New York City Paper Dolls: Bill Cunningham

Sun, March 23rd, 2014 | 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Free with Museum Admission

How would you dress up to stand in front of Federal Hall? How about the Empire State Building? The Washington Mews? Inspired by the exhibition Bill Cunningham: Façades, families are invited to choose their favorite New York City landmark and decorate their own matching paper doll in this drop-in art making program. We’ll have images of historical paper dolls from our collection for families to see as well. Recommended for ages 4–10.

Around the World with Barry Lewis: London

Barry Lewis
Sun, April 6th, 2014 | 5:00 pm


London and its metropolitan area are the sources of much of our own American modern architectural and interior design. Whether Arts and Crafts or metallic “modernist,” London’s designers of the 19th century paved the way for our 20th-century ideals of “honest” design. Join Barry Lewis and discover how John Soane, William Morris, Owen Jones, Joseph Paxton, and others inspired Americans to embrace modernisms long before Mies van der Rohe was even born.

Homes and Haunts of Gilded Age New York

Cal Snyder
Lucy Oakley
Sun, September 29th, 2013 | 11:00 am

Note: This program is sold out



From the 7th Regiment Armory to St. James’s Church to the Society Library to the Knickerbocker Club, the lifestyles of the rich and famous at the turn of the 20th century still resonate in the urban fabric of Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

The Woolworth Bowl

Mar 29 2013 - Mar 29 2013

This remarkable and unique silver presentation punch bowl, currently on display in our Smith Gallery, was presented by Frank W. Woolworth (1852-1919) to architect Cass Gilbert (1859-1934) at the formal dinner celebrating the opening of the Woolworth Building.When the neo-Gothic skyscraper, known as the "Cathedral of Commerce," was completed in 1913, it was the tallest building in the world, and held that distinction until the completion of 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building in 1930.

Tiffany & Co. (1837-present), Presentation punch bowl commemorating the opening of the F.W. Woolworth Building, 1913. Sterling silver with gold inscription. Purchased through the generosity of Barbara Knowles Debs and Richard A. Debs, Paul Guarner, Patricia D. Klingenstein, the Monsky family, Nancy Newcomb and John Hargraves, Pam B. Schafler, and Roy J. Zuckerberg, 2013.12

Woolworth's "small token” of his regard, as he described it during the presentation ceremony, was in fact a conspicuous flaunting of wealth and power. The bowl is austere in its design, with an inscription around the perimeter executed in Gothic-style silver gilt lettering. Both the lettering and the bowl's neo-Gothic ornament make direct reference to the architectural details of Gilbert's masterpiece. A view of the Woolworth Building from City Hall Park is chased inside the bottom of the bowl.

Macy's Sunday Story Time: Architectural Appreciation

Sun, April 14th, 2013 | 11:30 am

Recommended for children ages 4–7.

The great thing about architecture is that it is everywhere, so you can appreciate it anywhere—even in a classic story like The Three Little Pigs! Which type of house will the big, bad wolf be able to blow down: the house made of scraps, glass, or stone and concrete? You might be surprised!

The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale by Steven Guarnaccia

Support for the Macy's Sunday Story Hour provided by the Macy's Foundation.

Art Deco of the 1930s

Barry Lewis
Sun, June 23rd, 2013 | 5:00 pm


Join architectural historian Barry Lewis for this Sunday program on New York’s Art Deco buildings of the 1930s. From the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings to more modest buildings about town, Art Deco was the dominant style of “Swing Time.”


Barry Lewis is an architectural historian and host of a popular series of walking tours on PBS.


The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024

Greenwich Village in the 1930s

Barry Lewis
Sun, June 9th, 2013 | 5:00 pm


In the sequel to his popular program on Greenwich Village, Barry Lewis returns, in conjunction with the exhibition Swing Time, to discuss the evolution of the Village in the 1930s. How did the Village change as New York and the nation moved from the carefree era of the ’20s to the more sobering decade of the ’30s?


Barry Lewis is an architectural historian and host of a popular series of walking tours on PBS.

New York Magic with Matt Wayne

Matt Wayne
Sat, May 18th, 2013 | 7:00 pm

Note: This event has been cancelled



In a city where architecture seems to defy gravity and buildings appear and disappear in the blink of an eye, New York has long served as a premier venue for the world’s most renowned magicians. From Harry Houdini to Al Flosso to Jeff Sheridan, the city continues to attract and foster entertainers from around the world. In keeping with this tradition, New-York Historical presents an evening of dazzling fun with celebrity magician Matt Wayne.

Eastside vs. Westside

Barry Lewis
Thu, April 18th, 2013 | 6:30 pm

Note: This event is sold out



By the end of the nineteenth century, Central Park West had become a bastion of middle class life and Fifth Avenue the boulevard of the very wealthy. Today the east side chateaux have almost all disappeared, but the middle class apartment buildings of the west side remain a vital part of the New York skyline. Join us for a colorful evening with Barry Lewis, whose Eastside vs. Westside lecture returns by popular demand.

The Landmarks of New York

Dec 14 2012 - Feb 18 2013

The Landmarks of New York is an exhibition which explores the history of New York as revealed by its historical structures. The exhibition’s ninety photographs of New York landmarks, including thirty newly donated by former New York City Landmarks Commissioner Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, are critical documents that chronicle the city’s past from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. As the city grew, single family houses were replaced by apartment buildings and then skyscrapers; agriculture replaced manufacturing, which was supplanted by commerce and the movement of goods and services. All of these structures tell the story of New York’s journey from a small colonized village to a world class city.

William Field and Son (firm active late-19th century), New York and Long Island Coignet Stone Company Building, 1872–1873. 360 Third Avenue, Brooklyn. From the book: The Landmarks of New York : an Illustrated Record of the City’s Historic Buildings, by Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. Photographer: Luca Vignelli

The city’s landmarks embrace New York’s history as told not only through documents such as those in the collections of the New-York Historical Society but also through the buildings where its citizens have lived, worked, and worshipped; through the parks which have provided respite from the city streets; through public monuments which adorn neighborhoods; and even the cemeteries which tell stories of those buried there.

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