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A/V Tours

A sampling...

From Colony to Metropolis

Images of New York vibrate with a sense of time and place -- changing architectural tastes, advancement of mass transportation, new styles of the street lamp and the rise of the neon sign. Pictures of the city were seen far and wide with the invention of the picture post card in 1894. New York was now the desired destination for travelers both near and far. 

City of Immigrants

During the great waves of immigration, hundreds of thousands of Europeans passed through Ellis Island on their way to America. The Island opened in 1892, but the original wooden buildings were destroyed by fire in 1897. In 1900, fireproof, brick Victorian buildings were erected costing the government over one million dollars. Ellis Island remained throughout a place where dreams were fulfilled or hopes were shattered. 

A Select History of New York City Emporiums

The oldest store in New York still in business is Lord & Taylor, founded in 1826. The first department store in America was built in New York in 1846 by the Irish immigrant, Alexander Tunney Stewart. Other storekeepers followed, many rising from ordinary peddlers to owners of general stores on the frontier. Yet behind every great emporium were the merchants who made them and the customers who patronized them. 

The Evolution of the Skyscraper

New York continually shows its might by how many buildings it has, how many people are in them, how big these buildings could be made to be. With the coming of the skyscraper the idea that a city is primarly an agglomeration of small - to medium sized buildings was a thing of the past. Buildings got taller and taller, each one seeking to rule the sky.

Urban Treasures

New York is a city of wonders. Signs of New York's fortification system can still be found in the Battery. Our small City Hall, with its back to uptown, once had in its park apple trees that were used as gallows. Rockefeller Center in midtown, built under a masterplan, is known as a "city within a city." In Fort Tryon Park, way uptown, a medieval garden grows.

Jewish Women Pioneers

Some women changed the way we think, like Anzia Yezierska, who wrote about the lives of immigrants in the New World. Others changed they way we look, like Gertrude Stein and her discerning artistic eye. Others taught us independence, like Sophie Tucker, who sang in burlesque, vaudeville and nightclubs. Then there were those who touched our soul, like Lillian Wald and her pioneering social work.