TOPIC

History

Track Record

Like reading the rings of an old tree, decoding the perplexing last century of ridership on the Long Island Rail Road casts light on the development of both a transit system and the identities of the places it passes through.

Memory Loss

The Bergen Family Owned 46 People

Drawing on census records, newspaper ads, and more from the city's archives, activists call attention to the legacy of slavery embedded in the names of familiar streets and neighborhoods.

Memory Loss

A Monumental Shift

A group of artists and creative technologists is wielding augmented reality to insert heroic women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ icons into an uneven landscape of public memory.

Memory Loss

Mourn and Organize

For all death’s new omnipresence, the scale of our losses has been hard to locate in the daily fabric of urban life. Where does the city put its grief and voice its outrage?

Where to Have Sex in an Epidemic

The New St. Marks Baths became a key infrastructure of care in the struggle against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. What can its history tell us about still pressing questions around public health, private pleasure, and the spaces in-between?

Architects of Black Harlem

In an urban landscape synonymous with African American culture, buildings by Black designers make space for domesticity, creativity, and community.

Down to Earth

Viewed from the perspective of its raw material, Manhattan’s brassy Seagram Building illuminates architecture’s massive energetic and social consequences.

Migrating Forms

Immigrant architects and builders transformed New York's working-class housing, once a symbol of despair, into a stock of dignified dwellings — their aspirations etched into the ornamented exteriors of the city’s iconic tenements.

Shelf Life

Cornerstone Memories

Justo Martí's midcentury photographs of Manhattan and Brooklyn bodegas provide a rare glimpse at the history of the spaces and signs cementing Latinx life in the city, and highlight the continuing work of New Yorkers to make the city home.

Seeing Double

The material flows that feed Manhattan's iconic public spaces reveal "reciprocal landscapes" whose fates are tied together by fertilizer, pavers, and planks.