The Insider's Connection

Architecture

Brooklyn’s Abolitionists on Duffield Street

227 Duffield Street Can gentrification change–and even erase–history? What kinds of buildings mobilize a community to dispute a city’s attempts at eminent domain? What stories do New York’s streets tell, and who controls those stories?…

Chelsea’s Limelight Building–the Church? the Nightclub? the Gym?

 The northeast corner of 6th Avenue and West 20th has looked nearly the same since 1844. The building’s facade, a striking asymmetrical church, was designed by Richard Upjohn when the neighborhood was…

The Secret Engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge: Emily Roebling

Who are the hidden women behind some of the iconic structures of New York? Who was the secret engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge? How many people–of the hundreds on the bridge at any moment on a summer afternoon–know the…

Bridging the Gap in Community & Business: The Williamsburg Bridge

As the 19th century came to a close, city planners in New York faced a big question: how can disparate neighborhoods in a sprawling metropolis be integrated into one accessible, cohesive New York City? In the face…

Unearthing the First Subway: Alfred Ely Beach

  Do you commute on the subway? If you do, you’re one of millions who swipes their MetroCard each day, and probably does not consider the first people who traveled underground in Manhattan and the subway’s lost…

Secret New York: The Filmmaker Who Saw the Future

What makes a lasting legacy? How are stories embedded in the fabric of New York City? What happens when we remain curious about details?  In 1902, Georges Méliès imagined the moon. In one of the earliest science fiction films, a group of astronomers (an ensemble of highly-theatrical…

Old Pennsylvania Station: The Demolished Landmark that Sparked a Movement

 What happens when money and progress interfere with history and cultural significance? How do communities mobilize when they see an injustice, and how does big business respond? How do relics of the past get repurposed today, and why…