Barry Lewis’ “live” tour of this website

Barry Lewis is available for lectures, conferences, seminars and other types of speaking engagements.

Possible lecture topics
Past speaking engagements

The Avant/Garde Diaries (Sponsored by Mercedes Benz)

Barry Lewis - The Jefferson Market Courthouse

Barry Lewis fell in love with architecture in 1960s France. When he returned to New York, Lewis found a similarly rich, if less celebrated, history in that city’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. For The Avant/Garde Diaries, Lewis takes us on a jaunty tour of the famed Jefferson Market Courthouse, a “punk” building for its time daring to expose its structure of unadorned red and black brick. Back in the 1870s, he says, that was a shocker: as if a woman left the house without her dress, showing off her “underclothes”. The “Jefferson”, Greenwich Village’s branch library since 1967, was part of a pioneering generation that lay down the principle of today’s design: form follows material.

Produced by Kitty Bolhoefer / Filmed by Fridolin Schoepper / Editing by Konterfei / Music by Carlos Bruck

BBC Radio 4 “The Map That Made Manhattan”, Simon Hollis producer
Aired originally, September, 2014. 30 minutes long.

Londoner Simon Hollis, who lived in New York for several years, discusses the Manhattan grid street system and how it affects the way we New Yorkers look at our city. Only a foreigner could have been so conscious that "Meet me at 27th and 2nd" is a pure New Yorkism. I'm one of the interviewees and in fact have the "last word" (thank you, Simon).

Direct link for listening:

Upcoming events for the public:

The City Transformed, Part Two, Spring 2017 / New York from the 1890s to the Modern Era 
Wednesdays, Mar 22 to May 10, 2017, 6:30pm-8:00pm at Cooper Union; 8 lectures.

Registration for Spring 2017 Continuing Education classes is accessed thru the CU Continuing Ed link listed below.

The Cooper Union switchboard, 1-212-353-4195, is open Mon-Fri 10:30am-5:30pm.

Cooper Union’s Continuing Education website: Registration is open Jan 5th-23rd, 2017. After Jan 23rd, a late fee will be charged.

New York — its buildings, planning and growth from the 1890s to the present. Emerging by 1900 as a world capital of the globe’s newest world power, New York has, each generation since, used successive architectural styles to re-make its skyline: the Beaux-Arts (the1890s-1920s), the Art Deco (the 1920s), the Art Moderne (the 1930s), the Mid-Century Modern (1950s-70s), the Post-Modern (1980s-90s) and today the current Modern Movement Revival. Each of these styles has expressed the city’s unique vibrancy at a particular time in our history. Every generation of our 20th and 21st centuries has created its own new skyline, usually bigger & and taller than anything that went before. We will be looking at that ever evolving phenomenon called New York thru the lens of architectural history and see how each generation’s “layer” adds to the city we know today.

For a detailed course curriculum, click here

New-York Historical Society, “Brooklyn Before The Bridge”
Thursday, Septermber 29, 2016, 6:30pm

“Brooklyn was only one of six towns of rural, 17th century Kings County. By 1883, when the Brooklyn Bridge opened, Brooklyn was a city, the fourth largest in the country, with a population of over a half million. We are going to look at the enormous changes the industrial era brought to bucolic Brooklyn: horse car lines, el train routes, thousands of middle-class brownstones in new bourgeois neighborhoods and working-class tenements in the just-annexed Eastern Addition (Williamsburg and Bushwick). With a Park and Parkway system that outshone New York’s, Brooklyn was getting ready for the big time.”

New-York Historical Society, “Brooklyn Bridge & the Brooklyn El Trains”
Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 6:30pm

The Brooklyn Bridge was an outstanding achievement on many levels. Opening in 1882, it was a major example of America's growing technological prowess. And it laid down the practical foundations for the five borough city of the future. We are going to look at the story of the Bridge, the brilliant husband-and-wife team that created it and the City of Brooklyn's response--a new elevated train system that would re-arrange Brooklyn's high society geography.

New-York Historical Society, “Brooklyn After the Bridge: the post 1883 City and Borough”

Tuesday December 6, 2016, 6:30pm

The Brooklyn Bridge changed everything. The City of Brooklyn's wealthy re-located to new neighborhoods, built new institutions (Museum, Botanic Garden, Academy of Music) & presided over a verdant Victorian city--for 2 generations. Then the Subway came to Brooklyn after World War I, & the 'borough' morphed into the middle-class American dream for Manhattan's ethnic masses.