Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the “Juror’s Guide to Lower Manhattan” (1984) by Virginia Dajani, which initially featured six walking tours full of maps, photographs and drawings, and “filled with the history, architecture, and lore of the little-known but fascinating neighborhoods within walking distance of the courts,” and compare what the guide described as worthy of preservation, and what developments had occurred in the subsequent four decades. Published by The Municipal Art Society of New York with support from The J.M. Kaplan Fund and its late great president, Joan Kaplan Davidson, 42,000 copies were distributed for free that year, with the guide’s intent “to enhance the juror’s visit to this part of town, and to encourage New Yorkers to explore the splendors of these streets.” In 1984, the City Hall District tour noted that “the buildings around City Hall are a powerful statement of the aspirations, the self image, and the culture of the men who put them there,” but today many of these government buildings have been altered, restored, or otherwise reused as nearby neighborhoods evolved into trendy residential enclaves. Join architectural historian James Russiello as he retraces the guidebook’s 1984 descriptions, and updates entries to include excluded histories and subsequent developments, such as the African Burial Ground National Monument, Richard Serra’s sculpture, and the Manhattan Detention Complex skyscraper development. This will be the first of six walking tours tracing the historic guidebook.


Date: May 30

Time: 6:00 pm

Cost: $35.00

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