The Insider's Connection

Neighborhood History

Seneca Village: New York’s First Black Property Owning Community

  Whose perspectives represent a city’s story? Who gets to shape the public perception and legacy of a city’s communities? Which voices are left out when land, architecture, and public space are changed by the government? In 1824, the odds were stacked against the formation of free…

The Birth and Purpose of Rutherford Place

 Does your house or apartment building tell a story? Who was in it before you? Do you ever imagine the conversations, conflicts, and transformations that have happened in the place where you live? What…

New York City’s Historic Wood Frame Houses

Which houses stand long enough to tell a story? How does a seemingly ordinary structure survive demolition in a gentrifying neighborhood? Two wood-framed houses on East 53rd Street have seen 150 years of New…

The Ever So Exclusive Gramercy Park: Samuel Ruggles

What gives an address a reputation? New Yorkers and tourists alike recognize the name Gramercy Park. 20th and 21st Streets between 3rd Avenue and Broadway are some of the most sought-after addresses in the world. The locked…

Yorkville: Behind the Mural on 83rd Street

Is large-scale art expected to speak for a neighborhood or community? York Avenue–named after US Army Sergeant Alvin York for honorable actions in World War II and grounding the neighborhood in its German roots–has rapidly gentrified in the recent decades. Yorkville,…

The New York City German Migration from Kleindeutschland

What aspects of a neighborhood expose its roots and history? Where do you get information about the communities that shaped your neighborhood? How did New York’s “Germantown” completely relocate in a matter of a few years, and…