You can't make this stuff up! Our tours are based on rigorous research, and the stories we tell are so wild and wonderful, they can only be true! On our tours, we're in it for excitement and out for fun. Join us on a walking tour and discover extraordinary stories and incredible surprises around every corner. As we walk through neighborhoods, we'll walk through history, connect past to present, and see how this ever-changing city is, and always has been, fabulous and fascinating.
SYMPATHETIC SPIES: GEORGE WASHINGTON'S EYES AND EARS IN LOWER MANHATTAN
The British Revolutionary War Spymaster Major George Beckwith claimed that, "Washington didn't really outfight the British, he simply out-spied us." The General's master-spies operated out of Lower Manhattan. As we make our way between The Battery and Wall Street, we'll retrace their steps. Along the way, we'll find out who first peddled fake news, meet the tailor who saved George Washington's life not once but twice, and discover what Eagles, Turtles, and Vultures have to do with turncoats and saboteurs.
DIAMONDS AND SABOTAGE: CLANDESTINE AFFAIRS AND WARTIME INTRIGUE IN MIDTOWN
Only in New York: A sabotage ring is run from a yacht club. An opera singer presides over a safe-house. A celebrated theater hides top-secret naval intelligence in plain sight. Join us for a walk through Midtown. As we inspect some of New York's finest hotels and most elegant office towers, we'll find out how some of the city's most prestigious addresses became the center of an international secret world during the World Wars.
DANCE YOUR WAY TO REVOLUTION: RADICAL REVELRY IN THE EAST VILLAGE
The Anarchist Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution.” Kick up your heels, and join us for a tour of the neighborhood that shaped her freewheeling philosophy. As we wind our way between 14th Street and Houston Street, we’ll uncover the area’s rebellious past. Along the way, we’ll meet the Rebel Girl and the Priestess of Anarchy, learn about the saloon known as the “most famous radical center in New York,” and discover which nightclub has been “an idyllic place of controversy and entertainment” for over a century.
SHAKE THE WORLD: THE WEST VILLAGE AND THE DAWN OF “AMERICA’S LATIN QUARTER”
Imagine you are at a party with the journalist Walter Lippmann, the dancer Isadora Duncan and the playwright Eugene O’Neil. Two things are probably true: you are at Mabel Dodge’s Wednesday Night Salon, and Marcel Duchamp is swinging from the chandelier. Dodge began her salon in 1912, when the Village entered its “Lyric Period,” and was dubbed “America’s Latin Quarter.” On this tour, we’ll enter the Village on the eve of the First World War, find out how the neighborhood transformed from a prestigious enclave to an artists’ paradise, and discover some of the area’s original Bohemian haunts.
FROM BROWNSTONES TO BALLOT BOXES: WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE IN BROOKLYN HEIGHTS
Behind the stately facades of Brooklyn Heights’ most gracious brownstones lies the history of firebrand feminism! The "wise women of Brooklyn” were doctors, lawyers, educators and orators who made some of the foremost contributions to the Suffrage movement. Join us for a walk through their neighborhood. As we make our way between the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and the Old Bridge Street Church, we’ll discover suffrage history at the home a noted playwright, find out why the Brooklyn Bridge is a feminist icon, and see how the Brooklyn Academy of Music set the stage for the Women’s Movement.
NEW SCHOOLS: EDUCATION AND RADICAL FREE THOUGHT IN GREENWICH VILLAGE
From the first free circulating library in New York City to "The People's Institute," Greenwich Village is home to some of the earliest public educational institutions in New York City. The Village's pedigree as a bastion of free expression has roots in its educational institutions, which were at the epicenter of the greatest radical and progressive movements of the 19th and 20th centuries! On this tour, we'll drop by NYU, the first university in the country to allow women to study law, make our way to the Ferrer School, an Anarchist educational collective on St. Marks Place where teachers included Margaret Sanger and Jack London, see Cooper Union, open to "whatsoever things are true," and find out how opposition to the First World War (and fussy uptown Academia) created the New School.
DOWNTOWN TERRA-COTTA TOUR
Before New York’s tallest towers were sheathed in glass, they were clad in clay. Terra-Cotta, or “fired earth,” is an ancient building material made of baked clay, that helped make New York a Modern city. At the turn of the 20th century, terra-cotta became a sought-after fire-proof skin for the steel skeletons of the city’s tallest buildings. Though you’ll find it on some of New York’s most iconic structures, including the Flatiron Building, The Woolworth Building, and the Plaza Hotel, terra-cotta often hides in plain sight, mimicking other materials like granite or carved wood. On this tour of Lower Manhattan, we’ll uncover some of city’s earliest terra-cotta structures, and find out how New York got fired up about fired earth. Along the way, we’ll see the tallest terra-cotta structure in the world, find out how the nephews of Samuel Morse commissioned the city’s earliest surviving “fireproof” sky-scraper, and learn how this stunningly versatile material moved from monochrome to multi-colored, and helped shift the city from Beaux-Arts beauty to Art Deco splendor!
MIDTOWN TERRA COTTA TOUR
Terra-Cotta, or “fired earth” is the clay chameleon of the concrete jungle: it can mimic stone or sport a rainbow of Technicolor glazes. Both light-weight and highly malleable, its ideal for both slim curtain walls and ornate sculptural ornaments. By the turn of the 20th century, many of the city’s most eminent architects, including Cass Gilbert, Henry Hardenbergh, George B. Post and Ely Jacques Khan, worked in terra-cotta, and the clay faced some of the city’s most iconic facades, including the Flatiron Building, the Woolworth Building and the Plaza Hotel. On this tour of Midtown Manhattan, we’ll see the clay chameleon in some of its most beautiful and diverse forms, from a Technicolor Moorish-Revival Temple to a French Renaissance Chateau to an Italian Mannerist school. Along the way, stop by New York’s most ornate apartment building, check out one of the city’s earliest co-ops and find-out how the New York’s most illustrious theater and finest hotel were clad in clay produced right here in the five boroughs!
GREATER NEW YORKER: GEORGE MCANENY AND THE MAKING OF MODERN NEW YORK
On March 19, 1913, Manhattan Borough President George McAneny signed “The Dual Contracts” a landmark deal that doubled the size of the city’s subway network, tripled its capacity, and changed New York forever. The Dual Contracts linked the city together, made possible the development of the outer boroughs, and was the basis of McAneny’s vision for Greater New York, a rationally planned world city that would prize light, air, human scale and healthy density over profit. Throughout his exceptional civic career, McAneny shaped New York City more profoundly than any other individual of his generation. He was known as “the father of zoning in this country,” and hailed as “a friend beyond compare” to the city of New York. On this tour of Lower Manhatttan, we’ll explore George McAneny’s New York, and see how this planner, preservationist and civic pioneer left an enduring mark on the city.
If you purchased your tour on CourseHorse, our cancellation policy applies to your purchase. If you need help canceling or have any questions, please visit CourseHorse (link: https://coursehorse.com/contact-us).
Looking for a private tour? Get in touch today.
Want information on upcoming tours, events and blog posts? Subscribe below.