Uncover the Forgotten History of an African American Village in Central Park


A tour group at the Seneca Village site in Central ParkAn interpretive sign at the Seneca Village site in Central ParkThe Seneca Village site inside Central ParkA couple reads the interpretive signs at the Seneca Village site in Central ParkA tour group at the Seneca Village site in Central ParkAn interpretive sign at the Seneca Village site in Central Park

Discover the history of Seneca Village, the lives of its residents, and what recent archaeological discoveries reveal about this remarkable community and its place in 19th-century New York on a newly enhanced tour of the Seneca Village site in Central Park from the Central Park Conservancy. Untapped New York Insiders are invited to take part in one of two members-only tours led by the Central Park Conservancy's Historian Marie Warsh.

Before New York City built Central Park, the area from West 83rd to West 89th Street was home to Seneca Village, the largest community of African-American property owners in New York. The community flourished for about 30 years, between 1825 and 1857, then when planning began for Central Park, the City of New York acquired the land through eminent domain. For over a century, the village was forgotten. Recent efforts by groups like the Central Park Conservancy and the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History have brought the story of Seneca Village back into the light. In October of 2019, the Central Park Conservancy launched an outdoor exhibit of interpretive signs throughout the Seneca Village site that mark the locations of historic features such as the Village’s churches, individual houses, and natural features, as well as provide more general information about the village, which Insiders will learn on these tours.

The tours on February 11th and February 16th are Insiders-only. If you are not an Insider, you can join one of the Conservancy's public Seneca Village tours here. In honor of Black History Month, all Seneca Village tours are free. Many are already sold out! Tours are regularly $15 for the general public.

HOW TO BOOK

If you’re already an Insider, you will be able to register for this tour on this page if you are logged in to your account when registration opens on 1/31 at 12 PM EST.

If you’re not an Insider yet, join today and register for this tour on this page when tickets go live on 1/31 at 12 PM EST.

If you don't see a "Book Now" button on this page, it means you are not logged in as an Insider and/or registration has not opened yet.

NOTES

Tickets are limited to one per member unless the member is an Explorer level member and can bring a guest. Tickets are non-transferable and your membership must be active when the tour takes place. Each booking will be verified to ensure each guest is a member.  Please be courteous of your fellow Insiders – if you are no longer able to make a tour but have ticket(s), let us know at [email protected]so we can release those spots to other members. We hope you are as excited as we are about this experience and hope you can join us!

All images Courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy

Event
Details

  • Registration for BOTH DATES of this event will open on Friday, January 31st 2020 at 12PM EST
  • Capacity: 20 guests. Spots allocated on a first come, first served basis.
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, February 11th and Sunday, February 16th, 2020 at 2:00PM-3:30PM
  • Meeting Location: Please meet just inside Central Park at 85th Street and Central Park West. You will receive a map via email when you register. The closest subway is the A,C, and B at 86th Street
  • Things to Know: This walking tour will include a few inclines, some stairs, and uneven trails