The Historic Districts Council (HDC) has announced its Six to Celebrate, an annual listing of historic New York City neighborhoods that merit preservation attention. Six to Celebrate is New York’s only citywide list of preservation priorities. [Read more…] about New York City Historic Districts Council Names ‘Six to Celebrate’
Secretariat’s Triple Crown at 50
2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the racehorse Secretariat (March 30, 1970 – October 4, 1989) winning the Triple Crown in 1973, a feat that had not been achieved since it was won by Citation in 1948.
Secretariat, also known as Big Red (a nickname shared with Man O’War), was the ninth winner of Triple Crown, setting and still holding record fastest time in all three races – the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes. He spent much of his career in New York State, and was notably beaten at Saratoga Race Course in 1973, but the only three races he ever lost were in New York State. [Read more…] about Secretariat’s Triple Crown at 50
Remembering Historian, Preservationist Jeffrey Kroessler (1952-2023)
Jeffrey Kroessler, a longtime board member of the Historic Districts Council (HDC) in New York City, preservationist, author, and historian, passed away on Sunday, February 5th at the age of 71.
Kroessler served on HDC’s boards of directors and advisers for 36 years, helping to craft the organization’s advocacy strategies and educational programs on preservation across the city. [Read more…] about Remembering Historian, Preservationist Jeffrey Kroessler (1952-2023)
Franklin Williams: An Unsung Civil Rights Hero
Larger-than-life figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King and, going back further, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Booker T. Washington, functioned as the “celebrities” of the equal rights movement, the public face of the crusade for racial justice.
But outside the spotlight, “bridge figures” such as New Yorker Franklin H. Williams — men and woman unencumbered by the sometimes blinding “star quality” of the Kings and Marshalls while also shunning the divisive tactics of militants such as Bobby Seale, Huey Newton, and Malcolm X — made enormous but often underappreciated contributions. [Read more…] about Franklin Williams: An Unsung Civil Rights Hero
Mayonnaise, Hollandaise, Huguenots and Nostalgia: A Culinary History
What and where a person eats, suggests togetherness with one community and dis-identification with another and is therefore a factor that affects all migrant communities. Consumption conveys an idea of public identity.
Food can also serve as a psychological stimulus by unlocking emotional childhood reminiscences. Such experiences have frequently been expressed creatively. There are, for example, the uncooked wrinkled French prunes for Tolstoy’s Ivan Il’ich or the famous “petites madeleines” for Marcel Proust’s Swann that recapture vivid images of early years. [Read more…] about Mayonnaise, Hollandaise, Huguenots and Nostalgia: A Culinary History
Marjorie Sewell Cautley: Renowned Landscape Architect
Marjorie Sewell Cautley (1891–1954) was the first woman landscape architect to design state parks, the first to plan the landscape of a federally funded housing project, the first to lecture in a university’s city planning department – and the first person to design a plan for D.L. Rogers Memorial Park in Bolton Landing on Lake George. [Read more…] about Marjorie Sewell Cautley: Renowned Landscape Architect
Wilhelm Grosz: The Red Sails of Forced Migration
One of the top-grossing American films of 1940 was the western Santa Fe Trail, the seventh Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland collaboration. The story concerns John Brown’s campaign against slavery just before the outbreak of the Civil War. Starting out on an acting career, young Ronald Reagan appeared in the story line as George Armstrong Custer. [Read more…] about Wilhelm Grosz: The Red Sails of Forced Migration
Jack Niflot: Olympic Gold Medal Wrestler
New York State’s connection to Olympic wrestling goes all the way back to 1904, the very first year freestyle wrestling was included in the summer games, when Isidor “Jack” Niflot, then of New York City, but later a longtime Sullivan County resident, won a gold medal in the bantamweight division. [Read more…] about Jack Niflot: Olympic Gold Medal Wrestler
The Violin, George Gemünder & The Sound of New York
Thomas Jefferson, America’s first Ambassador to France and the nation’s third President, developed a liking for the more genteel aspects of life in Europe. The man who requested that a cellar be constructed at the White House, has been named the first American wine connoisseur. He ordered his supplies directly from the finest French vineyards.
Jefferson also had a passion for music and was a devoted violinist. As part of his early ‘gentlemanly’ education he had been taught to play the instrument. Later in life he compiled a music library at his Monticello estate in Charlottesville that contained works by Vivaldi, Corelli, and Handel, and compositions by contemporaries such as Haydn and others. [Read more…] about The Violin, George Gemünder & The Sound of New York
The Downstate-Upstate Life of Marinus Willett
This week on The Historians Podcast, New York City correspondent Jim Kaplan discusses the life of Marinus Willett. Willett is well known to Upstate New York historians because of the work he did during the American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley. [Read more…] about The Downstate-Upstate Life of Marinus Willett