MCNY Blog: New York Stories

Iconic photos of a changing city, and commentary on our Collections & Exhibitions from the crew at MCNY.org

Author Archives: Lauren Robinson

William Auerbach-Levy, Artist and Neighborhood Preservationist

William Auerbach-Levy was born in 1889 in Brest-Litovsk, then part of the Russian Empire. He immigrated with his parents to the United States around 1894 and grew up on the … Continue reading

April 29, 2014 · 3 Comments

Highlights from the City Museum’s Graffiti Collection

When painter Martin Wong moved to New York City from San Francisco in 1978, he marveled at what many others considered a blight – graffiti scrawled on the surfaces of … Continue reading

February 18, 2014 · 4 Comments

The Croton and Catskill Systems: Meeting the Demand for Water in New York City

Our earlier blog post illustrated the attempts city and private officials made to supply Manhattan with water, culminating in the successful flow of water from Westchester County to the city … Continue reading

January 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

John Stephenson Company Streetcars

New York would not be the city it is today without the comprehensive public transportation infrastructure developed during the 19th and 20th centuries. One of the major players of this … Continue reading

December 10, 2013 · 1 Comment

Notable City Residences

8,336,697 people lived in New York City as of July 2012 according to the United States Census Bureau, and a lucky few of them live in fascinating places. Here we … Continue reading

November 12, 2013 · 2 Comments

Street clocks – how New Yorkers kept time on the go.

Street clocks once dominated the sidewalks of New York City. First introduced in the 1860s, the clocks quickly became popular with businesses looking for novel ways to advertise and with … Continue reading

October 15, 2013 · Leave a comment

What skating rink is that? Who lived in that house? Solving mysteries in the collection.

From time to time, the Collections Department receives inquiries from the public about the information associated with images we’ve cataloged online.   The data in the catalog records is pulled from … Continue reading

September 17, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Contentious History of Supplying Water to Manhattan

“What made New York a prosperous port – its deep saltwater rivers – made its drinking water lousy. By the middle of the eighteenth century, Manhattan’s water was already infamous: … Continue reading

July 16, 2013 · 5 Comments

Aftermath of a Fire in the Lower East Side

Chartered in 1875, the Manhattan Railway Company operated elevated train lines in Manhattan and the Bronx. In 1879, it leased elevated lines running along Second, Third, Sixth, and Ninth Avenues … Continue reading

July 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

Ghosts of the 6 Train

New York City’s vast transit system is in a constant state of flux, expanding to fill the needs of underserved areas and simultaneously contracting due to budget cuts or obsolescence. … Continue reading

June 11, 2013 · 5 Comments

The Apartment That Wasn’t

John Williams Campbell was born in Brooklyn in 1880 into a well-to-do family. His father was treasurer of the Credit Clearing House, a credit bureau for merchandise wholesalers. At the … Continue reading

May 7, 2013 · 6 Comments

Art Deco Treasures

Art Deco architecture flourished in Europe and the United States during the 1920s and 1930s. Spurred by the 1925 Paris exhibition Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes which … Continue reading

April 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

The World of Yiddish Theater, As Seen By Alter Kacyzne

While cataloging the Museum’s Yiddish theater collection, I stumbled across some photographs that stood out among the thousands I had seen. They are beautiful, expertly lit yet not artificial, as … Continue reading

December 18, 2012 · 3 Comments

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