Tourist In Your Own Town

This video series invites New Yorkers and visitors alike to explore the City’s extraordinary abundance of historic landmarks. Since August of 2011, we have visited some of New York’s best hidden gems as well as some of the classic iconic landmarks.

Tourist videos include Green-Wood Cemetery, Governors Island, Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, Weeksville Heritage Center, Manhattan Bridge Arch and Colonnade, Church of the Intercession, Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, Morris-Jumel Mansion, South Street Seaport Museum, public schools by architect C.B.J. Snyder, Ellis Island’s South Side, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Past Videos

Tourist in Your Own Town #50 - Temple Emanu-El

Date: May 25, 2017

Temple Emanu-El at 840 Fifth Avenue and 65th Street is one of the largest sanctuaries in New York City. It is a massive limestone synagogue built in 1927-29 for Emanu-El, the City’s oldest Reform Jewish congregation (1845) that merged with the Beth-El congregation in 1927.

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Tourist in Your Own Town #49 - Park Avenue Armory

Date: April 24, 2017

The prominent landmark was built from 1877 to 1881 for the Seventh National Guard Regiment. The medieval-inspired building became a prototype for later armories in New York and throughout the country. The design came from Charles W. Clinton, a Seventh Regiment veteran. He included a large drill shed measuring 200 by 300 feet and 80 feet high. It is one of the largest unobstructed spaces in New York and the oldest balloon shed in America.

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Tourist in Your Own Town #48 - Van Cortlandt House Museum

Date: March 28, 2017

The Van Cortlandt House Museum is located inside Van Cortlandt Park at Broadway and West 246th Street in the Bronx. Watch our video to learn more about this historic building and then plan a visit.

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Tourist in Your Own Town #47 - New York Public Library - Main Branch

Date: February 01, 2017

The main branch of the New York Public Library at 476 Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece. Watch our video to learn more about this majestic building and then plan a visit.

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Tourist in Your Own Town #46 - Mount Vernon Hotel and Museum

Date: December 19, 2016

The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum at 421 E. 61st Street is a hidden treasure tucked among busy Upper East Side high rises. Watch our video to learn more about this rare 18th-century building and then plan a visit to step back in time.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #45 - National Lighthouse Museum

Date: August 17, 2016

The National Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island is a reminder of how lighthouses played an important role in the security and well being of New York and the United States. The museum is located in one of the buildings of the former lighthouse depot complex that dates back to 1862. The organization offers special events, lectures and occasional boat tours to nearby lighthouses.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #44 - Hamilton Grange

Date: July 18, 2016

Not everyone may get the chance to see the Hamilton the musical on Broadway. But anyone can see where Hamilton lived. Built in 1802 and designed by John McComb Jr., the Grange served as founding father Alexander Hamilton’s country home in Harlem.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #43 - Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral - Brooklyn Heights

Date: May 17, 2016

Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral, located within the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, was designed by Richard Upjohn in a Romanesque Revival style in 1844. The building originally housed the Church of the Pilgrims congregation, until that group merged with the nearby Plymouth Church in 1934. The building was sold in 1944 to a Maronite congregation, who had a growing community in Brooklyn.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #42 - Congregation Ansche Chesed

Date: January 25, 2016

Congregation Ansche Chesed is part of the recently designated Riverside-West End Historic District Extension II on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The congregation, dating back to 1828, was housed in various structures throughout its history. The current building was completed in 1927 and was designed by architect Edward Shire in the Romanesque and Byzantine styles.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #41 - The Old Stone House & The Battle of Brooklyn

Date: July 28, 2015

The Old Stone House is a 1933 reconstruction (using some of the original materials) of the Vechte-Cortelyou House (c.1699-1897) and is located within Washington Park of Park Slope Brooklyn. It is the site of the Maryland 400’s brave counterattack against the British during the Battle of Brooklyn in the Revolutionary War.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #40 - The Four Seasons Restaurant

Date: June 23, 2015

The Four Seasons Restaurant retains a timeless setting created by two legendary architects, Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson. Designated as an interior landmark in 1989, the restaurant is located within the landmark Seagram Building (1958) and is one of the most elegant International Style interiors in the United States.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #39 - Church of Notre Dame

Date: May 13, 2015

The impressive French neoclassical exterior is equally matched with the interior that boasts an unusual feature ... a replica of the grotto in Lourdes France, where in 1858 Saint Bernadette was said to have witnessed the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #38 - The Woolworth Building

Date: February 18, 2015

The Woolworth Building transformed New York City’s skyline and remains one of the most famous skyscrapers in the country. It is a Gothic marvel designed by architect Cass Gilbert for millionaire five-and-dime storeowner Frank W. Woolworth. Completed in 1913, the elegant structure was hailed as “the cathedral of commerce” and was the tallest building in the world until 1930.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #37 - Fraunces Tavern Museum

Date: January 26, 2015

Fraunces Tavern is known as the place where George Washington gave his famous farewell address to his officers in 1783, but the building traces its history to 1719 when it was built as a home for Stephen DeLancey. Over the years it has had several changes due to fires and alterations. The building was converted into a tavern by Samual Fraunces in 1763 and eventually into a museum by the Sons of the Revolution in 1907.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #36 - Louis Armstrong House Museum

Date: November 24, 2014

One of the world’s most renowned jazz musicians and entertainers; Louis Armstrong lived in this modest Queens house from 1943 until his death in 1971. Later in 1983, his widow Lucille willed the house and its contents to New York City for the creation of a museum and study center devoted to Armstrong’s career and the history of jazz.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #35 - Edgar Allan Poe Cottage

Date: October 21, 2014

Edgar Allan Poe, the famous American author and poet, lived in this cottage from 1846-1849 in what is now the Bronx. It was here that Poe cared for his ailing wife Virginia who was suffering from tuberculosis and it is where he wrote “Annabel Lee,” “The Bells,” and “The Cask of Amontillado.” After Poe died in 1849 the house was slated for demolition, but a public outcry led to its preservation in 1902. In 1913 this shrine was moved across the street to its present location.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #34 - Prospect Park

Date: August 19, 2014

Take a look at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, a scenic landmark that covers almost 600 acres and contains splendid sculptures, historic memorials, and incredible architecture. Designed in 1865, the park is considered Frederick Law Olmsted’s and Calvert Vaux’s masterpiece.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #33 - Trinity Church

Date: July 23, 2014

Take a look inside Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan. The present church is the third built on this site for New York’s oldest Episcopal congregation. Designed by Richard Upjohn in 1846, Trinity is one of the first Gothic Revival buildings in New York City.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #32 - The Cloisters Museum & Gardens

Date: June 26, 2014

The Cloisters Museum & Gardens is a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art, architecture, and artifacts of medieval Europe.

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Tourist in Your Own Town # 31 - Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue & Museum

Date: May 27, 2014

Take a look inside this synagogue built for a small group of Romaniote Jews who trace their roots to the town of Ionnina in northwestern Greece. The Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue & Museum is located at 280 Broome Street within the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

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Tourist In Your Own Town # 30 - Gould Memorial Library and Hall of Fame

Date: March 25, 2014

The Gould Memorial Library and Hall of Fame are Beaux Arts Landmarks designed by the great Stanford White in 1899 and 1901. At the time, these structures were part of the uptown campus for New York University, which is now Bronx Community College.

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Tourist In Your Own Town # 29 - Surrogate’s Court – Hall of Records

Date: February 27, 2014

The former Hall of Records, now the Surrogate’s Court was designed by John R. Thomas, with Horgan & Slattery in 1899 through 1907. Designated a City Landmark in 1986, this Beaux Arts structure was a highlight of the City Beautiful movement. It is built of Maine granite and features more than fifty sculptures by Philip Martiny and Henry Kirke Bush-Browne.

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Tourist In Your Own Town # 28 - The Riverside Church

Date: January 28, 2014

The Riverside Church is one of New York’s most prominent religious landmarks. Financed in 1927 primarily by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., this “skyscraper” type church with a 392-foot tower was built to show a strong presence on the Upper West Side skyline. The 20-floor tower also holds 74 carillon bells, including a 20-ton bourdon bell.

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Tourist In Your Own Town # 27 - Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island

Date: December 18, 2013

The museum village of Historic Richmond Town displays three centuries of life on Staten Island. The buildings are a walk through time ... offering a look at how ordinary people lived and worked from Colonial times through the early 20th century.

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Tourist In Your Own Town # 26 - New York City Hall

Date: November 27, 2013

New York City Hall was completed in 1811 by John McComb Jr. and Joseph François Mangin and is the oldest City Hall in continuous use in the country. It is a City and National Landmark.

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Tourist In Your Own Town # 25 - Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx

Date: October 22, 2013

With more than 300 acres of lavish mausoleums and scenic landscapes, Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world.

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Tourist In Your Own Town # 24 - Hispanic Society of America

Date: September 24, 2013

The Hispanic Society of America is located at Audubon Terrace in Upper Manhattan. This historic landmark complex at 155th Street sits on the former estate of artist and naturalist, John James Audubon.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #23: Riverside Park

Date: August 21, 2013

Riverside Park stretches over four miles from 59th to 158th streets along the Hudson River. With its sloping lawns and stately trees, it is one of Manhattan’s most spectacular waterfront parks.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #22: Rockefeller Center

Date: July 31, 2013

Of course everybody knows about the famous Christmas tree and skating rink, but take a closer look around at the original limestone buildings and how they incorporate beautiful pieces of public art. Statues, murals, and bas-relief sculptures by famous artists are on public display for New Yorkers and visitors alike to enjoy.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #21: Lefferts Historic House

Date: June 21, 2013

Peter Lefferts built this Dutch Colonial farmhouse around 1783. It was originally located on Flatbush Avenue, but it was moved to Prospect Park in 1918 to save it from demolition. Designated as a City Landmark in 1966, it is now a museum specializing in children’s educational programs.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #20: Museum at Eldridge Street

Date: May 15, 2013

The Museum at Eldridge Street is housed in an 1887 restored synagogue located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #19: Alice Austen House

Date: April 26, 2013

Alice Austen (1866-1952) was one of America’s first women photographers. Her Staten Island home, also known as “Clear Comfort” was built in 1690 as a one-room Dutch farmhouse.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #18: St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral

Date: March 19, 2013

The Cathedral broke ground in 1809 and was designed by Joseph-François Mangin, who also designed City Hall.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #17: Federal Hall National Memorial

Date: February 15, 2013

The landmark Federal Hall is where America officially began. On April 30th 1789, New Yorkers gathered at the intersection of Wall and Broad streets to witness George Washington being sworn in as the first President of the United States.

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Tourist In Your Own Town #16: National Museum of the American Indian / U.S. Custom House

Date: January 22, 2013

The Custom House was one of the earliest designations of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, is on the National Register of Historic Places and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

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Tourist in Your Own Town #15 - Cathedral of Saint John the Divine

Date: December 18, 2012

When construction began in 1892, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in the then-popular Byzantine-Romanesque style of architecture, was designed to rival St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue.  But by 1909 the cathedral’s plan was updated to the more fashionable Gothic style, and today, although officially “unfinished”, the structure is considered to be one of the largest cathedrals in the world.

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Tourist in Your Own Town #14 - Ellis Island South Side

Date: October 16, 2012

Ellis Island is one of the country’s most popular National Parks, with nearly two million visitors each year. But the South Side of the Island, home to the largest hospital complex of its day, is closed. The National Park Service and Save Ellis Island, with initial help from the Landmarks Conservancy, have stabilized the South Side buildings, though their future is uncertain.

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Tourist in Your Own Town # 13 - C.B.J. Snyder (Public Schools)

Date: September 21, 2012

In this video we highlight the architectural designs by the unsung New York hero C.B.J. Snyder.  As Superintendent of Schools from 1891 to 1923, he is credited with the design of over 400 structural projects.

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Tourist in Your Own Town # 12 - South Street Seaport Museum

Date: August 16, 2012

Located within a landmark district that features some of the oldest architecture in Lower Manhattan, the Seaport Museum offers a glimpse into early 19th-century New York as well as spotlighting art, trade and manufacturing that existed throughout the harbor.

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Tourist in Your Own Town # 11 - Morris-Jumel Mansion

Date: July 24, 2012

Built in 1765 for British military officer Roger Morris, this National Historic Landmark once served as headquarters for General George Washington during the American Revolutionary War. It also holds the major distinction of being the oldest house in Manhattan.

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Tourist in Your Own Town # 10 - Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

Date: June 26, 2012

The landmark Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum located within Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx is styled with Greek Revival interiors and dates from 1836. It is an excellent example of country living in 19th-century New York.

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Tourist in Your Own Town # 9 - Church of the Intercession

Date: May 16, 2012

In 1912, the noted architect Bertram Goodhue, designed what has become his masterpiece.The landmark church stands on the border of Washington Heights and Harlem.

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Tourist in your Own Town # 8 - The Manhattan Bridge

Date: March 23, 2012

Completed in 1912 this bridge has been designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Tourist In Your Own Town # 7 - Weeksville Heritage Center

Date: February 29, 2012

Weeksville in Crown Heights, Brooklyn represents a community built by and for free African Americans in the 19th Century.

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Tourist In Your Own Town # 6 - Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower

Date: January 24, 2012

The landmark Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower at One Hanson Place in Fort Greene, Brooklyn was built in 1927 by the architectural firm of Halsey, McCormark and Helmer. It is one of the largest clock towers in the world with some of the finest 20th-century interiors in Brooklyn.

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Tourist In Your Own Town - Episode # 5 - Merchant’s House Museum

Date: December 24, 2011

The Museum is New York City’s only family house preserved intact—inside and out—from the 19th century.

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Tourist In Your Own Town - Episode # 4 - Governors Island

Date: November 24, 2011

Fort Jay and Castle Williams are the centerpieces of the 22 acre Governors Island and the fortifications played a vital role in New York’s early history.

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Tourist In Your Own Town # 3: Saint Paul’s Chapel

Date: October 27, 2011

Manhattan’s oldest building in continuous use; it was the headquarters for 9/11 rescue and recovery workers—then became an instant memorial attracting thousands of visitors to this day.

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Tourist In Your Own Town # 2: Green-Wood Cemetery

Date: September 28, 2011

Green-Wood is a rural cemetery located in Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn, established in 1838 by one of the borough’s most prominent social leaders, Henry Evelyn Pierrepont.

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Tourist In Your Own Town - Episode # 1 - Bowling Green

Date: August 24, 2011

Built in 1733, originally including a bowling green, it is the oldest public park in New York City and is surrounded by its original 18th century fence.

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