The Vigilance of Trinity

Oct 20 2010 Published by under [Humanities&Social Science], Art, Community, History, Landscapes

Trinity Church, N.Y.C. 1791. Digital ID: 801103. New York Public Library

Trinity Church, N.Y.C. 1791. Credit: NYPL Digital Archives

Standing directly at the western end of Wall Street, Trinity Church is perfectly framed. Seriously, the young colony could not have chosen a better spot. Today it looks a bit out of place at first glance, but its Gothic spire and dark exterior seem to hold the nearby skyscrapers at bay—which is fitting since this building reigned as the tallest in the mid-nineteenth century. Sunlight and shadow coexist perfectly on the grounds, making the surrounding churchyard a refuge from the busy city that flows around the land. Buildings have lives of their own. They have histories, and they mark and record the history, culture, and time that passes around them. Trinity Church, which is one of New York City’s oldest houses of worship, is no different.

Wall Street, N.Y. Digital ID: 809984. New York Public Library

Wall Street, N.Y. 1847. Credit: NYPL

Wall Street, N.Y. October 2010

In 1696 the Anglican community of the growing colony petitioned Governor Benjamin Fletcher for land for a parish. He approved the sale of the downtown plot to the Crown, which then issued a charter to the parish with a rent of 60 bushels of wheat annually. The church appeared to be well received. In fact, legend has it that even famed Captain Kidd pitched in to help with construction. This building was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1776, which was believed to have been set intentionally and destroyed twenty-five percent of the city. Rebuilt in 1790, the roof of the second building collapsed under the weight of snow 40 years later, and the third building—the one that stands today—was constructed in 1846.

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Statuesque in City Hall Park

Jun 09 2010 Published by under [Humanities&Social Science]

A new art exhibit has gone on display in City Hall Park. Statuesque features art from six international artists. The show is meant to encourage a re-imagining of the classic form of statues by melding sculpture with beauty and elegance of this now historic style. The show will run through December and is a perfect accompaniment to lunch in the park. Images of the pieces can be viewed after the jump.

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Subway History on Display

Jun 03 2010 Published by under [Humanities&Social Science]

As the MTA prepares to roll out a new, user-friendly subway map this month, I thought it might be the right time to take a look at some artifacts from the subway's history.

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Pictures of Our Present

Feb 09 2010 Published by under [Humanities&Social Science]

Long after New York City is gone—perhaps reclaimed by nature per The World Without Us—I'm certain we've created a record that should survive long and well enough to offer glimpses into life in New York City. I'm talking, of course, about the tiled mosaics that litter the subway system: some show landmarks and cultural scenes concerning the locality above, and others depict daily life. All together, they provide a glimpse into life in this city.

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