Delivered at the New York Historical Society on April 12th, 2016.

An introduction to Right Bank Paris where 17th century planning created a truly beautiful city and 19th century planning created a truly modern one. The belief that a great city is a livable city remains. Paris is known as the City of Light- and it is. But more to the point, it is the City of Life----and that's why we all want to be there.

Produced by Adrian Sas, video producer.

Click here, for my excerpts from "City Secrets:Paris"

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The Avant/Garde Diaries

The Jefferson Market Courthouse

Barry Lewis fell in love with architecture in 1960s France. Admittedly, one would be hard pressed not fall in love with the architecture of that famed city, in any decade or century. But when he returned to New York, Lewis found a similarly rich – if less celebrated – history in that city’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. For The Avant/Garde Diaries, Lewis takes us on a jaunty tour of the famed Jefferson Market Courthouse, a striking building known for exposing its structure of unadorned bright red brick. “Back in the 1870s,” he says, “that was a shocker. It laid down the principle of today’s design: treat your materials with respect.”

Produced by Kitty Bolhoefer / Filmed by Fridolin Schoepper / Editing by Konterfei / Music by Carlos Bruck

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Metropolis Magazine

Sep 27, 2012. Q&A by Susan S. Szenasy, From her blog: Point of View. Five questions Susan asked me about New York...and my answers.

Five questions ranging from history back when, urban design in New York today, places to visit and things to note for first time visitors and long-time residents, the "new" look of the city's urban spaces---and where you can be left alone.

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Barry Lewis is available for lectures, conferences, seminars and other types of speaking engagements.

1 The City Transformed, Part 2, Spring 2019/ New York- The 1890's to Today
Cooper Union
06:30 PM

Wednesdays, March 20th to May 8th 2019, 6:30 pm-8:00 pm at Cooper Union; 8 Lectures.

Curriculum and registration for Spring 2019 lecture series is available at the Cooper Union Continuing Ed website (click here). For registration, go to the bottom of the page.

Registration for the Spring classes begins January 03, 2019 and ends 2 days before the class begins on March 20th. The $25.00 registration fee will be waived for students who register before January 14th

The Cooper Union switchboard, 1-212-353-4195, is open Mon-Fri 10:30am-5:30pm.

Because of limited classroom space, there are no individual lecture admissions.

What we’ll cover:

New York — its buildings, planning and growth from the 1890s to the present. Emerging by 1900 as a world capital of one of the globe’s most important economic and political powers, New York has used successive styles every generation to re-make its skyline: the Beaux-Arts (the1890s-1920s), the Art Deco (the 1920s), the Art Moderne (the 1930s), the Mid-Century Modern (1950s-70s), the Post-Modern (1980s-90s) and finally the current Modern Movement Revival. These styles have been more than adequate to express the city’s particular vibrancy. We will be looking at that ever evolving phenomenon called New York thru the lens of architectural history so we can “read” the skyline images as well as the ordinary buildings that crowd our city’s streets.

For a detailed course curriculum on this website, click here. Part Two’s curriculum is on the lower half of the page.


2 Nature and New York: Victorians “Greening” Their Homes & Their Cities
New-York Historical Society
06:30 PM

We moderns assume the Victorians had dark, claustrophobic homes; and to some extent they did—perhaps to make up for the heavily polluted city environments they lived in. But the 19th century sought to bring nature into both home and city: public parks brought rural environments and greened river fronts to city dwellers (think Central & Riverside Parks) and innovations in home design—bay windows, outdoor balconies, skylights and tower-topped solaria—brought light and views into homes, even those on dense city blocks. We’ll take a look at how the Victorians ‘let the sun shine in’ both in city greenbelts & private home design—think Olana, Frederick Church’s house in Hudson, NY.

3 Greenwich Village: The LGBTQ Community Finds a Haven.
New-York Historical Society
06:30 PM

New York has always had its bohemian “underground” going back to Pfaff’s Saloon in the 1850s, literally underground, with out gay poet Walt Whitman and his ‘feminist/proto-hippie chick’ mate, Ada Mencken, smoking her cigars & wearing her bloomers. We’ll look at Greenwich Village—and its environs—tracing how the city’s gay community found safe haven among New York’s ‘free-love’ bohemians of the early 20th c, then blossomed again in a new era’s open-ness, post-Stonewall New York of the 1970s.