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City Hall Personally, this is my favorite Tour to give. Granted, I live across the street from City Hall for over 3 decades, and watched the neighborhood grow. But the area is full of history and beautiful architecture.

The Tour can focus on the area around City Hall Park, or move south towards the World Trade Center or east towards the Brooklyn Bridge. The Tour will be tailored to your interests.


This Tour starts on Chambers Street and Broadway which is convenient to almost all of the subway lines. The Municipal BuildingThe Municipal Building with Civic Fame on top.
No longer a courthouse, the former "Boss Tweed Courthouse" was known for its corruption and cost overruns more than anything else. It is now used by the Dept. of Education.tweed
The Sun Building now contains the Department of Buildings, but was once the home of the Sun Newspaper and before that a Department Store. Mrs. Lincoln used to love to shop there.sun
surrogates The Surrogates Court Building contains the Muncipal Archives and the information about deeds, etc. and probate. When excavating the federal office building they uncovered bones and discovered the African American burial grounds for free blacks and slaves. Only white Christians could be buried in the city limits at the Trinity Church cemetery. The Jews were buried near present day James Street.burial
African Burial GroundFreed and Slave African Americans were buried at this location. There is also a Memorial and Museum that is worth exploring. Cosmopolitan HotelThis Hotel goes back to the times when President Lincoln came to New York in 1860 and 1861. Contrary to popular tradition, the president stayed at the Astor House and not the Cosmopolitan Hotel (or Girard House as it was called before 1869).
Benjamin FranklinStatue of Ben Franklin in front of Pace University. brooklyn bridge
I have found the word German in another location in Lower Manhattan. It is at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. It relates the story of the building of the bridge and how John Roebling was a German Immigrant. This is a new sign that was installed recently.
Pace UniversityPace University. City Hall ParkCity Hall Park with a public art display.
”BrooklynWe will pass City Hall Park and take a look at the Brooklyn Bridge. ”Woolworth”We pass the Woolworth Building, which was the tallest building in the world until the Chrysler Building surpassed it. It was known as the Cathedral of Commerce.
Do you where this building is located? This is is the only place where I was able to find the word "German" on or in a building that was created in the 20th Century. While there are many buildings in the East Village (Kleine Deutschland) from the 19th Century with German inscriptions, I am still searching for anything German in Manhattan from after World War I.

The stained glass skylight (was originally built as a functioning skylight until the additional floor was added over the skylight in 1919) was created by Heineke and Bowen, the same people who made the ceiling tile. The elevator door covers are by Tiffany. The skylight contains the date 1879 which was when the Woolworth company began and 1913 when the building was completed. It also lists the major trading countries in the world at the time.
Here you still see the words, "German Empire" (and the Eagle) on the periphery of the skylight with other countries such as France, United States, Russia, Great Britain, Argentina, Austria, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Japan and China.
There is also a stereotypical gargoyle of a Jewish banker, something that would in years to come become a frequent topic of ridicule by Nazis such as Julius Streicher in his Sturmer Newspaper. I have not found a definitive story about who this gargoyle represents.
”J&R”The building that now contains the "J & R Music World" was once the tallest building in the world, and the top cupolas were used for tourists to see the views.
”NewOn the former Urban Renewal site near City Hall and Pace University, we will pass the New York by Frank Gehry luxury apartment house under construction. New York by GehryThis is the new public elementary school and luxury rental building called New York by Gehry. This is the finished southern exposure of the "New York by Gehry" apartment house. This facade does not wave like the other ones.”New
”Corbin”We pass the Corbin Building, which was the tallest building in the world when it was constructed. It is next to the Fulton Transportation Hub under construction. ”GW If time permits we can go and see where George Washington sat when he prayed in Church.
We can then continue further south to either see the World Trade Center area or go to the east and walk on the Brooklyn Bridge.

coverflower "NEW AMSTERDAM" TOUR


Every year in November is "Dutch Days" in New York City with multiple events and exhibits held throughout the five boroughs. An annual highlight is the tour of “New Amsterdam” put together by Rick Landman, Esq., AICP, a longtime member of the NY Metro Chapter. Landman gave a tour to relate how early Dutch roots had an impact on New York City's physical form as well as its taxation procedures, zoning regulations and religious freedoms.

The tour, which not only included the usual stop to the foundations of the old Dutch City Hall but included a walk around the borders of old New Amsterdam, seeing the Dutch memorials (most of which are on land-fill that didn't exist back then) and discussion of Dutch history and its impacts. Landman noted that the narrow tax lots and the subsequent sky-blocking towers were a direct result from our Dutch origins...

Tour starts in front of the Customs House at Bowling Green in front of the eastern most statue and winds it way through Battery Park and up to Wall Street.
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equitable This tour focuses on the area near the World Trade Center and includes a walking lecture of how America's Zoning started Lower Manhattan because of the bulk issues created at the Equitable Building in 1916 and winds its way past several of the World's Tallest Buildings up to City Hall Park and ends on the Brooklyn Bridge looking back at the eastside of Manhattan.

Once steel construction and elevators turned the real estate market upside down, and each developer tried to build the world's tallest building, New York City was forced to try regulating bulk and use. The Supreme Court upheld NYC's zoning regulations in the 1926 case of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Corp. This tour gives the history while passing the actual locations. It also includes a city park created by the transfer of development rights and discusses several urban renewal projects in the area.

Depending on time and interest, we can also include a short discussion of the World Trade Center as we pass by.


Walk through the past 30 years of changes in what is now called Tribeca.



New York Law School Tours: Each year I present several tours for New York Law School including a tour of TRIBECA AND THE COURT HOUSES - Introduction to all the Legal Resources in the area. clocktower and a tour for the Reunion for the Alumni teddy and a lectures/tours for the honor students, such as Land Use Issues in Tribeca West and Trump Condo-Hotel Litigation trump

seaport proposed seaport seaport actual This area was created with the aid of Landmarking and Historic Districts and urban renewal plans, and is now under consideration for a new proposed development.

sherith cemetery 11 St. cemetery tenement
Focusing on the early Jewish roots of New Amsterdam and New York City, including several Jewish cemeteries. The tour will discuss the treatment and contributions of the colonies' and America's earliest Jewish settlers, including both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews who came to the "New World" in the 1600's. The life of Asser Levy and the 23 Jews who came from Recife will be discussed. Lower Manhattan contains several memorials and actual locations (buildings now long gone) and remnants of several cemeteries at Chatham Square, West 11th and West 22nd Streets. In addition, we can extend the tour (especially if this is a bus tour) to go to the Lower East Side and see the Tenement Museum as well as several eateries such as Katz's Delicatessen and Russ & Daughters.
katz russ