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 Harlem: 1900s / 1930s
New-York Historical Society
06:30 PM

Harlem’s history is America’s history. Yes, there were other black city enclaves across the country but Harlem was New York’s own and our newspapers made it famous. The black presence began in the 1900’s, crystallized into a “Renaissance” by the 1910s and by the 1920s its cultural innovations were scooped up by white America to become the pop culture of the 20th century. Jazz, dance, art, popular and religious music joined with savvy political writers who questioned a society founded in freedom but tolerant of segregation and lynchings---all producing a vortex of new thinking, new doing and new expressions of joy. Harlem---join us to see it when the ‘joint was jumpin’.

2 The City Transformed, Part 1, Fall 2018/ New York from Colonial Times to the 1890
Cooper Union
06:30 PM

Wednesdays, October 3rd to November 28th 2018, 6:30 pm-8:00 pm at Cooper Union; 8 Lectures. NO LECTURE WED EVE NOV 21/THANKSGIVING EVE

Curriculum and registration for Fall 2018 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 Fall classes begins September 05, 2018 and ends 2 days before the class begins on October 03.

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 City---its buildings, planning and evolution across every era from colonial times to the 1890s, emphasizing the metro area’s growth 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 see this city evolve from a small town to an industrial metropolis on the cusp of being a capital of the world. One lecture will discuss the city planning ideals of the time: the “greening” of these upstart American metropolises (remember, Brooklyn and New York were separate cities) with parks, parkways and “garden suburbs”.

For a detailed course curriculum on this website, click here


3 London
New-York Historical Society
06:30 PM

The Thames River is London’s beating heart. We are going to stop at a handful of places from Greenwich on the east (and nearby recently restored Eltham Palace: Henry VIII exterior; 1933 Art Deco interior) through the heart of London to Kew Gardens and Chiswick on the west---not even reaching Richmond, Hampton Court or Oxford because there’s just too much to see. We’ll mosey around sites as varied as the brand-new aerial gardens at Canary Wharf’s new Crossrail Station to John Soane’s brilliantly early modern house—of the 1810s-- at Lincoln’s Inn Fields (close to the Thames) and houses as ingeniously different as Chiswick (1725) and Syon (1765) across the river from the Royal Gardens at Kew. We will be perusing—in an upstream direction--London’s ‘main street’ since it was a Roman province, stopping at only a few of its many historic and cultural treasures.