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: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04fy2bq
 

Upcoming events for the public:

The City Transformed, Part One, Fall 2016 / New York from the Colonial Days to the 1890s 
Wednesdays, Oct 5 to Dec 7, 2016, 6:30pm-8:00pm at Cooper Union 8 lectures. No classes Wed Oct 12 and Wed Nov. 23.

Registration for Fall 2016 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: http://cooperunion.augusoft.net. The dates for Registration for Fall 2016 classes will be announced when available.

New York---its buildings, its planning, its evolution, across every era from colonial times to 1890. We will see the metro area grow from a tiny trading post to a modern industrial city of the Victorian era. Through styles like the Greek Revival, the neo-Gothic, the Italianate and the Arts & Crafts, we will trace the city’s evolution from a small town to an industrial metropolis on the cusp of being a world capital. We will cover the city planning ideals of the day emphasizing “greening” the burgeoning new metropolises (remember, Brooklyn was an independent city) with parks, parkways and “garden suburbs” and the transportation systems, the ‘el’ trains and the Brooklyn Bridge that laid the infrastructure framework for the New York we have 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.


New-York Historical Society, “Gracie Mansion and Houses of the Early American Republic”
Thursday April 27, 2017, 6:30pm

Domestic architecture in the early American Republic was about light-filled spacious interiors with simple furnishings, high ceilings and lots of glass---interiors we would find "modern" today. New York is lucky to have several fine homes from that period called in honor of the new government, the "Federal" style. We'll take a look at houses as diverse as Gracie Mansion (1810), Hamilton Grange (1801), Boscobel (1810) in Garrison NY and the Dyckman farmhouse (1780s; renovated 1820s) on upper Broadway to see Americans enjoying the first flush of prosperity in their new Republic.