Radical Walking Tour

The WALKING TOUR OF NEW YORK HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURE, an anarchist-oriented tour, is given in 1999 on the first Sunday of every month from April to November. It meets at 2:30 p.m. at the Peace Building, 339 Lafayette Street (corner of Lafayette and Bleecker streets).

There are actually two tours, which occur in alternate months. The western tour, held on April 4th, June 6th, August 1st, and October 3rd, will start at the Peace Building and end up on Fifth Avenue below 14th Street. The eastern tour, held on May 2nd, July 4th, September 5th, and November 7th, will start at the Peace Building and finish at Emma Goldman's house on East 13th Street near Third Avenue.

The western tour will visit the TRIANGLE FIRE, the bloomerite hangout of the 1850s; where WALT WHITMAN wrote poetry and ate asparagus; the Civil War DRAFT RIOTS; the Grand Central Hotel and its deadly collapse; the New York MAY DAYS of 1970; Washington Square and Arch; the RIGHT TO SING protest; the early skyscrapers of Broadway; the site of the radical soirees attended by Emma Goldman, Margaret Sanger, A. A. Brill, and John Reed; the WEATHERMAN HOUSE that blew up in 1970; TROTSKY's farewell to America, and other wonders.

The eastern tour will visit Emma GOLDMAN's house; the Catholic Worker, where anarchist Dorothy DAY presided; Astor Place, where TAMMANY HALL riotously intervened between two Shakespearean actors; Mayor La Guardia's FIRST HOUSES; Cooper Union, where Abraham LINCOLN, Karl MARX, and Emma GOLDMAN each had their day; the New York site of the MODERN SCHOOL (there Will DURANT met 15-year-old Ariel); where the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union was founded; the Jewish Rialto; St. Mark's Place, home of immigrants and flower children; Colonnade Row; progressive 19th-century buildings, etc.

Bob Erler and Bob Palmer, the tour guides will try to give you some idea of the non-mainstream history of the city and to show how architecture responds to social change. They will sometimes describe historical moments at which one of them was present or perhaps recount the story of a friend who was there.

This tour, originating in 1975 at Freespace Alternate U, is a noncommercial tour; a voluntary contribution according to one's means is requested.


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