SCHEDULED PUBLIC WALKING TOURS NYC - 2022

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+

» Fall 2022 Public Tour Schedule available for viewing and pdf download

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

August 7   SUNDAY   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 current 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
 

illustration Civil War soldiers in Manhattan

August 14   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR IN NEW YORK

MEET: Cooper Union, at the south end of the brown Foundation Building (7 E. 7th St., btw 3rd & 4th Aves). Subways: #6, N, or R to 8th St./Astor Place.

As the inevitability of the Civil War increased, New York faced conflicts within its varied population. Family connections with the South brought personal strife for some. Business interests dreaded the potential loss of Southern markets for finished goods. Ever present ethnic and class tensions increased.
 
Once war was declared, New York officially supported the Northern cause. But as the war dragged on, ethnic and class tensions escalated between the Irish and blacks, and the poor and the governing class. Groups actively engaged with the war included shipbuilders, manufacturers, newspaper publishers, humanitarian philanthropists, and soldiers returning from battles.
 
Highlights include:
• Abraham Lincoln, the candidate and president
• Horace Greeley, the abolitionist editor
• Confederate plot to burn down New York
• The Draft and Draft Riots
• The Monitor and New York shipbuilding
• General Grant, General Sherman, and Admiral Farragut  

Historic photograph of the Ansonia.

Sept. 11   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

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

MEET: Starbucks, west side of Bway, btw W. 70th & 71st Sts.

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, Initiate with sail trim, 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

Sept. 17   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

BATTERY PARK CITY — DOWNSTATE HARBOR AND UPSTATE TRAILS

MEET: Stuyvesant High School, Chambers St. & North End Ave. 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
see the write up on this tour in the Tribeca Citizen
 

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

Sept. 21   WEDNESDAY   11 AM to 1 PM

THE GILDED AGE — GRANDIOSE YEARNINGS FROM UNTAXED EARNINGS

MEET: E. 78th St. & Madison Ave., southwest corner at 38 E. 78th St.

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 current 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
 

Madison Square Garden in the Rose Hill section of NoMad.

Sept 25   SUNDAY   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”
 

Historic illustration of old new york-Five Points

Oct. 1   SATURDAY   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, 88 Bowery.

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
 

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

Oct. 9   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

THE GILDED AGE — GRANDIOSE YEARNINGS FROM UNTAXED EARNINGS

MEET: E. 78th St. & Madison Ave., southwest corner, at 38 E. 78th St.

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 current 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 in New York City

** NEW **

Oct. 12   WEDNESDAY   11 AM to 1 PM

SUTTON PLACE — AVANT-GUARD WOMEN CREATE NEW ENCLAVE

MEET: E. 57th St. and Sutton Place, NE corner at 1 Sutton Place. Bus: Crosstown 57th St. bus (M57 & M31) east to Sutton Place.

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
 

Mural in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Power to the P.

** NEW **

Oct. 15   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

Williamsburg's Northside — REPURPOSED FACTORIES INSPIRE STREET ART, NIGHTSPOTS, AND A REDESIGNED WATERFRONT

MEET: Bedford Ave & N. 7th St., Brooklyn. Subway: L train to Bedford Ave.

Williamsburg‘s story is a familiar one in New York City. Think of Tribeca, SoHo, Red Hook, and Dumbo. In their time, these districts were thriving industrial hubs supplying the city and the whole country with manufactured goods from ships to pats of butter.
 
Williamsburg’s specialty was heavy industry – shipbuilding, sugar manufacturing, oil refining, glassmaking, beer brewing and iron works. Early German immigrants supplied the labor, followed by Jewish immigrants seeking escape from the Lower East Side. Famous companies began in the neighborhood – Domino Sugar, Corning Glass, and Pfizer Pharmaceutical, which kept a manufacturing facility here until 2007.
 
Today’s revival has Williamsburg as a fast-changing influential hub for fashion, music, food and art. Large spaces abandoned by industry now serve as residential lofts, art studios, performance spaces, galleries, and even a bowling alley. Fabulous murals now transform large blank walls on the street. Hotels have clustered together, with night spots and restaurants, drawing a young crowd. The waterfront has two parks, public art, and ferries from Manhattan for commuters and visitors.
 

5th Ave Mansions Manhattan

Oct. 20   THURSDAY   11 AM to 1 PM

FIFTH AVENUE GOLD COAST

MEET: The Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St. between Fifth &Madison Aves.

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. Great historic mansions, including those of Henry Clay Frick and James B. Duke, began to line the avenue. Much of the wealth that created this Gold Coast was earned rather than inherited.
 
Highlights include
•  The American Dream and its dark side
•  American tycoons with aristocratic yearnings
•  Grandiose homes and what happened to them
•  Landmarked district 1 mile long
 

Greenwich Village Ghost

Oct. 25   TUESDAY   11 AM to 1 PM

MACABRE GREENWICH VILLAGE

MEET: Washington Sq. Arch, 5th Ave. 1 block south of 8th St.

Celebrate the Halloween season with some of the spookiest stories in New York — murders, hangings, explosions, famous missing persons, specters, hauntings, and ghosts. Death lies in plain view —if you know where to look.
 Highlights include:
• Washington Square Park graveyard
• The 19th century Jewish graveyard
• Newgate prison
• The murdered architect
• The tale of the haunting artist
• America's most famous missing person
• Hangings, and the hangman's house
• Edgar Allan Poe's home and his inspiration for The Raven
• The day the music died
 

Greenwich Village Ghost

Oct. 30   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

MACABRE GREENWICH VILLAGE

MEET: Washington Sq. Arch, 5th Ave. 1 block south of 8th St.

Celebrate the Halloween season with some of the spookiest stories in New York — murders, hangings, explosions, famous missing persons, specters, hauntings, and ghosts. Death lies in plain view —if you know where to look.
 Highlights include:
• Washington Square Park graveyard
• The 19th century Jewish graveyard
• Newgate prison
• The murdered architect
• The tale of the haunting artist
• America's most famous missing person
• Hangings, and the hangman's house
• Edgar Allan Poe's home and his inspiration for The Raven
• The day the music died
 

Harlem Cotton club marquee

Nov. 6   SUNDAY   1 to 3:30 PM

HARLEM HISTORY WALK — MEDLEY OF ARCHITECTURE, SUGAR HILL ACHIEVERS, AND SCHOMBERG’S DREAM

MEET: City College, W. 138th St. & Amsterdam Ave. Subway: #1 train to 137th St. station; walk to W. 138th St., then 1 block up the W. 138th St. hill.

In the 1880s, the new elevated railroad converted Harlem from a rural district into tracts of beautiful homes for wealthy New Yorkers. By the 1920s, downtown development and the new subway changed the neighborhood into one of the nation's most famous African-American communities.
 
Highlights of the tour include:
•  Sites of the artistic and literary Harlem Renaissance
•  Alexander Hamilton's last home
•  Strivers Row, Sugar Hill, and Hamilton Heights
•  Abyssinian Baptist Church
•  One of world's greatest collections dedicated to the study of black culture
 

Sutton Place in New York City

** NEW **

Nov. 12   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

SUTTON PLACE — AVANT-GUARD WOMEN CREATE NEW ENCLAVE

MEET: E. 57th St. and Sutton Place, NE corner at 1 Sutton Place. Bus: Crosstown 57th St. bus (M57 & M31) east to Sutton Place.

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
 


	Map of South Street Seaport, NYC

Dec. 3   SATURDAY   1 to 3 PM

THE SOUTH STREET SEAPORT — SALOONS, COUNTING HOUSES, AND GEORGE WASHINGTON’S WHITE HOUSE

MEET: Lighthouse at the intersection of Fulton and Water Sts.

In the heyday of the clipper ships, 12 blocks around South Street comprised one of the great seaports of the world. Wide slips, solid brick houses, and the Belgian block streets we walk today evoke an earlier time in Manhattan, when seafaring trades created great wealth.
 
Twelve blocks of brick buildings once contained stores, saloons, counting houses, shipping offices, and mercantile exchanges. Discovering today’s businesses in these historic settings offers us an unusual delight.
 
Highlights of this tour of the district include:
•  Landfill and its effect on buildings
•  The third oldest building in Manhattan
•  Details that help date New York’s oldest structures
•  A structure built to resemble a stolen building
•  Location of George Washington's "White House

5th Ave Mansions Manhattan

Dec.11   SUNDAY   1 to 3 PM

FIFTH AVENUE GOLD COAST

MEET: The Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St. between Fifth &Madison Aves.

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. Great historic mansions, including those of Henry Clay Frick and James B. Duke, began to line the avenue. Much of the wealth that created this Gold Coast was earned rather than inherited.
 
Highlights include
•  The American Dream and its dark side
•  American tycoons with aristocratic yearnings
•  Grandiose homes and what happened to them
•  Landmarked district 1 mile long