Belle Livingstone, a former showgirl “with poetic legs”, was one of the best-known speakeasy owners in New York. She ran the Fifty-Eighth Street Country Club, which offered its patrons $40 champagne and a miniature golf course. After it was raided in late 1930, she spent a month in prison.
On September 8, 2011, the New-York Historical Society opened its doors to our Remembering 9/11 installation. With photographs, newspaper clippings and audio accounts of the events of September 11, 2001, we wanted our gallery to be a place to remember and reflect on the events and the time that has passed.
When the New-York Historical Society reopens in November, the 77th Street Rotunda will be adorned with four works from artist Richard Haas’ Cityscapes cycle—paintings which depict a 360 degree view of New York City’s skyline. Originally displayed in the employee dining room of the Philip Morris headquarters in 1982, Haas tells us his goal was to bring the building’s stunning views to everyone.
Lore has it that Hog Island – a little spit of land off the coast of Far Rockaway that was said to resemble the back of a hog -- was washed away in the hurricane of 1893. But though this story is trotted out every time New York City is threatened (like now) by another hurricane, contemporaneous sources suggest a more gradual end.
J.B. Beers, New Map of Kings and Queens Counties, 1886
Art inspires, and sometimes what it inspires is other art. When composer Nell Shaw Cohen first saw Thomas Cole’s The Course of Empire at the New-York Historical Society, she was inspired to write a piece that represented the story seen in Cole’s series. One of the defining works of the Hudson River School of painting, The Course of Empire depicts the growth of a fictional civilization, from birth to power to ultimate demise.
When the Hotel Pennsylvania opened in 1916, it was the world’s largest hotel, a stately complement to the grand Pennsylvania Railroad Station across Seventh Avenue. Its guests enjoyed a rooftop restaurant, Turkish baths, and Roman decorative flourishes. Now, close to a century later, it merely lingers while the building’s owners make plans to replace it with a controversial skyscraper.
It may come as a surprise that the so-called concrete jungle of New York City has no fewer than 54 outdoor pools maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Astoria Park Pool. Geographic File, PR 020.
The U.S. Marshal Service has been providing protection for federal judges since 1789. In 2010, Marshals investigated about 1,400 threats and inappropriate communications to the federal judiciary, and provided protection for more than 2,000 federal judges. Although there has been a noted increase in recent years, threatening federal judges is hardly a new phenomenon.
Most people can tell you exactly what happened to them on September 11, 2011. They remember the weather, or what they had for lunch, or the look on their neighbor's face as the two watched smoke billowing from downtown Manhattan. The attacks of 9/11 affected everyone differently, and that is what the New-York Historical Society hopes to honor with the exhibition Remembering 9/11.
At the New-York Historical Society, our librarians, curators and conservators aren't the only ones who get to have all the fun. Though we're closed for renovations, our high school interns have been hard at work researching our collections. And they have the blog to prove it! On their Tumblr site the interns have been blogging about their summer projects, from researching the history of the Bronx to bathroom graffiti to the architecture of Grand Central Terminal. Want to be an intern?