SCHEDULED PUBLIC WALKING TOURS NYC - SPRING 2023

Just show up and discover treasures in every NYC neighborhood on any one of these guided walking tours. Bring a friend and share the fun of a sightseeing-storytelling adventure.

Check the status of your subway, see web.mta.info/weekender for changes and closed stations.
 
» Gift certificates available for public or private tours

Joyce Gold with a walking tour group
  • Joyce Gold leads all public walking tours.
  • Tour duration is noted next to each tour listing
  • No reservations are needed
  • Fee is still $25 per person; $20 for seniors 62+

» Spring 2023 Public Tour Schedule available for viewing and pdf download

painting, Mrs. Cornelia Ward Hall, by Michele Gordigiani (1835-1909)

March 11   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

THE GILDED AGE — GRANDIOSE YEARNINGS FROM UNTAXED EARNINGS

MEET: 78th St. & Madison Ave., southwest corner.

Rivalry between "old money" & "new money" filled the gossip pages of the Gilded Age newspapers. Old money dated from Dutch & British colonial times; new money flowed from the industrialization beginning with the Civil War.
 
The HBO series "The Gilded Age" presents a "new money" family - the Russells - and their disruptive attacks on "old money" Society. Joining this tour you will learn whom the Russells portray.
 
Between 78th Street and 86th Street, Fifth Avenue still has a concentration of formidable Gilded Age mansions. The industrial age moguls who built these city chateaux were vying to outdo one another & flaunting their wealth & worthiness for all to see. Women of the new-monied class competed for social standing with clothing, parties, and aristocratic connections.
 
Highlights of the tour:
• Vanderbilts, Astors, and Guggenheims
• "Poor little rich girl"
• Architectural masterpieces by C.P.H.Gilbert, Stanford White and Richard Morris Hunt
• "Dollar princesses"
• The Age of Shoddy
H.M.S. Titanic
 

Sutton Place, NYC.

March 19   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

** NEW **

SUTTON PLACE — AVANT-GUARD WOMEN CREATE NEW ENCLAVE

MEET: E. 57th St. & Sutton Place, southeast corner.

Starting in the 1920s, creative and influential women of means saw an intriguing alternative to Fifth Avenue residences. Together, Anne Morgan, Elisabeth Marbury, and Anne Vanderbilt chose to totally renovate townhouses on one far Eastside block between 57th and 58th Sts. called Sutton Place. The area had a checkered past of middle-class residences pushed out by industry and the working poor. These 3 women thoroughly changed that block, beginning the creation of the beautiful, off-the-beaten-path neighborhood of today.
 
Highlights include:
• “Amazon Enclave”
• Society women who first enter professions
• Stories of actors, writers, musicians and other creative people who chose the neighborhood
• A private road east of Sutton Place
• Small public parks facing the East River
 
 

Madison Square Garden in the Rose Hill section of NoMad.

March 25   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

ROSE HILL OF NOMAD — WHERE’S THAT?

MEET: Redbury Hotel, 29 E. 29th St.

Rose Hill once held homes of old moneyed New Yorkers, but also included a safe house of the Underground Railroad. It was once the site of a snooty church, but just around the corner frequent assignations and colorful goings-on were part of that 1890s scene. Today you can see whole streets of stately Beaux-Arts buildings and a structure once tallest in the world. The dense vegetation of its beautiful park shields quiet space for art installations, children’s play, and a popular outdoor eatery.
 
Highlights include:
• Winston Churchill’s Iroquois ancestor
• The Southerner who became a hero of the Yankee cause in the Civil War
• A noisy gravesite
• Where Madonna got her start
• The Crime of the Century
• The announcement at dawn, “You are now the President of the United States”
 

City Hall NYC aerial view.

April 1   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

** NEW **

AROUND CITY HALL PARK — PEOPLE FIGHTING FOR THE WORLD THEY WANT

MEET: 25 Park Row, btw Beekman and Ann Sts. facing City Hall Park. Subway: #2 or #3 to Park Place; #4, #5, #6 to Brooklyn Bridge; R, W to City Hall; A, C, J, Z to Fulton St.

The area that now includes City Hall and City Hall Park has witnessed powerful conflicts. The formative struggles that took place here were part of major upheavals affecting the entire nation.
 
• African-Americans’ striving for equality, and the violent opposition to it
• Patriots of American independence rousing New Yorkers to war, and the sadistic British Bridewell prison
• Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton publishing their weekly newspaper The Revolution, fighting to give women the vote
 
Highlights Include:
– African Burial Ground National Monument
– Newspaper Giants—The New York Times, New-York Tribune, New York World
– Bloody draft riots of the Civil War
– The Episcopalian St Paul’s Chapel and the Roman Catholic St. Peter’s Church
– The start of the American department store
– Tweed Courthouse and its history of colossal graft
 

Temple Israel, 1905 in Harlem, NY.

April 9   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

JEWISH HARLEM

MEET: NYS Office Building Plaza, W. 125th St. (MLK Blvd.) & Seventh Ave (AC Powell Blvd.) NE corner, in plaza; Subway: #2 or #3 to 125th St.

Harlem was once the third largest Jewish settlement in the world, after Warsaw and the Lower East Side. In the neighborhood more than 150,000 Jews listened to the great Yossele Rosenblatt chant Sabbath services and were terrified when gangsters like Lefty Louie Horowitz and Whitey Lewis fought gun battles on 125th St. They shopped at Blumstein’s Department Store and saw teen-age singers Walter Winchell and George Jessel begin their careers.
 
The tour considers the following questions —
Why did Jewish New Yorkers move to Harlem?
What was their reception?
How did they keep the children within the fold?
Are any synagogues still active in Harlem?

Historic illustration of old new york-Five Points

April 16   SUNDAY  1 to 3 PM

GANGS OF NEW YORK AND THE BLOODY FIVE POINTS

MEET: The Bowery & Bayard St. (1 block south of Canal St.) northwest corner at Bank of America.

Just east of today's City Hall and Municipal Building, this was once a foul-smelling, disease-ridden district. Brought to life in the movie "Gangs of New York", it was a place of violence, gang wars, poverty, and corruption. The district evokes such places of notoriety as Paradise Square, Cow Bay, Bottle Alley, and such gangs as the Roach Guards, Plug Uglies, Shirt Tails, and Dead Rabbits.
 
Highlights include:
•  Five Points visitors — Davy Crockett, Charles Dickens, and Abraham Lincoln
•  A Five Points success story - Al Smith - Tammany Hall protégé, state governor, presidential candidate
•  The oldest Jewish graveyard in North America
•  The Roman Catholic church with Anglican, Cuban, Irish, Italian, Chinese, and Buddhist history
 

Gertrude V. Whitney, painting by Robert Henri.

April 22   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

FLAMBOYANT AND BOHEMIAN — GREENWICH VILLAGE AND HOW IT BECAME FAMOUS

MEET: Washington Sq. Arch, Fifth Ave., 1 block south of 8th St.

In its earliest years Greenwich Village was a refuge from the yellow fever epidemic downtown. By the early 20th century, the Village had become home to artists, writers, and playwrights looking for an unconventional environment and creative freedom. Protesters came here in their struggles for the vote for women, better working conditions, opposition to war, and gay and feminist rights.
 
Highlights include:
•  The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the labor movement
•  Literary figures — Henry James, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Willa Cather, Eugene O'Neill
•  Mabel Dodge’s salon and her shocking guests
•  19th century residential architecture as a social document
•  The Minetta trout stream and street design
•  Landmarking and preservation controversies
 

 

No public tour the weekend of April 29-30.

Sutton Place, NYC.

May 2   TUESDAY   11 AM to 1 PM

** NEW **

SUTTON PLACE — AVANT-GUARD WOMEN CREATE NEW ENCLAVE

MEET: E. 57th St. & Sutton Place, southeast corner.

Starting in the 1920s, creative and influential women of means saw an intriguing alternative to Fifth Avenue residences. Together, Anne Morgan, Elisabeth Marbury, and Anne Vanderbilt chose to totally renovate townhouses on one far Eastside block between 57th and 58th Sts. called Sutton Place. The area had a checkered past of middle-class residences pushed out by industry and the working poor. These 3 women thoroughly changed that block, beginning the creation of the beautiful, off-the-beaten-path neighborhood of today.
 
Highlights include:
• “Amazon Enclave”
• Society women who first enter professions
• Stories of actors, writers, musicians and other creative people who chose the neighborhood
• A private road east of Sutton Place
• Small public parks facing the East River
 
 

City Hall NYC aerial view.

May 7   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

** NEW **

AROUND CITY HALL PARK — PEOPLE FIGHTING FOR THE WORLD THEY WANT

MEET: 25 Park Row, btw Beekman and Ann Sts. facing City Hall Park. Subway #2 or #3 to Park Place; #4, #5, #6 to Brooklyn Bridge; R, W to City Hall; A, C, J, Z to Fulton St.

The area that now includes City Hall and City Hall Park has witnessed powerful conflicts. The formative struggles that took place here were part of major upheavals affecting the entire nation.
 
• African-Americans’ striving for equality, and the violent opposition to it
• Patriots of American independence rousing New Yorkers to war, and the sadistic British Bridewell prison
• Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton publishing their weekly newspaper The Revolution, fighting to give women the vote
 
Highlights Include:
– African Burial Ground National Monument
– Newspaper Giants—The New York Times, New-York Tribune, New York World
– Bloody draft riots of the Civil War
– The Episcopalian St Paul’s Chapel and the Roman Catholic St. Peter’s Church
– The start of the American department store
– Tweed Courthouse and its history of colossal graft
 

West Village street scene

May 10   WEDNESDAY   11 AM to 1 PM

THE INTIMATE WEST VILLAGE WITH ITS SPECTACULAR HUDSON RIVER PARK

MEET: Leroy St. & 7th Ave. South, southwest corner. Subway: #1 to Houston St., walk 2 blocks north on 7th Ave. South. 

The West Village is a 19th century preserve with its concealed-yet-open garden, complex web of streets, and a house 9½ feet wide. Classic 19th century 3-story townhouses set the stage. This is a community neighborhood of quirky angled streets with literary hang-outs, European-style coffeehouses, and Off-Broadway theatres — the quintessential American Bohemia. Its sites inspired Edgar Allan Poe's “The Raven”, and O. Henry's “The Last Leaf.”
 
But one block west of its border, the neighborhood changes abruptly. Gone are the run-down remains of waterfront commerce — transient hotels, cheap bars, and old factories. Now new tall glass-covered buildings rise up with celebrity-filled condominiums and look out over a spectacular, transformed waterfront. Today the shoreline is alive again, this time with grassy playing fields, quiet lawns, children's playgrounds, and 800' long restored piers.
 

Historic photograph of the Ansonia.

May 13   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

FAR WEST 70s — THE APTHORP, THE ANSONIA, AND THE RIVER

MEET: 160 W. 71st St. just east of Broadway. Subway: #1, #2, #3 to 72nd St.

The far West 70s of the Upper West Side long exhibited a pull between opposing identities.
• It sported imposing mansions, many of which were later converted into rooming houses.
• It offered beautiful Hudson River vistas, which vied with saloons, coal yards, and smoke from steam railroads along the river.
• A statue of Eleanor Roosevelt graces Riverside Park 1 ½ miles from where her alcoholic father died.
• The center of America’s drug addiction in the 1970’s bumped up against apartments of America’s cultural icons.
• Developers changed street names to raise the neighborhood image, but impressive real estate was rejected for being on the “wrong side of Central Park”.
 
Highlights include a statue built to inspire young Italian-Americans, residences by some of New York’s most illustrious architects, and a neighborhood that has taken hold of its identity to be a much sought-after residential enclave.
   

Battery Park and North Cove

May 18   THURSDAY   11 AM to 1 PM

BATTERY PARK CITY — DOWNSTATE HARBOR AND UPSTATE TRAILS

MEET: Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers St., 1 block west of West St.

Replacing deserted piers along Lower Manhattan's Hudson River shoreline, Battery Park City has emerged as a remarkable living space. Its 92 acres of landfill were developed by the Battery Park City Authority, an innovative group of public and private advocates.
 
The secret of Battery Park City's success is its integration of public amenities and private initiatives in artistically-designed natural landscapes, including hills, secret paths, and glorious panoramas.
 
Highlights include:
• Parks with playfields that include dramatic vistas, hilly woodlands, and delightful yet sinister sculpture
• Poetry House, the Irish Hunger Memorial, Winter Garden, and public bathrooms galore
• Politics of the public-benefit corporation
• Environmentally state-of-the-art private spaces
 

Sutton Place in New York City

** NEW **

May 21   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

SUTTON PLACE — AVANT-GUARD WOMEN CREATE NEW ENCLAVE

MEET: E. 57th St. & Sutton Place, southeast corner.

Starting in the 1920s, creative and influential women of means saw an intriguing alternative to Fifth Avenue residences. Together, Anne Morgan, Elisabeth Marbury, and Anne Vanderbilt chose to totally renovate townhouses on one far Eastside block between 57th and 58th Sts. called Sutton Place. The area had a checkered past of middle-class residences pushed out by industry and the working poor. These 3 women thoroughly changed that block, beginning the creation of the beautiful, off-the-beaten-path neighborhood of today.
 
Highlights include:
• “Amazon Enclave”
• Society women who first enter professions
• Stories of actors, writers, musicians and other creative people who chose the neighborhood
• A private road east of Sutton Place
• Small public parks facing the East River
 

5th Ave Mansions Manhattan

May 28   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

CRIMES OF THE FIFTH AVENUE GOLD COAST

MEET: Fifth Ave. & E. 70 St., northeast corner.

Fraud, procuring, and murders most foul, all on the New York avenue of wealth and privilege. The American Dream and its dark side reside even on Fifth Avenue. The creation of Central Park in the 1870s destined Fifth Avenue, the park's eastern border, to become one of New York's most elegant addresses. But as the wealth moved in, so did chicanery and violence. Great historic mansions housed both perpetrators and victims, sometimes both living together.
 
Highlights include
•  American tycoons with aristocratic yearnings
•  Grandiose homes and what happened in them
•  Landmarked district one mile long
•  Private armies, criminal intent, financial skullduggery