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 II, Spring 2020/New York from the 1890s to the Relatively Recent- Class Cancelled
Cooper Union
06:30 PM

***** Due to the current concern over the coronavirus, the City Transformed Part 2, Spring 2020, has been cancelled. There are no current plans to offer this course; this semester was to be the last of the series ******

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, March 18 to May 13, 2020, 6:30 pm-8:00 pm at Cooper Union; 8 Lectures. No class on April 8, 2020.

Registration for Spring 2020 Continuing Education classes is available at the Cooper Union Continuing Ed website (click here).

Registration for the Spring classes begins January 6th and ends March 16th (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, planning and growth from the 1890s to the present. Emerging by 1900 as a world capital but one defined by its democratic public spaces viz Times Square or Coney Island or its people’s palaces viz the NY Public Library and the Metropolitan Museum. New York has used successive styles every generation to re-make its skyline giving us symbols of that most democratic of pursuits: real estate development: 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 to better understand—if one ever can—the unique energy and surprising innovativeness of this startlingly eclectic city.

For a detailed course curriculum on this website, click here


2 Life & Times of Bill Graham, Rock Impresario
New-York Historical Society
06:30 PM

Bill Graham, as an 8 year old, in 1939, had his life pulled apart when he was sent to America, to a foster family in the Bronx, to save him from the Nazi tsunami. A graduate of DeWitt Clinton High School and CCNY, he was proud of his “native-born” English---with a New York accent. Re-located to San Francisco in the early 1960s, he became involved in producing fund-raising concerts for the legal defense of the SF Mime Troupe’s obscenity charges. That led him to two interests: his life-long devotion to producing rock-concert benefits and his involvement with the Fillmore Auditorium as the epicenter of SF’s mid 1960’s psychedelic scene, a dance hall that featured the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, the Doors, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Big Brother & the Holding company and as its house singer, Janis Joplin—before the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival made her famous.

Bill Graham was killed in a helicopter crash at the age of 60, in 1991. Hardcore in business, he expressed empathy towards his musicians, his technicians and his audience. This is a tribute to an immigrant to this country who helped create an era and was seminal in defining what today we call pop culture. To read more please click here