Obscura Society NY: The Gilded Age - Explore the Ruins of a Forgotten City in the Middle of Manhattan - Atlas Obscura

New York, New York

Obscura Society NY: The Gilded Age - Explore the Ruins of a Forgotten City in the Middle of Manhattan

Decoding the architecture and cityscape of Midtown Manhattan to unveil the hidden history of an era gone by

Explore what remains of the Gilded Age, an era of both upper-class opulence and extreme poverty at the end of the 19th century when Madison Square was the heart and epicenter of a bustling, world-class city practically unrecognizable from the New York we know today.

An era before subways, the geography of New York City in the late 1800s was claustrophobically compact: the various districts pressed right up against one another, radiating out from the central point of Madison Square. West of Broadway was considered the other side of the tracks, the street a defining boundary where the high end retail stores of the wealthy gave way to the gambling halls, brothels and saloons of the Tenderloin and the lawlessness of Hell's Kitchen.

On this in-depth hour walking tour, history buff Robert Amell will guide us through New York's Gilded Age, an in between era of sorts in Manhattan's growth uptown. The Gilded Age was a period of rapid change that seemed to straddle both an old world and a new; transitioning from morse code to telephone, gas lighting to electricity, horses to cars, elevated trains to subways. These technological transformations significantly impacted the city's architecture, social norms, even geography. Along with a compilation of historic images, Amell will guide us through the city's history and development, making sense of the buildings and streets of today and uncovering what remains of New York's past, often surprisingly hidden within plain sight.

Tickets: $25
Saturday, November 15, 12pm - 2:30pm.
The tour will begin promptly at noon; please arrive on time.
Meetup will be at 620 6th Ave. inside the Bed, Bath and Beyond cafe on the NE corner of 19th st.
Dress appropriately for walking and the weather.