2018 Conference Tours

March 18- April 29: Post-Modern Midtown, Ridgewood Reservoir, Kew Gardens, Loew’s 175th Street Theater

Saturday, April 14, 10:30AM        Ridgewood Reservoir

The Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park is a 50+ acre natural oasis that straddles the border of Brooklyn and Queens. Built in 1859 to supply the once independent City of Brooklyn with high quality water, it became obsolete with the addition of new reservoirs in the Catskills in the 1950s and was decommissioned in the 1980s. Since then, nature took its course in a perfect case study of ecological succession.  A lush and dense forest has grown in its two outside basins while a freshwater pond with waterfowl sits in the middle basin. Join Jonathan Turer of NYC H2O, an organization devoted to educating New Yorkers about the city’s local water ecology, to explore this incredible natural and historic resource in the heart of the city.


Saturday, April 21, 2:00PM          Kew Gardens

Discover the beauty of Kew Gardens, a residential neighborhood conceived by Albon Platt Man (who also developed nearby Richmond Hill) and his son Alrick Hubbell Man as the perfect ‘new urbanist’ community. The neighborhood, like a number of others in early 20th century Queens, was developed as a garden suburb and spurred by the construction of the Long Island Rail Road, which gave easy access to Manhattan for commuters. While another nearby garden suburb, Forest Hills Gardens, was initially conceived as a utopian enclave for the working class by philanthropist Margaret Sage, Kew Gardens was planned as a private, for-profit development. Named for an idyllic London suburb and its famed botanic gardens, the neighborhood appropriately boasts architecture inspired by English styles, particularly Tudor Revival. Join us as noted architectural historian Barry Lewis guides us through this charming corner of Queens.


Sunday, April 29, 10:30AM           Boerum Hill

The Boerum Hill Historic District is doubling! Join Jonathan Brecht and Ann Friedman of the Boerum Hill Association for a walking tour of the soon-to-be-designated Boerum Hill Historic District Extension. Boerum Hill, which, until 1964, was known as Gowanus North, is characterized by rows of Greek Revival and Italianate houses, as well as a historic commercial corridor along Atlantic Avenue. The original district, designated in 1973, comprises 250 rowhouses just south of Atlantic Avenue, while the extension will take in a portion of the three- and four-story, mixed-use, mid-19th century rowhouses on Atlantic Avenue that have been increasingly under threat with the development boom in downtown Brooklyn. This tour will explore block-long rows of matching Italianate houses, the carriage house headquarters of a patent medicine scofflaw, a former church that served as the cornerstone of Boerum Hill’s Quebec-Mohawk community in the first half of the 20th century, and some unique boutiques nestled in 1860s storefronts. The tour will wrap up by noon, just in time for brunch at one of Boerum Hill’s many charming cafés!


Sunday, April 29, 3:00PM             United Palace AKA Loew’s 175 & screening of On the Waterfront

Get up close and personal at this stunning 3,400-seat theatre, its mezzanine, grand foyer, balcony, and if you’re lucky, the stage! The history of United Palace, Manhattan’s 4th largest theatre and now a New York City Individual Landmark, began in 1930, when it was one of five Loew’s “Wonder Theatres” constructed across the boroughs and New Jersey. Designed by noted architect Thomas Lamb (Cort Theatre, the former Ziegfeld Theatre) with interiors overseen by decorative specialist Harold Rambusch (Waldorf Astoria, Radio City Music Hall), it was one of the region’s premier vaudeville and movie houses. Its flamboyant architectural style, with extravagant terra-cotta ornament and iconography from an array of different cultures, was meant to transport audiences to another place in the midst of Depression-era austerity. Today, the United Palace is a transformational venue that fuses culture, spirituality and entertainment.


Following the tour, stick around for a special screening of the 1954 classic On the Waterfront, to be preceded by a pre-show panel discussion. The panel discussion and film screening are co-sponsored by the New York Preservation Archive Project, United Palace Theater and HDC. Admission is free with purchase of a tour ticket.

Tour: 3:00pm-4:00pm

Panel discussion: 4:30pm

Film screening: 5:15pm


For more information about the panel and film screening:

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