The Cast-Iron Architecture of NYC
Explore the lost and still existing cast-iron buildings of NYC with the Executive Director of Village Preservation, Andrew Berman!
- Discover the largest concentration of cast-iron architecture in the world before landmarking ensured its preservation, when its fate was very much up in the air.
- Revisit some of SoHo’s most treasured architectural landmarks, including the Little Singer Building, the Haughwout Building, the Judd Foundation Building, and the Gunther Building, before they were renovated and restored.
- Explore the great cast iron landmarks of New York in Tribeca, Harlem, and Upper Manhattan.
- Learn about the revered Bogardus Building, the remains of which were mysteriously stolen and sold, in the process of being demolished.
- See the semi-deserted streets of SoHo just after it was given a reprieve from wholesale demolition for Robert Moses’ Lower Manhattan Expressway, as the first artists were starting to furtively (and illegally) move into these often empty spaces.
About the event:
Village Preservation recently received a treasure trove of donated photos of SoHo and Cast Iron New York taken in 1969, before cast-iron architecture was widely appreciated and rediscovered, and as neighborhoods with the greatest concentration to such architecture, like SoHo and Tribeca, were either being bulldozed or were slated to be by Robert Moses. We painstakingly identified each site and location (where possible) of the unlabeled photos, given to us in support of our fight to save these neighborhoods again from the Mayor’s proposed SoHo/NoHo Upzoning plan. We’ll examine the beautiful black and white photographs taken by a student doing an architectural survey at the time, and discuss the competing and contradictory forces at play on this part of Lower Manhattan at the time, and the changes which ultimately came from them.
About Andrew Berman:
Andrew Berman has been the Executive Director of Village Preservation since 2002. During that time, the group, the largest neighborhood preservation organization in New York City, has secured landmark designation of more than 1,250 buildings, including 11 new historic districts and historic district extensions and dozens of individual landmarks, and zoning protections for nearly 100 blocks to help preserve the scale and character of historic neighborhoods. Prior to Village Preservation Berman worked in both city and state government, and has a background in architectural history.
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