Thursday, September 20, 2007

JANE’S WALK COMES TO NEW YORK Saturday, September 29, & Sunday, September 30, 2007 Free Neighborhood Walking Tours




Meeting Location: SW corner of Broadway and 125th Street, McDonald’s parking lot.Time: Sunday, Sept 30 12 NoonTour Guides: Ron Shiffman & Eric K. Washington

“Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.” – Jane Jacobs
At a glance, Manhattanville is a farrago of non-conforming streets, fickle building styles and disparate cultures, all residing in a prominent quirk of Upper Manhattan topography. But of course there’s more to the story…

Steeped in Revolutionary War history, Manhattanville was established in 1806 and sustained a long reputation among New Yorkers as “a place of considerable consequence.” Yet today the area remains by and large a terrain vague, unfamiliar to all but the most intrepid city wanderers.

In light of Columbia University’s current plans to annex an 18-acre chunk from the center of this West Harlem enclave, this tour will explore the neighborhood’s unexpected history, whose unique landscape and landmarks were often the backdrop to anti-slavery activity, public health reform and social activism.

Sites include the city’s first “free pew” Episcopal church, the city’s first crosstown cable car line, the D.F. Yuengling Brewery, the Sheffield Farms Stables, the first elevated subway station, and the West Harlem Waterfront Park now under construction. Those participating in the tour will also be introduced to many of the artisan enterprises emerging throughout the area.

Ron Shiffman founded the Pratt Center for Community Development and still teaches urban planning at the Pratt Institute. He is a former member of the NYC planning Commission and has been a principal advisor to Community Board 9M on the development of its Community-Initiated or 197-A Plan and is assisting the Community Board in their response to Columbia University’s Proposed expansion into Manhattanville.

Eric K. Washington created the original Manhattanville history walking tour and is the author of the book, Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem, published in the Arcadia Images of America history series.

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