Events , Programs , Tours

2023 Preservation Conference Tours

All tours are rain or shine

Meeting locations provided after registration

Friends of HDC / Students / Seniors $15; General Admission $20

East Harlem’s Community Murals, Mosaics, and Other Public Art
June 3, 2023, 11 AM
90-120 minutes

Continuing a long tradition in Latin American art, East Harlem’s buildings have served as a canvas for murals and, more recently, for mosaics. These artworks have played an important role in defining the neighborhood as Latin American, advancing social movements, and rebelling against the current political system. But as the neighborhood comes to the notice of the larger world, its challenge will be to benefit from this attention while retaining its unique cultural character.

The tour will be led by Marina Ortiz, whose versatile body of work includes journalism, photography, and other forms of cultural and political expression that reflect her background as a Puerto Rican activist in New York City. She is the director at East Harlem Preservation (EHP), a grassroots organization that fights against social injustices and gentrification while preserving and promoting local history and culture. EHP has worked with community artists to create and restore several outdoor murals honoring political and cultural icons.

Exploring the Significance of the African Burial Ground National Monument
June 10, 2023, 10 AM
90 minutes

The African Burial Ground National Monument is the nation’s earliest and largest known African American cemetery, and the first National Monument dedicated to Africans of early New York and Americans of African descent. Led by a National Park Service Park Ranger, this multi-modal tour will include an introductory film, a guided Memorial tour, a discussion of the history of slavery in Dutch and British colonial New York, and a discussion of the history of the African Burial Ground and its re-discovery in 1991.

Take a Walk Through the Bronx’s Little Italy
June 17, 2023, 11 AM
70 minutes

Bronx’s Little Italy neighborhood is one of the most interesting places in New York City. The area was first settled by Italian immigrants in the early 20th century and has been a hub for Italian culture ever since. Today, it’s home to several businesses that have been operating for generations—and some newer businesses that are also worth visiting. This tour will lead attendees along Arthur Avenue, home to Doo-Wop music, authentic Italian restaurants, delis and shops; and one of HDC’s past Six to Celebrate recipients.

The tour will be led by Alexandra Maruri, a Bronx native and founder of Bronx Historical Tours, an organization that supports minority-owned business and cultural heritage by offering walking tours.

Discover the Public Art of Rockefeller Center
June 25, 2023, 11 AM
120 minutes

Discover the stunning works of art at Rockefeller Center, some of which you did not know were there! How do the artworks support John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s vision for the complex? Which cultural institution was meant to move to the site? How does Mussolini figure into the story? Who was the only woman who contributed exterior artwork to the project? Why is each artwork positioned where it is? Come with us as we survey 50+ sculptures; mosaic and canvas murals; high, low and intaglio reliefs that are scattered around the 12-acre site.

This tour will be led by Phil Desiere, founder of the walking tour service Walk About New York. A licensed New York City tour guide and member of the Guides Association of New York, Phil regularly leads tours for the Municipal Art Society and the United Federation of Teachers. He has lived in the Big Apple 43 years, and has been a tour guide for nine years, after his 35-year career as an art director and graphic artist.


The Conference is generously supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Additional FY23 support is provided by New York City Council Members Erik Bottcher, Gale Brewer, Christopher Marte, Keith Powers, and Lincoln Restler.

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