Exactly 350 years ago today, New York City became New York City. The city itself already existed, of course: As the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam. But on September 8th, 1664, the British gave it its permanent moniker, which makes today its name-day.
One of the first notable American female sculptors, Emma Stebbins (1815-1882) designed her masterpiece, the Bethesda Fountain, during the 1860s while she was living in Rome. Entitled the Angel of the Waters, Stebbins’ sculptural group depicts the biblical “angel of Bethesda” resting on a base surrounded by four cherubs representing “health,” “purity,” “peace,” and “temperance.” The Bethesda Fountain is the earliest public artwork by a woman in New York City and was the only sculpture commissioned as part of the original Greensward plan for Central Park, a New York City scenic landmark.
Image Source: (1)social wallpapering (2) Library of Congress (3) Jim Henderson, “Bethesda Fountain angel sunny winter day,” (4)Robert Paul Young, “Bethesda Fountain central park3”
In 1965 as response to the loss of historically significant buildings in New York city, most notably Pennsylvania Station, the late Mayor Robert F. Wagner signed into legislation the Landmarks Law –creating the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Pennsylvania Station was designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White and completed in 1911. The Beaux Arts-style train station occupied two full City blocks from 31st to 33rd streets between Seventh and Eighth avenues, and was demolished in 1963 to make way for Madison Square Garden and an underground commuter railroad station. On February 11th The Museum of the City of New York is hosting and exclusive preview of PBS’s documentary “The Rise and Fall of Penn Station”. To check out the movie that details the life of this iconic building see: bit.ly/1aYeK8R
Though I always try to keep Scouting NY as positive as possible, I have to make an exception with this post. Yes, New York is safer than ever, but there are still a few dark byways and shady buildings that can get you into trouble – hell, these are the places I refuse to go. You can’t say you weren’t warned.