From Martin to Moses: A History of Riverside ParkWednesday, Sept. 28th 6:00-7:00pm Live on Zoom Free for LW Members!
Riverside Park and Riverside Drive have lived many lives. Originally Native American hunting grounds, over time they were also the site of vast farms, elegant country estates and stunning millionaire's villas—a few of which remain intact today. Later came Art Deco treasures.
But such development doesn’t just happen. The Park and Drive together marked the fulfillment of dreams both ambitious and romantic for Upper West Side business and social leaders of the time. Their goal: to build “the city’s preeminent residential street, expected to eclipse Fifth Avenue with ease.”
Upper West Sider Stephanie Azzarone, author of the just-released book Heaven on the Hudson: Mansions, Monuments, and Marvels of Riverside Park, takes us through the creation and evolution of Riverside Park and Riverside Drive through the eyes of the movers and shakers responsible for it: the powerful men who conceived it, promoted it, designed it -- and later redesigned it. While some of their names are well known – Frederick Law Olmsted and Robert Moses among them – others have been long forgotten.
Join LW! for a look at the history of Riverside Park through the eyes of those who first imagined all that it could become.
Stephanie Azzarone is the author of the new book Heaven on the Hudson: Mansions, Monuments, and Marvels of Riverside Park, a colorful tale of a singular New York City neighborhood and the personalities who made it special. Published this month by Fordham University Press, and told in the personal voice of a long-time resident, the book features the history, architecture, and personalities of this often overlooked neighborhood, from the 18th century through the present day. A native New Yorker who has lived across from Riverside Park most of her life, Stephanie has spent many joyous hours learning about the city’s history and architecture, and even more wandering up and down Riverside Park and Riverside Drive. A former journalist (freelancer for The New York Times and New York magazine, among others), she also ran an award-winning Manhattan public relations agency. A graduate of New York University, Stephanie has a degree in Journalism.
Photo credits: Top left: Riverside Park Conservancy; Top right: New York Public Library Digital Collections (public domain)
FOR LW! FRIENDS: 30% Discount when pre-ordering Stephanie Azzarone's new book Heaven on the Hudson via Fordham Press. Use code HEAVEN30 at checkout.
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