Home | About | Tours | Shows | Speaking Engagements | Articles | History | Organizations | Contact

UPSA Students from NYU's Wagner School- 2009 Tour

Garden City Action Committee (GCAC)- Singapore 2011 Tour

The GCAC comprises senior management (CEOs, Directors etc.) from several government agencies and aims to promote greenery and greening initiatives. These agencies include the Ministry of National Development (MND), the National Parks Board and URA. The delegation of about 13 government officers will be led by Deputy Secretary (Planning, MND) Ms Chang Hwee Nee. The GCAC will be in New York on the 25-26th October 2011. We will be hosted by the NYC Department of City Planning while we are there.

macdougal These buildings were used as the poster pictures for the demolition of the Village as part of the Urban Renewal Plan in the 1950's. But they were landmarked in the 21st Century as being one of the few federal townhouses still left in Manhattan. The tour will include a walking lecture on Eminent Domain, Condemnation as well as the struggles during the Urban Renewal program in the NYU area. urban renewal This is the rendering from the 1953 Washington Square South Urban Renewal Plan's concept for Greenwich Village, pursuant to the Slum Clearance Plan under Title 1 of the Housing Act of 1949. Notice the Washington Square Arch (in yellow) in Washington Square Park. The "Tower in the Park" concept (which was also emphasized in the 1961 Zoning Resolution) included highways and apartment complexes to replace what is now the Village and SoHo.


”Arch”1. Starting at the Arch in Washington Square Park we will have a brief discussion of the Urban Renewal program and Landmark Preservation movement. If you scroll up and look at the top pictures you will see the rendering of the Urban Renewal Plan, which was created to remove the "blight" from the neighborhood. How did local politics come into play? ”Johnson”2. This was the Philip Johnson Master plan which was proposed before Bobst was constructed. Bobst was to be the prototypical building of 150 feet high and made of red sandstone. Do you know what happened to the sandstone quarry?
”Bobst3. This was the vacant lot after the former structures were demolished where Bobst now sits. Can you see why the community was a bit perturbed about Bobst's lack of open space? ”Bluestone”4. We will then carefully cross the street to walk on the recreated bluestone sidewalk, which came into existence out of a Landmarks Preservation controversy. Can you tell which flags are new and which are original?
”Mews”5. Walking around the corner we will go through the privately owned street called Washington Mews and discuss its history. ”1/2”6. When we approach Fifth Avenue we will discuss the creation of the address 1/2 Fifth Avenue and will view the Kimmel Building from the north. Do you know why the address of 1/2 was chosen?
”No.3”7. Why is this house different from all of the other rowhouses? Why is this door painted green? ”pless”8. Why is the balustrade beige and the cornice black? Why isn't it the same colors as Goddard Hall, namely beige and red?
”shirtwaist”9. HISTORICAL NOTE: On March 25, 1911 the Asche Building had the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. ”happyland”10. HISTORICAL NOTE: On March 25, 1990 the Happyland Fire in the Bronx occurred. How did both fires affect NYU's real estate portfolio?
”WTC”11. This is a view of the Arch when Loeb Student Center was still standing, when the trees covered Loeb and when the camera is not tilted. ”Kimmel””Kimmel”12. This is the view after the Kimmel Center was completed. As you can see, it depends on how you tilt your camera to show if Kimmel is in the view or not. If you scroll up to picture No. 1, you can see the view before Loeb was even built; and the warehouse behind Loeb was still visible.
”sign”13. We will continue west on Washington Square North and then south on Washington Square West.Which plaque received a Landmarks Preservation Violation for not being filed when it was installed by a civic group? ”Provincetown”14. We will leave the Greenwich Village Historic District and walk on MacDougal Street and pass the former Provincetown Playhouse site.
”MacDougal”15. Continuing our walk, we will pass the 3 houses which were once the "poster child" of the Urban Renewal plan, depicting the blight. ”MacDougal16. The same 3 houses are currently protected by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
”Bobst”17. Do you know why Bobst sticks out so far to the west on LaGuardia Place? Do you know why it is now called LaGuardia Place and not West Broadway or Lower Fifth Avenue? ”Sullivan”18. Do you know where the open space and FAR went to for this garden space? What is underneath the street?
”poe”19. Walking eastward on West Third Street we will discuss the former Elevated Subway line. Do you know where the Poe House actually was situated before it's facade was incorporated into Furman Hall? ”WSV”20. We go south on La Guardia Place discussing the whole issue of Robert Moses and Mayor LaGuardia. We will then walk through the residential portion of the Urban Renewal plan, staying on the former street grid.
”WSVKing”21. The retail area of the Urban Renewal Plan (with a commercial overlay) once housed the Martin Luther King Center African-American Student Center. ”Garden”22. The interior open space of Washington Square Village is not open to the public or even to NYU affiliates. Do you know who is permitted to use the elevated park?
”Picasso”23. We then cross Bleecker Street and walk through the I. M. Pei superblock and discuss the lawsuit by Edward I. Koch and the creation of the third tower for community residents. Do you think that Picasso was the artist of the large Sylvette sculpture or could it be some Norwegian named Carl? ”Houston24. The tour ends up on Houston Street walking back to the Puck Building. We will pass another lawsuit dealing with who owns public artwork that is installed on the side of a commercial condo within a Historic District. Do you know who owns the public artwork that is affixed to buildings? Is it the condo, the artist or the city?
”Calvin”25. Is this obscene? How does the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution affect land use law when it comes to public advertising signs and the regulations that control them? The First Amendment also comes into play with religious land use issues, such as Crosses on public lands, and steeple heights, etc. Useful Information:

Click Here to see the NYC Zoning Map for the area around NYU.

Click Here to see the Landmarks Preservation Designation Report for the NYU block of Silver Towers (Block 524).

Most of the area is in the R7-2 Zoning District, which permits residential and community facility (university) uses as-of-right, with a maximum residential FAR of 3.44 and a Community Facility (or mixed building) FAR of 6.5. Part of the area is covered with special Urban Renewal restrictions and covenants.


  • Rick Landman, Esq., a Native New Yorker, has been an AICP Certified Planner for over 30 years, and an Attorney since 1988; and currently is an Attorney Emeritus.

  • He was an adjunct Professor of Planning at NYU's Wagner School and taught a Land Use law class from 2003-09. His class was a required core class for the Urban Planning Masters students. He currently teaches a Land Use Lawa class at New York Law School since 2010.

  • Rick has 3 Masters Degrees (M.C.R.P. in City and Regional Planning, Ed.M. in Curriculum Development, M.S. in Civil (Socio) Engineering) and a J.D. in law(cum laude). He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1988.

  • He was the Executive Director of Real Estate Development for the City of New York for 5 years and was the Director of Real Estate Development at NYU for 19 years.

  • One of the Masters Degrees was an Ed.M. in Curriculum Planning, so if you want a "Tour in the Classroom" lecture that can also be arranged. The lectures will be age appropriate to your class's needs.

  • Rick was the chair of several committees of Community Board #1 Manhattan, including the chair of the Planning & Community Infrastructure Committee, the Tribeca Committee and chaired what is now called the Landmarks Committee when Tribeca was first designated in 1992.

  • He moved into a Lower Manhattan converted apartment in the 1970's, that is approximately 1,000 feet from the World Trade Center.

  • He is a licensed NYC Sightseeing Tour Guide. License No.: 1281818 exp. 3/31/18.

  • He also has dual citizenship between the USA and Germany. He is the son of two Jewish Holocaust Survivors, and is active in several Second Generation programs.

The Standard Rate for a Large Group Tour (usually for up to 20 persons) which follows one of the existing listed Tours is $300.
The lecture can be modified to meet your group's needs. For an additional $50 a new Tour can be researched and designed just for your group's individualized needs.

Each Tour is approximately one and a half hours long.

Cash, Travelers Checks or NYS checks are acceptable forms of payment.

Clients assume all liability and risks during the walks. Please be vigilant when crossing the streets.

The tours are given in English or German (Deutsch).

Should the tour guide cancel the tour, then a total refund of any deposit will be given and no fee will be charged for the tour. No consequential damages will be offered. However, if the tour was an individualized tour that required specific research, then the deposit from the group is not refundable, should the group decide to cancel. But the rest of the fee will be forgiven should the group wish to cancel the tour. Please give at least 24 hours notice.

To make a reservation, please click the email icon below and supply the following in the email. Make sure that you get a written confirmation from me before considering the reservation confirmed:
  • The time and days that you are interested in having a tour
  • How many people are expected in your group
  • The location that you are interested in seeing
  • Any special interests, such as historical, cultural, religious, architectual, etc. that you would like me to research for your tour.
  • Your name, phone, address and email address
  • Means of payment

NY Metro Chapter, 2011 Autumn Walking Tours


Richard Landman, AICP, Attorney Emeritus* 
APA NY Metro Chapter      OR 


Saturday October 15, 2011 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM EDT


Fifth Avenue and Washington Square North
(Washington Square Park Arch)
Meet underneath the arch
New York, NY 10011

"Greenwich Village's Urban Renewal Plan 

The New York Metro Chapter's autumn series of walking tours - five in total, conducted by Mr. Richard Landman, AICP, Attorney Emeritus - include lectures given as the participants walk through the various areas where the subject matter occurred. Instead of viewing photos or slides, participants are invited to take-in the entire scene to see all of the surrounding contextual aspects that influence the subject, with particular attention to the impacts on, and lessons for urban planning.


  • Greenwich Village Urban Renewal Plan

  • Lower 5th Avenue And Lower Manhattan Expressway Connections

  • Greenwich Village Historic District - Mews

  • Bluestone Sidewalk Litigation on Washington Square North

  • Federal Brownstones On MacDougal And Urban Renewal Demolitions

  • La Guardia Vs. Moses and the Naming of La Guardia Place and Park Washington Square Village

  • Silver Tower Development

  • Lawsuits Concerning Bobst, Silver Towers, Kimmel and Fuchsberg Halls

    Greenwich Village's Urban Renewal Plan:  This tour will analyze the Urban Renewal Plan for Greenwich Village and how it has played out over the past 40 years (along with other Robert Moses concepts). The tour will include many of NYU's 1960-2005 real estate projects and land use laws such as Landmarks and ULURP influenced the area. The tour will include many of NYU's projects, and discuss how the town and gown relationship has evolved over the decades. The creation of the Greenwich Village Historic District will also be discussed. 

    * Richard Landman is a New York City licensed tour guide with three masters degrees and a JD from New York Law School. Richard was the Director of Real Estate Development (in-house land use attorney), at New York University for almost 20 years and an adjunct professor of Land Use Law at NYU's Wagner School for seven years. Currently, he teaches a land use law class at New York Law School and gives walking tours on various topics. He also volunteers at Housing Court once per week and is a court appointed guardian ad litem for the elderly with housing issues. Richard was the chair of Community Board #1 - Manhattan's Landmark Committee, Tribeca Committee and Planning and Infrastructure Committee over the years. Earlier in his career, he was the Executive Director of Real Estate Development for the City of New York's Division of Real Property.

    Follow the prompts for mailing, registration & payment options on the next page:

  • speaker

    Walking Tours are personalized to meet your special interests, given in a way that only a Native New Yorker can give. A week's notice is appreciated if research is required for the personalized tour. Shorter notice is acceptable for standard walks.