Monday, July 7, 2008

Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls (20)

Topic: Honoring an Italian Tradition: The East Harlem Giglio di Sant' Antonio Feast August 7-10 2008

Its that time of the year again, when a large group of dedicated Italians work diligently together in mind, soul and spirit in preparation for one of their most important and celebrated traditional feasts, the " Giglio di Sant' Antonio in East Harlem." Bobby Maida, the Promotions Manager of the Giglio Society of East Harlem sent me this press release which he would like for me to share with you.

"East Harlem, once the largest Italian community in NYC is a pleasant memory for countless former inhabitants. To renew that memory, thousands of former residents along with their children and grandchildren will be returning to renew that bond and meet up with friends in the old neighborhood for the Feast of Giglio di Sant’Antonio sponsored by the Giglio Society of East Harlem.

The Giglio Society of East Harlem is a group of men who have dedicated their lives to honor Sant’ Antonio, their beloved saint. Their love and devotion is on display each year during their Annual Festival held in East Harlem, New York. They honor their Patron Saint in very much the same fashion as their ancestry did and still do annually today in Brusciano, Italy by building a Giglio and dancing it in the streets of Manhattan, N.Y.

For those unfamiliar with the Giglio (pronounced JEEL-YO)-it is a 75 to 85 foot tall wooden structure weighing approx 8,000 lbs with a paper-mache face adorned with beloved saints and colorful flowers. On the platform just above the base of the Giglio sits a multi-piece band along with several singers. The music is an instrumental part of the dancing of the Giglio as it inspires the Lifters (also known as the ‘”Paranza” in Italian) to take on the burdening weight of the Giglio and band and dance it in harmony to the music being played.

The origins of the Giglio Society trace their heritage back to the town of Brusciano, Italy approximately 20 miles outside of Naples. Here an annual Feast called the Dance of the Giglio takes place yearly in honor of Sant’ Antonio. The feast originally began back in the 1880’s when Francisco Vivolo prayed to Sant’ Antonio to help cure his deathly ill child. In exchange for this cure, Francisco vowed to honor Sant’ Antonio in the same manner the town’s people of Nola, Italy, a nearby town honoring San Paolino di Nola, by constructing Gigli in honor of Sant’ Antonio and dancing them in the streets of Brusciano. Francisco’s prayers were answered and the dancing of the Gigli in Brusciano was born. It continues today where 6 Gigli are built for the Annual Festival during the latter part of August and danced on the shoulders of hundreds of men..

Around the turn of 1900’s, Italian immigrants left Italy in search of a better life for their families. Many families from the town of Brusciano, Italy migrated to East Harlem, NY to start anew with other families and friends that came before them. Although these Immigrants brought little with them on their 30-day long voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in the tight confines of the boat, what they did carry with them were their beloved traditions. For the people of Brusciano, this included the yearly Dance of the Giglio Festival in honor of Sant’Antonio.

Upon their arrival, the Italian immigrants of East 106th Street in East Harlem decided to initiate their beloved traditions by building a Giglio and dancing it in the ‘New World’. The Festival on 106th Street grew for many years becoming one of the largest street fairs in America and remained that way until 1955. Then in 1957, the Festival moved a few blocks uptown to 108th Street where the Dance of the Giglio continued until 1971 .

After a 29 year hiatus, the Dance of the Giglio returned to East Harlem in 2000 as a Cooperative Feast with the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel that resides on 115th Street between 1st and Pleasant Avenues. The Festival enjoyed several years dancing the Giglio during the Annual Feast of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel that takes place each year on July 16th, the Feast Date of the Madonna..

For the 2006 Feast, it was decided to hold the Dance of the Giglio Festival separate from the annual Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feast. The decision to move the Dancing of the Giglio dates made absolute sense in order to relieve the strain on the Giglio community. This strain was caused by the coinciding Giglio Feasts held in East Harlem and Williamsburg- Brooklyn ( ) dancing their Giglio on the same weekend that fell around July 16th , the Feast date of the Madonna.

The Giglio Society of East Harlem continues as a Society under the auspices of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine Church. Their beloved Pastor Father Peter J Rofrano..who they view as a legend in East Harlem and primarily responsible for the return of the Giglio…… passed away on May 19th, 2007. Father Chris Salvatori who spent much of his early priesthood under Father Rofrano’s guidance describes Father Rofrano as “the icon of East Harlem.” Father returned to our Lord after almost 91 yrs here…. 3/4s of them living and working in East Harlem.

The 2008 Dance of the Giglio Feast will be held on Pleasant Avenue between 114th and 116th Streets. Food vendors will be available offering beverages, sausage and peppers, zeppole, steak, shish kabob,, seafood and other food items. In addition, Souvenir Tshirts will also be sold (get there early for the shirts go fast). Rides and Games of Chance will also be available for everyone’s enjoyment.

Opening Night is Thursday—August 7th with entertainment at 8pm by the Brooklyn Keys . Friday night August 8th there will be entertainment at 8pm by a fabulous Doo Wop group….. Tony Sal and Just Nuts.

Saturday August 9th will start with a Procession in honor of Sant’ Antonio at Noon. 7 PM will be the Dancing of the Children’s Giglio followed by DJ entertainment by Megan Z.

Giglio Sunday August 10th will start with a mass for the Paranza at Our Lady of Mount Carmel at 12:30 pm. The Dance of the Giglio di Sant’Antonio will begin at 2:00pm with additional lifts and music by Danny Vecchiano and his Giglio Band. Danny and his band have been an integral part of the East Harlem Giglio as well as the Brooklyn Giglio in Williamsburg for many years. In addition, our new Ladies Auxiliary the Giglio Girls will make their inaugural appearance.

Have you wanted to eat at Rao’s and can’t get a reservation? Here is your chance. The famous restaurant…a long time Giglio supporter will provide Dinner for 4 on Tuesday September 16, 2008 to the lucky winner of The Giglio Society’s Annual Raffle. Tickets are $10 each. The drawing will be held on Giglio Sunday nite. Winner does not have to be present. All proceeds from the Raffle go directly towards the continuation of the Giglio tradition.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Table Of Contents : Mimi Speaks Blog

A Blog is a frequently updated journal or diary, also called a "Web log," which is a specialized site that allows an individual or group of individuals to share a running log of events and personal insights with online audiences. A Blog is a publication of a mixture of personal thoughts, experiences, and web links. Some blogging sites may provide a variety of topics that may be of interest to the public, such as in my case where I love to talk about New York City , New York State and American History as well as life itself.

There are many people who love to read blogs, but just don't have the time to go through it's entire contents trying to find something that may be of interest to them. Usually when people approach a blog, they like to go quickly from one thing to the next. As for actually reading the text, there is little evidence of that unless the subject matter should catch their eye, then it becomes worthwhile.

Since my blog was started in 2007, there have been postings of almost 500 tid-bits of information, which talk about history, life situations, goals and success. New updates will continue to be posted regularly. So my dear reader, for your benefit, I am making every attempt to improve the navigation to this treasure trove of information as quickly as possible. For this purpose I have created a table of contents divided by categories, for easy accessing. However if there is something that may interest you, I suggest you find yourself a comfortable chair, and while you're at it, grab a steaming hot cup of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese and you'll be all set to settle down for a while. So happy reading.

Table of Contents (2)
A.) Getting To Know Mimi (B.) N.Y.C. History (C.) East Harlem(D.) Spanish Harlem (E.) Black Harlem (F.) New York State (G.) Urban/Suburban Living Issues.

Table of Contents (3)
(H.) Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls

Table of Contents (4)
(I.) Jewish Knowledge (J.) Self-Improvement (K.) Historical Facts On England & United States

Table of Contents (5)
(L.) Miscellaneous (M.) Timetables (N.) Ethnic Groups (O.) Legal Talk(P.) Entertainment: Backward Glances (Q.) Immigration

Table of Contents (6)
(R.) Women__Bio Sketches, Feminine Fancies, Recipes, Kitchen Talk.(S.) Worship

Table of Contents (7)
(T.) A Little Taste of History, (U.) U.S. History-Transportation, (V) U.S. History-Panics, Economic Depressions, Business Matters

Table of Contents (8)
(W) El Rincón En Español (The Spanish Corner: )This section is dedicated to articles of historical facts, poetry, self-improvement, human interest stories etc. written in Spanish.

Table of Contents (9)
(X) So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term in Office....? (The Series)

Table of Contents (10)
(Y) Brusciano, Italy News/Events

Table of Contents (11)
(Z) The Italian Niche

Table of Contents (12)
I) "El Rincón Borinqueña"

Table of Contents (13)
II) Arts and Entertainment

Table of Contents (14)

III) Architecture

(Feel free to express your comments or ask questions regarding: "" which will be reviewed before posting. Thank You..

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Contact: or miriam@thehistorybox

A Little Taste Of History (26)

Topic: The North American Indian Pre: 1900 #2

Dwellings and House-Building

North of the Pueblo region the general house plan may be described as circular. Among the Haida and others of the Alaskan coast, and extending down to the Columbia, the prevailing type was of boards, painted with symbolic designs and with the famous heraldic totem-poles, carved from cedar-trunks, standing at the entrance. Along the Columbia were found great communal houses. California had several distinct types, of which the dug-out and the dome-shaped clay-built house, entered from the top, were perhaps most common. The Piute, Apache, Papago, and others of Nevada and Arizona had the wikiup, an elliptical structure covered with reed mats or grass. The Navaho Hogan was a circular house of logs, covered with earth, and entered through a short passageway. The square-built stone or adobe dwelling of the Pueblo marked the northern limit of the Mexican culture area. These pueblos, they were called by the Spaniards, were aggregations of continuous rooms occupied by different families, so that the whole village sometimes consisted of but a single house, sometimes several stories in height.

The roofs were flat, a projection of the lower wall within the room served for seats and beds, and the fireplace was in one corner, instead of in the centre, as was almost universal elsewhere. For better security against the wild tribes, the outer walls of the lower story were often without doors or windows, entrance being gained through trap-doors in the roof by means of ladders, which were pulled up at night. For the same reason, many of the pueblos, especially in ancient times, were placed upon high mesas, or on shelves on the sides of almost inaccessible cliffs, whence the name "cliff-dwellers." The prevailing type on the plains was the conical skin tipi (a word of Sioux origin), no other being so easily portable and so well adapted to withstand the violent winds of the treeless prairies.The Pawnee, Arikara, Mandan, and one or two other tribes living close along the Missouri River built earth-covered log houses, somewhat like those of the Navaho, but much larger. The Wichita in the south built stationary houses of grass thatch laid over poles. About the upper lakes was found the bark-covered tipi, while east and southeast was the wigwam, a rectangular structure of stout poles, overlaid with bark or mats of woven rushes, and in general form closely resembling a rounded wagon top. Among the Iroquois it became the communal "long house." In the Gulf States were found houses, either rectangular or circular, of upright logs plastered over with clay.

The Pueblo villages had underground KIVAS, or public rooms, where the men of the various secret orders made their preparations for the great ceremonials. It corresponded somewhat to the medicine lodge of the plains tribes, built of green cottonwood branches for the celebration of their annual sun-dance, while among the Gulf tribes its place was supplied by the circular log "town house." Some of the Eastern and Southern tribes had also dead-houses, temples, and public granaries. In general, an Indian village was a scattering settlement, but with many of the Eastern tribes the more important towns were compactly built and strongly stockaded. (14)

Sources Utilized to Document A Little Taste of History

Photo Credit: "Painted lodges - Piegan (The North American Indian)" Original photogravure produced in Boston by John Andrew & Son, c 1900. Repository: Northwestern University. Library., Evanston, Ill. Creator: Edward S. Curtis. Library of Congress.

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A Little Taste Of History (25)

Topic: The North American Indian Pre: 1900 #1

As became tribes largely made up of hunters, the dress was generally of skins, so fashioned as to combine the greatest protective warmth with the least encumbrance of weight. From the Arctic Circle to the Rio Grande or farther, except in California and the adjacent region, the native dress was usually of buckskin, consisting, for the men, of a shirt, G-string, or breech-cloth, leggings, and moccasins, and for the women, of a short-sleeved tunic, waist-cloth or apron, belt for knife and sewing-awl, with leggings and moccasins, generally made in one piece.

The warrior's shirt was frequently fringed with scalp locks. In cold weather and on ceremonial occasions a decorated robe was worn, while in warm weather or when engaged in active exertion the the men were usually stripped to the G-string. The young children went entirely naked in warm weather. Among the plains tribes the investiture of a boy with the G-string occurred when he was about ten years old, and was an occasion of good-natured rejoicing in the family, as indicating that he was now considered old enough to accompany his older relatives on hunting or war expeditions. The Gulf tribes and those of the Southwest wore turbans of bright-colored woven stuff; but elsewhere, except in the extreme North, the head was usually bare. Some tribes west of the Rockies went practically naked. On the northwest coast the woman's dress was often of bark fibre. The Eastern moccasin was made in one piece; the plains moccasin had a separate sole of rawhide.

East of the Mississippi the men usually shaved the whole head, excepting for a crest along the top and a long scalp-lock plaited and decorated with various trinkets. This scalp-lock, the prize and trophy of the victor in battle, was universal east of the Rocky Mountains, and over a great part of the country westward, but seems to have been unknown in California. On the plains the men generally wore their hair its full length, in two long braids hanging down over the shoulders in front, with the scalp-lock behind. The Osage and Pawnee shaved the head, excepting the scalp-lock, while the Wichita and Apache let the hair flow loosely down the back. The Pueblo, Piute, and most of the California tribes usually wore it cut off in front above the eyes and at the shoulder level behind. The Navaho bunched it into club shape. Women usually wore it flowing loosely. Those of the Sioux and Cheyenne wore it neatly braided at the sides. The Pueblo women cut it off at the shoulders and rolled it at the sides, while among the Hopi the unmarried women were distinguished by an extraordinary butterfly arrangement of the hair on each side of the head.

Head-flattening was practiced by the Choctaw and some of the Carolina tribes, and throughout most of the Columbia region. Labrets of bone were used by many tribes of the northwest coast. Nose pendants were common with a few tribes (hence the Nez Perce), while ear pendants with both sexes were almost universal. Tattooing was widespread, reaching its highest development among the Haida and others of the northwest coast, and the Wichita of the southern plains. Excepting with the tattooed tribes, painting was an essential part of full dress, colors and designs varying according to the occasion or the particular "medicine" of the individual.

Necklaces of shells, turquoise, mussel pearls, or, among the Navaho, of silver beads, were worn, with breastplates and gargets of shell or bone and bracelets of copper wire. Feathers and small objects supposed to have a mysterious protecting influence were worn in the hair, and the dress itself was profusely decorated with shell beads, elk-teeth, porcupine-quills, antelope-hoofs, and similar trinkets. (14)

Photo Credit: "Old Cheyenne"- Repository:Northwestern University. Library., Evanston, Ill. Creator: Edward S. Curtis. Library of Congress.

Sources Utilized to Document A Little Taste of History

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Little Taste Of History (24)

Topic: Facts On Long Island #2

Long Island Historical Society

An association in Brooklyn, N.Y., organized in 1863 for the purpose of furthering a knowledge of American history, primarily as connected with the history of Long Island. On June 11, 1864, a committee on the natural history of Long Island was appointed, and from its work has grown a fine museum of flora, fauna, minerals, antiquities, and historical relics of the Island. The society has published a number of valuable works, among them two volumes on the Battle of Long Island, and one containing the hitherto unpublished letters of George Washington on agricultural and personal topics. Its library comprises 45,000 volumes and as many pamphlets.

"For 15 years the society had been laboring in various ways for the instruction and entertainment and benefit of the people of the City of Brooklyn, and in gathering together a collection of books and other materials to aid it in its work, and for 11 years it had been the owner of land on the corner of Clinton and Pierrepont streets, upon which to erect a building in which to place its collections and establish its head-quarters. The commencement of that building had been postponed from time to time, until a favorable opportunity should offer itself to raise the funds necessary for its completion. Finally, last Spring the ball was set in motion by Mr. S. B. Chittenden, who proposed to give $20,000, provided the Directors would raise $80,000 more, thus insuring a sum of $100,000. The Directors took the matter into consideration, and invited various architects to submit plans and specifications, not with a view to the selection of any particular plan at that time, but to see what they could do with $100,000."

"They had resolved at the outset that they would not make a subscription binding, or make any start toward the erection of the building, until they had secured the entire amount of $100,000, which would give them $80,000 for the building, $14,000 to complete paying for the lot, and leave them $6,000 to use for incidental purposes." (NYT Nov.14,1877)

Battle of Long Island

A battle fought on Brooklyn Heights, Long Island, N.Y., August 27, 1776, during the Revolutionary War, between a British force of more than 15,000 under General Howe and an American force of about 8000 under the immediate command of General Israel Putnam. The British, landing at a point of Long Island a short distance below the "Narrows," marched by three routes against the American position, which had been strongly fortified in anticipation of an attack. Brooklyn Heights being necessary to the British if they were to succeed in their plans for the capture of New York. The most important road, the Jamaica Road, leading to the American position, seems to have been left almost wholly unguarded, and it was by this that the British advanced in greatest force. Parts of the American army under Gen. William Alexander (Lord Stirling) and General Sullivan, stationed in advance of the principal American fortification, were defeated after some stubborn fighting, both Alexander and Sullivan being captured; and Howe then proceeded to invest the works. In the evening of the 27th Washington crossed over to Long Island, and on the following day brought over reinforcements. General Howe showing no disposition to storm, however, Washington decided to abandon the works and transfer his forces to Manhattan Island, and during the night of August 29-30 this was successfully effected, the British not suspecting the movement until the Americans had crossed in safety. The British loss in killed, wounded, and missing in the battle of Long Island was about 400, while the American loss was about 1000.

Consult: Field, Battle of Long Island (Brooklyn, 1869) ; Carrington, Battles of the American Revolution (New York, 1876) ; Dawson, Battles of the United States (New York, 1858) ; Johnston, Campaign of 1776 Around New York and Brooklyn (Brooklyn, 1878) ; and the critical article by Adams, "The Battle of Long Island," in American Historical Review (New York, 1896).


An Algonquian tribe formerly inhabiting the eastern end of Long Island, and claiming sovereignty over most of the other tribes of the Island. Their principal village was near Montauk Point. When first known they were a numerous people, but having been reduced by a pestilence in 1658 to about 500 souls, they were invaded by the Narragansett from the mainland and forced to seek shelter among the white settlers at Easthampton. A century later only 162 remained. Many of these joined a kindred band in New York about 1788, and in 1829 only about 30 were left on Long Island. By 1870 these had dwindled to about a half dozen.

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A Little Taste Of History (21)

Topic: New York City's Institutions Pre: 1915 #1

The General Theological Seminary

Some time about the year 1750 Captain Clarke, a veteran of the provincial army, who had seen considerable service in the French war, built a country house, two or three miles north of the city, to which he gave the name of Chelsea. He gave it this name because he said it was to be the retreat of an old soldier in the evening of his days.

It has been thought that the name of Greenwich was given to the neighboring estate by Admiral Warren for a corresponding sentimental reason, but Mr. Janvier, in that very entertaining book, "In Old New York," shows that the name of Greenwich was in use long before the admiral's advent. Captain Clarke, unfortunately, was not destined long to enjoy the house he had built. During his last illness, the house caught fire and the captain came very near being burned with it, but he was carried out by neighbors and shortly after died in an adjacent farmhouse. Mrs. Clarke rebuilt the house on the crest of a hill that sloped down to the river about three hundred feet distant.

The estate descended to her daughter, the wife of Bishop Moore, and in 1813 it was conveyed to their son, Clement C. Moore, by whom the old house was considerably enlarged. The house was taken down when the bulkhead along the river front was constructed by the city. Mr. Moore gave the whole of the block bounded by Twentieth and Twenty-first streets and Ninth and Tenth avenues to the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, and it became known as Chelsea Square. The building here shown was built about 1835 and is constructed of a gray stone. The modern buildings, however, are of brick and stone, of a Gothic style and, with the old trees remaining and the stretches of green lawn, produce, especially in summer time, a suggestion of English seclusion and repose quite at variance with the bustle and the crudeness of that part of the city.

The Cooper Union

It occupies the triangular space formed by the junction of the Bowery, Third and Fourth avenues and 7th street, one square east of Broadway. It is a plain but massive and imposing edifice of brownstone, six stories high, with a large basement below the level of the streets. It was erected by Peter Cooper in 1857, at a cost of $630,000, and was endowed by him with $150,000, for the support of the free reading room and library. The street floor is let out in stores, and the floor above is occupied with offices of various kinds. These floors and the great hall in the basement yield a handsome revenue, which is devoted to paying a part of the expenses of the institution. The remainder of the building is devoted to a free library and reading room, and halls for lectures and for study. The institution was designed by Mr. Cooper for the free instruction of the working classes in science, art, English literature, the foreign languages, and telegraphy. Of late years there has been added to it a school of design for women. The course of instruction is very thorough, the ablest teachers being employed, and the standard of scholarship is high.

The Bible House

It stands immediately facing the Cooper Union, and occupies the entire block bounded by Third and Fourth avenues and 8th and 9th streets. It is a massive structure of red brick, covers an area of three-quarters of an acre, and is six stories in height. It was erected in 1852 and 1853, at a cost of $303,000, but is today worth more than twice that sum. It is the property of the American Bible Society, and besides the portion occupied by that organization, contains fifty stores and offices, which return a rental of more than $40,000. Many of the stores on the ground floor are occupied by dealers in religious books, and the offices are mainly taken up by benevolent and charitable societies. The greater portion of the building is occupied by the offices, the printing establishment, and the bindery of the American Bible Society. Over six hundred persons are employed in these establishments, and six thousand Bibles are printed, and three hundred and fifty Bibles are bound and finished, and sent to the warerooms every day.


A Little Taste Of History (23)

Topic: Some Facts On Long Island #1 Pre: 1902

At the time of its discovery by Hudson in 1609, Long Island was occupied by thirteen tribes of the Lenni-Lenape division of Algonquin Indians, who are now represented by a few individuals of mixed blood dwelling near Shinnecock Neck, Forge, and Montauk Point, where at the period of the first European settlement Wyandance, the chief of the thirteen tribes, resided. Antiquarian discoveries have demonstrated the existence of a prehistoric race of different origin. The various Indian names of the island were Sewanhacky, Panmancke, Matouwacks, and Wamponomon. The Dutch named it Lange Eylandt, whence Long Island ; a subsequent change by the Colonial Legislature to the Island of Nassau never became popular. Included in the land between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, embraced by latitudes 40 to 48 North, granted by James I. to the Plymouth Company in 1620, it became the property of the Earl of Stirling, and at his death in 1640 of the Duke of York. The earliest settlements by the Dutch were begun in 1632 ; the first recorded purchase of land in South Brooklyn is in 1636. The Dutch exercised jurisdiction in the western part of the island down to 1664, in which year they were dispossessed of New Netherlands. Many of the agricultural holdings toward the east remain unchanged in the possession of descendants of the original settlers ; Gardiner's Island has belonged to the family of that name since 1640. The military operations during the Revolutionary period and the battle of Long Island (q.v) are the chief incidents of the subsequent history of the Island.

Consult: Thompson, The History of Long Island (New York, 1843 ); Prime, History of Long Island (New York, 1845) ; Furman, Antiquities of Long Island, with Bibliography (New York, 1875) ; Flint, Early Long Island (New York, 1896) ; and the Annual Reports of the Long Island Historical Society (Brooklyn).

Shinnecock Tribe

A remnant tribe of Algonquin stock (q.v.) residing about the bay of the same name near the southeast end of Long Island, N.Y. At the beginning of this century they numbered only about 150 persons, all more or less of negro admixture, and had entirely lost their language and all other primitive characteristics. They are daring seamen and furnish efficient recruits to the United States Life Saving Service, in which several of their most promising young men lost their lives by a storm in 1877. They have no relations with the general Government, but the State of New York supports a school at East Moriches for the benefit of them and the two other Long Island remnants, the Poospatuck or Unquachog and the Montauk, numbering only a few families each. (14)

Source utilized to document the above statements:


A Little Taste Of History (22)

Topic: New York City's Institutions Pre: 1915 #2

The National Academy of Design

It is located at the northwest corner of Fourth avenue and 23d street, and is one of the most beautiful and artistic buildings in New York. It is built in the pure Gothic style of the thirteenth century, and is constructed of gray and white marble and bluestone, artistically blended, and producing a novel and pleasing effect. The 23d street front is eighty feet, and the Fourth avenue side ninety feet in length. A double flight of steps leads to the main entrance, and is ornamented with beautiful carvings and a drinking fountain, all of which blend harmoniously with the general design. The main entrance on 23d street, leads to a handsome vestibule, paved with variegated marbles. From this a massive and imposing stairway leads to the exhibition galleries, which are located in the third story and lifted from the roof. The first and second stories are devoted to the reception room, offices, lecture rooms, art schools, and the library. All the halls and rooms are finished handsomely in white pine, ash, mahogany, oak, and black walnut, in their natural colors, no paint being used on the woodwork of the building. Great care is exercised in the admission of pupils, as it is designed to restrict the schools to those who intend to make art the profession of their lives.

Washington Hall

On the southeast corner of Reade street a stable was afterward erected, and remained until the erection of Washington Hall, which was commenced in 1810, and finished in 1812. This building, in an architectural point of view, was, at the time of its erection, one of the handsomest structures in the city. The architect was John McComb, and the building Committee of the Washington Benevolent Society, under whose auspices it was erected, were Robert Morris, Jr., John McComb, Richard Furman, and John B. Coles. It was erected about the same time, that Tammany Hall was built by the opposite party.

Its subsequent uses were as a public hall, for meetings, assemblies, &c., and it was also kept as a hotel, being conducted during many of its early years by Peter McIntyre. Its early history is also intimately identified with the old Federal party, of which it was the headquarters, and in its hall of meeting were witnessed many of the exciting events which characterized our political history at about the period of the last war with Great Britain. It was not well adapted to the uses of a public house, and was finally purchased by Mr. A. T. Stewart, who erected upon its site the elegant marble building which was the pioneer of that class of structures on Broadway.

The New York Society Library Association

This institution, which was the oldest of the kind in New York, had previously been located in Nassau street, opposite the Dutch church (now Post-office). They sold their property in 1836 for $44,200, and with those and other funds derived from the New York Athenaeum, then merged with them, they purchased the site in Broadway, containing sixty feet front and one hundred feet deep, at a cost of $47,500. The edifice cost about $70,000, the result leaving the Library considerably in debt. The building was completed in 1839. The Library Association occupied the premises until 1853,, when they sold to Appleton & Co., publishers, for the sum of $110,000, by whom it is still occupied.