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Urban Genealogy: An Introduction to Researching Buildings in New York City

February 20 & 27, March 5, 12, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. & Field Visit

Curious about one of New York’s wonderful buildings, or maybe an entire neighborhood? Unleash your inner Sherlock Holmes. New York boasts more resources for tracking building histories than any other American city. Join our Urban Genealogy seminar and learn how to uncover architects’ names, construction dates, clients, tenants, photos, maps, and more. Instructor: Anthony Robins, former Director of Survey at the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Four Sessions:

  • I. The Building–an introduction to the records of the Department of Buildings
  • II. The Client–weaving your way through deeds, directories, obituaries, Who’s Who, and local histories
  • III. The Architect–using standard texts, guidebooks, periodicals, the Avery index, and Committee for the Preservation of Architectural records publications
  • IV. Miscellaneous Sources–use of photograph collections, maps, New York City archives, libraries and historical societies
  • Field trip: Manhattan Department of Buildings, New York City Conveyance records, the Municipal Archives and the Municipal reference library. Field trip takes place on a weekday from 9:00–11:00 a.m. (to be arranged).

All four sessions will be held at the Urban Center, 457 Madison Avenue at 51st St. Series cost for four sessions and one field trip: $175 for MAS members ($200 for the general public); cost for individual sessions: $40 for MAS members ($45 for the general public). Note: The field trip is open only to participants who have registered for at least one prior session. Reservations requested. Reserve online or 212-935-2075. Credit offered for architects: 1.5 LU/HSW credits per session; 2 LU/HSW credits for the field trip.