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 1, Fall 2019/ New York from the Colonial Days to 1890s
Cooper Union
06:30 PM

After forty some-odd years in different guises and places, I’m ending my series, The City Transformed. This fall and spring semesters, 2019/2020, will be the last times Parts 1 & 2 are offered. It’s been a wonderful run and I’ve met interesting & varied people, but it’s time to retire the ‘slides’

Wednesdays, October 2nd to December 4th 2019, 6:30 pm-8:00 pm at Cooper Union; 8 Lectures. No classes on October 9th and November 27th.

Registration for Fall 2019 Continuing Education classes is available at the Cooper Union Continuing Ed website (click here).

Registration for the Fall classes begins September 4th and ends September 30th( 2 days before the class begins).

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, its planning, its evolution, across every era from colonial times to 1890. We will see the metro area grow from a tiny trading post to a modern industrial city of the Victorian age. Through styles like the Greek Revival, the neo-Gothic, the Italianate and the Arts & Crafts, we will trace the city’s evolution from a small town to an industrial metropolis on the cusp of being a world capital. We will cover the city planning ideals of the day emphasizing “greening” the burgeoning new metropolises (remember, Brooklyn was an independent city) with parks, parkways and “garden suburbs” and the transportation systems, the ‘el’ trains and the Brooklyn Bridge that laid the infrastructure framework for the New York we have today

For a detailed course curriculum on this website, click here.


2 New-York Historical Society, “Georgian to Federal New York: Colonial Simplicity Gives Way to Yankee Elegance
New-York Historical Society
06:30 PM

New York and Brooklyn were colonial towns in the 17th and 18th centuries that produced the simple farm and manor houses their times required: Dutch and English (Georgian) elements existed side by side and sometimes mixed especially over time. But when we became the USA, and the Federal style was introduced (named for the new Federal government), light-filled interiors with high ceilings, simple elegant furnishings and “yards” of glass for views and a modern sense of ‘space’ became the order of the day. Fine examples of both eras miraculously still exist within the five boroughs or a short day-trip away.

For a direct link to this event on NYHS’s website, please click here