and ended at the landmark Algonquin Hotel and saw homes, haunts, and hangouts of the Vicious Circle of the 1920s. We also saw where The New Yorker magazine began, visited locations where speakeasies once stood, and walked in the footsteps of legendary wits. Tour goers also had the option of enjoying cocktails at the Algonquin Hotel.

 

Discovering Chelsea Deco
Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 6:00–8:00 p.m.

 

Matt Postal led us on an eye-opening tour through an area of Manhattan not typically recognized for its Deco gems. Many unsung Art Deco delights are found in this Midtown neighborhood. From Ely Jacques Kahn to Horace Ginsbern, Chelsea offers something for everyone, including apartment houses, loft buildings, and even a stylish parking garage.

 

Highlights of this evening tour with architectural historian Matt Postal included the High School of Fashion Industries, a former telephone switching station built by the New York Telephone Company, and Ralph Walker’s monumental Salvation Army Centennial Memorial Temple.

 

Washington Heights Deco Walking Tour
Sunday, May 15, 2016, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

 

Set high on a hill, its streets lined with modest but attractive six-story Art Deco apartment houses, Washington Heights has more in common with West Bronx neighborhoods just across the Harlem River than with the rest of Manhattan. Many of the same architects who worked on the Grand Concourse also designed apartment buildings on or near Fort Washington Avenue – we will see work by Horace Ginsbern, Jacob Felson, Israel Crausman, Miller & Goldhammer, Charles Kreymborg, and H. Herbert Lillien.

 

Two taller apartment buildings, by Boak & Paris, offer a more idiosyncratic take on the modernism of the 1930s. Our walk included a one-story taxpayer, and one of the city’s few frankly Deco subway entrances. But the star attraction was the Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist (now the Hebrew Tabernacle of Washington Heights), one of perhaps a dozen or so Art Deco houses of worship anywhere in the city.

 

On this walking tour, architectural historian Tony Robins, led us through the beauty of Art Deco in Washington Heights. The tour included visits to two interiors: the sanctuary of the Hebrew Tabernacle, and the lobby of 250 Cabrini Boulevard, one of the two Boak & Paris buildings.

 

Upper West Side: Broadway & Riverside Drive
Sunday, April 3, 2016, 1:00–3:00 p.m.

 

Tony Robins lead us on a walk across the upper west tracts of the Upper West Side, from West 85th to 103rd streets, Broadway to Riverside Drive.

 

We saw stunning works by such stalwart Manhattan Deco icons as Sugarman & Berger, Boak & Paris, and Harvey Wiley Corbett, as well as architects less well known for their Deco productions, including Emery Roth and Rosario Candela. Highlights included Roth’s Normandy Apartments and Corbett’s Master Apartments; the Broadway Fashion Building – four-stories of commercial space in a Moderne glass box; Boak & Paris’s Midtown (now Metro) Theater; and one of Manhattan’s last surviving Horn & Hardart automat buildings, with splendid Art Deco terra-cotta.

 

Brooklyn Deco Bus Tour
Sunday, October 4, 2015, noon–5:00 p.m.

 

We’ve done the Bronx, and we’ve done Queens, which could mean just one thing: it was time for a Brooklyn bus tour!

 

Once a separate city, today New York’s most populous borough, Brooklyn flourished mightily during the 1920s and ‘30s. On this bus tour we took in samples of the Brooklyn’s best Deco: apartment houses that rival the Bronx; a phone company headquarters by Ralph Walker that rivaled his lower Manhattan behemoths; a small but stunning skyscraper by one of the architects of Rockefeller Center; a department store, an elevated subway station and more.

 

The Glamour of Rockefeller Center
Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 6:00–8:00 p.m.

 

On this evening walking tour, we were led through a wealth of visual delights by the spirited New Yorker, highly regarded cultural historian, and renowned Rockefeller Center tour guide, Sibyl McCormac Groff. Sibyl encouraged us to look up at the beauty of New York, while giving us the inside scoop on the secrets behind the glamorous walls and hidden spaces of one of New York’s great Deco icons.

 

On this tour we explored the beautiful Deco ornamentation of this ‘city within a city’ created for commerce but conceived with art in mind, heard about Rockefeller Center’s underground concourses, the world’s first artificial ice skating rink and so much more.

 

 

East to West Midtown Deco Walking Tour
Wednesday, July 29th, 2015, 6:00–8:00 p.m.

 

On a lovely summer evening Tony Robins led us on a stroll from Midtown East to Midtown West, highlighting Deco treasures along the way.

 

This tour took in Deco marvels clustered along 57th and 59th Streets at the northern edge of Midtown. Buildings included the stylish emporia of Bloomingdales and Tiffany; the corporate headquarters of Squibb, Fuller, Hearst and 20th Century Fox; and luxury digs on Central Park South – Barbizon Plaza, Essex House and Hampshire House. Many New Yorkers and tourists alike view these buildings every day. This tour allowed us to take the time to look at all the beautiful Deco façade details, tour the wonderfully maintained and restored lobbies, as well as learn why these buildings were so special.

 

Downtown Deco
Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 6:00–8:00 p.m.

 

On this walking tour we joined architectural historian Matt Postal for an early evening stroll to consider a varied collection of Art Deco designs that illustrated how New York City prospered during the 1920s and transformed the narrow streets of Lower Manhattan.

 

As dusk fell, we discussed the financial district’s changing character and how such architectural gems, including the Cities Service Building and the American Stock Exchange, are currently being adapted to new uses.

 

Grand Concourse Deco: A Bronx Spring Stroll
Sunday, May 3, 2015, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

 

Bronx historian and expert, Sam Goodman, took us on a stroll up the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Together, we discovered the many Art Deco treasures that define development of this special boulevard.

 

Highlights of the afternoon include visits to numerous buildings, including Emory Roth’s only Bronx apartment house and the famous Fish Building. We also went to Jerome Avenue to explore two of the neighborhood’s most outstanding buildings, 1001 Jerome Avenue and the Park Plaza Apartments.

 

Sam offered the inside scoop of why this community developed and why it was considered so unique.

 

Art Deco Landmarks: Unlikely Battles and Great Successes
Sunday, April 19, 2015, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

 

New York City boasts the world’s greatest collection of Art Deco architecture. In honor of the 50th anniversary of New York’s Landmarks law, ADSNY sponsored a wonderful marathon bus tour of Deco highlights in all five boroughs.

 

Many of New York’s best-known Deco buildings are official Landmarks, but others were disfigured or lost before they could be protected. This very special tour for ADSNY members, led by our Deco expert, Tony Robins – who was also the Deputy Director of Research and Director of Survey at the Landmarks Preservation Commission in the 1980s and 90s — took us on a whirlwind visit in which we celebrate restored landmarks, were shocked by lost treasures, and consider potential Landmark candidates still at risk of destruction today.

 

The tour began with a visit to some of the great Deco residential skyscrapers of the Upper West Side, including the dramatic story of the close call when one of them was threatened with disfigurement. Next, we visited the first Art Deco apartment building in the Bronx, given landmark status 30 years ago, followed by a surprising Deco building that isn’t a landmark but perhaps should be.

 

In Queens, we will stop for lunch on the fly at the beautiful Marine Air Terminal, while admiring its restored Landmark interior, including the once-lost murals of Flight. We also visited a site that should have been made a Landmark but wasn’t, and recently was completely refaced – a sad example of what can happen in the absence of Landmarks protection.

 

Then in Brooklyn, a borough ADSNY has not yet toured, we saw a once abandoned public building whose restoration resulted from a contested landmark designation; another building once proposed for landmark status but vandalized before it could be protected; and some wonderful Deco apartment buildings in Brighton Beach that lack protection and might disappear at any moment.

 

Lastly, we visited Staten Island, a borough too often overlooked, to see residential, public and medical buildings that showcase Deco design. At the end of the tour, many tour-goers returned to Manhattan on the magical Staten Island Ferry––one of the great New York experiences.

 

Central Park West Art Deco Treasures
Sunday, March 30, 2014, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

 

ADSNY joined lecturer Tony Robins for a captivating walk along Central Park West to get a closer look at the Art Deco gems that form Manhattan’s major residential skyline.

 

A few buildings we looked at were the twin-towered skyscraper apartment buildings—–the Century, the Majestic, and the Eldorado.  Tony’s events are always a visual and content-rich treat.

 

Rockefeller Center: Secrets of an Iconic Neighborhood
Sunday, November 24, 2013, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

 

ADSNY members were treated to a private walking tour of Rockefeller Center with spirited tour leader, cultural historian and Rockefeller authority Sibyl Groff, to experience the chic ambiance and the diversity of the architectural jewel that is Rockefeller Center – and the neighborhood surrounding this midtown Manhattan landmark.

 

Sibyl shared some of the secrets and the treasures of one of the most important pieces of real estate in the world. We enjoyed a wealth of visual delights and heard about the history and behind-the-scenes stories of this multi-faceted midtown mosaic.

 

New York’s Midtown Deco Treasures
Sunday, October 20, 2013, 1:00–3:00 p.m.

 

John Tauranac, architectural historian, author, the man responsible for the New York Subway map and ADSNY Advisory Board member, led 35 ADSNY members on a tour of midtown Art Deco treasures

 

Included were the Chanin, Chrysler, Graybar, American Radiator and Daily News buildings, ending at the Empire State Building. No one knows the New York’s Deco masterpieces better than John, and no one navigates the city better than John, whose maps and his Manhattan Block by Block: A Street Atlas, as well as his books on the Empire State Building, and New York From the Air make any tour with John a not-to-be-missed experience.

 

Bronx Deco
Sunday, September 15, 2013 1:00–5:00 p.m.

 

Led by author and lecturer Tony Robins, this sold-out bus tour of the Bronx highlighted a range of outstanding Art Deco buildings including Grand Concourse apartment houses, the Bronx Court House, Herman Ridder Junior High, the Bronx Zoo’s Rainey Memorial Gates and much more.

 

This popular tour culminated in a reception in the lobby of ADSNY member Alex Disbrow, whose 1937 Art Deco Pelham Parkway apartment building, designed by master architect, H.I. Feldman, was featured in the New York Times earlier in the year.