Introduction to Videos

Paris

Click on above video to watch (Run time: 1hr 15min)

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.

The Avant/Garde Diaries

Click on above video to watch

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 was as if a woman had walked down the street without her dress on—clad only in her underwear.  It laid down the principle of today’s design: don’t be afraid to show the real construction materials and treat them with respect.”

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

Cooper Union Cont Ed“The City Transformed part 2 Lecture #1”- Public Buildings and Skyscrapers of This New World Capital

C-Span 3 American History TV video recording
Originally delivered: February 1st, 2012.
Watch video here

Americans merge Renaissance neo-classicism with Yankee efficiency and practicality to create the modern city. The result is a new class of public building, from the NY Public Library to the Metropolitan Museum, that can serve a mass-market democracy. At the same time, we literally “stretch” neo-classicism to create the world's first generation of skyscrapers

New York Historical Society “Prohibition New York: The Art Deco City of the 1920s”

C-Span 3 American History TV video recording
Originally delivered: May 24th, 2012.
Watch video here

Post World War I New York was possibly the world’s first skyscraper city.  In office buildings, high-rise factories and luxury apartment towers New Yorkers took to the skies.  We look at the Deco skyscrapers that made the city famous, theaters and movie palaces that gave us a place to play and post-War New York’s embrace of apartment house living.

New-York Historical Society “Pennsylvania Station”

C-Span 3 American History TV video recording
Originally delivered: December 6th, 2012.
Watch video here

Pennsylvania Station was the first modern transportation complex in America.  Conceived by the Pennsylvania Railroad’s brilliant president, Alexander Cassatt  it brought electrically driven long distance and commuter trains under both the Hudson and East Rivers, crosstown under Manhattan’s 32nd St to a magnificent new station at 7th Avenue.  This is a tale of bold imagination and modern technological innovation but it also is the story of a great building that might be more loved as a memory than it was as a reality.

New-York Historical Society "Grand Central, Grand Vision: Grand Central at 100"

C-Span 3 American History TV video recording
Originally delivered: February 7th, 2013.
Watch video here

More than a century ago the New York Central Railroad married steel construction and electric train traction to a Beaux-Arts vision of the city that re-imagined New York on a 20th century scale. The Terminal itself at 42nd Street is an amalgam of modernist efficiency and neo-classical grandeur but that very Yankee synthesis created a city within a city of transit hub, skyscraper commercial buildings and an apartment house boulevard, Park Avenue, that stretched to 96th St. Join us to look at American urbanism when cities—not suburbs—were on our minds and our major city, New York, was entering the category of “world class capital”.

New-York Historical Society “Harlem in the 1920s

C-Span 3 American History TV video recording
Originally delivered: March 9th, 2014.
Watch video here 

Harlem in the 1920s, the “Harlem Renaissance” era, is not a story of black America as it is the history of the re-thinking of both mass culture and the democratic ideal for both Europe and America in the heady years after World War I. The old elitist cultural had been swept away with the crumbling of empires and impoverishment of aristocrats. The young generation was looking for new templates of music, art, literature, theater and political radicalism. They found it in the streets of New York’s Harlem in the 1910s and 20s; black New Yorkers had ‘inherited’ a practically brand-new neighborhood & along its byways a new post-War popular American culture was being born.

New-York Historical Society “Central Park”

C-Span 3 American History TV video recording
Originally delivered: May 18th, 2014.
Watch video here 

Central Park was New York’s gift to both the city and the world. It was built as a “peoples’ park” giving all its citizens their own ’private country estate’ just by crossing 59th Street. Built as an artifice of natural looking landscape it gave the city’s population room for sports, walking, horseback riding, carriage driving or just plain lollygagging around. In this 1hour talk we look at this daring adaption of democratic ideals to actual city planning.

New-York Historical Society “Greenwich Village: The First Bohemia”

C-Span 3 American History TV video recording
Originally delivered: May 12th, 2016.
Watch video here 

New York’s first Bohemian neighborhood was Greenwich Village in the 1910s. In that decade everyone from Edna St. Vincent Millay to John Sloan made “the Village“ their hangout. It became so hip that by the 1920s the Bohemian era was over, due to rising rents and new luxury apartment buildings. Then, in the 1930s, with Fascism on the rise and repressive politics ruling the day the “Village“ got its mojo back with a new generation taking up the Village’s mantra of non-conformism.

Dutch New York

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Channel Thirteen (WNET) Production.
Stream complete video by clicking here (Run time: 57 min)

The Dutch made us different. Produced to honor the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of the Hudson River, and the Dutch colony that resulted from his voyage, this hour long documentary tells the story of Dutch New Amsterdam, the city that became New York, and the Hudson River Valley colony of New Netherland. The 40 or so years of Dutch settlement made the future New York different from the other original thirteen colonies. “Boston and Philadelphia…..they were English. We were New Amsterdam; we were Dutch”.

Scholars interviewed include Eric Sanderson (“Manahatta”), Joyce Goodfriend, Dr. Charles Gehring and Wm. T. Chip Reynolds, Captain of the newly re-built Half-Moon.

Executive Producer: John De Natale
Producer: James Nicoloro
Director of Photography: Mead Hunt

Orientalism and New York: The 19th Century's Love Affair with the Middle East and Its Influence on Modern Design

Click on video above for full lecture (Run time: 1h 26m)

Lecture delivered at the Montclair (NJ) Adult School, October 30th, 2008.

Download the full video podcast by clicking here

The 19th century West saw the Middle East as a veritable Shangri-La where Europeans and Americans could find alternative lifestyles and refreshingly different cultural ideals. This century long infatuation with everything Middle Eastern was known as "Orientalism".

In architecture, Orientalism gave Europeans and Americans a way of freeing themselves from rigid Western formulas and cluttered interiors to create simpler, more informal designs the modern world could live with. In iron and glass construction—prefacing the age of steel—young Western modernists used Moorish inspiration to forge a new "metallic style" looking forward to Art Deco and the Streamlined Style of 1920s and 30s. Perusing the New York area, looking at its architecture both inside and out, we can discover a fine collection of these "Oriental"-inspired roots of modern design. Video production by Kamil Dobrowolski.

City Close-Up

Above: The Towers, Jackson Heights, NY 1925.

A City Close-Up Production.
Produced in cooperation with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Five five-minute vignettes of five historic New York City neighborhoods: Crown Heights, Jackson Heights, Fordham Rd, St. George and the Upper West Side. Each neighborhood is showcased through historical footage, contemporary videotape and interviews with current residents. Barry Lewis is on-camera host and voice-over narrator. Shown on New York's Channel Thirteen (WNET) in the 1998 to 2001 seasons.

Producer: Mary Butler
Director/Cameraman: Winston Mitchell
Script: Barry Lewis and Mary Butler

(City Close-Up, Inc is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to examining urban life and evolution through our city's built environment. Barry Lewis and Mary Butler can provide scripting, research & production services for videos, DVD's, brochures, booklets & other written material that will highlight architecture, city planning & design issues affecting how we have built-and build-our cities and how we live in them.)

Introduction to Thirteen Video Walk series

Video Credit: James Nicoloro, 2008

A 3-minute montage of scenes from Thirteen’s Video Walk series from 1998-2008. Just a teaser from the eleven “walks”. For details, please see the separate listings.

A Walk Across 42nd Street with David Hartman

A Channel Thirteen (WNET) Production.
Nominated for year 1998 Emmy Award.
Debut: August, 1998.

Lewis serves as on-camera historian with host, David Hartman. Covers 42nd Street, river to river, including Tudor City, Grand Central Terminal, the Public Library, Bryant Park and Theater Row.

Executive Producer: Michael Fields
Producer: James Nicoloro
Director of Photography: Tony Pagano

A Walk Up Broadway with David Hartman and Historian Barry Lewis

Above: David Hartman & Barry Lewis at the Union Square Farmers Market, NYC.

A Channel Thirteen (WNET) Production.
Debut: March, 1999.

Covers Broadway from Bowling Green to the Harlem River including City Hall, Canal Street, Pfaff's, the old Metropolitan Opera House site, the Straus Memorial, the Hispanic Society, Rev. Ike's Church (former Loew's 175th) and the Cloisters.

Executive Producer: Michael Fields
Producer: James Nicoloro
Director of Photography: Tony Pagano

 

A Walk Around Harlem with David Hartman and Historian Barry Lewis

Click on above video for Harlem walking tour trailer

A Channel Thirteen (WNET) Production.
Nominated for year 2000 Emmy Award.
Debut: December, 1999.
Access Channel Thirteen's walking tour website here

A walk through one of New York's classic Victorian brownstone neighborhoods with its rich history in African-American politics, journalism and culture. Includes the Mt. Morris Park Historic District, the Schomburg Collection, the Alhambra Ballroom, Sugar Hill and 125th Street. Interviews included the Rev. Calvin Butts (Abyssinian Baptist Church), Dr. William Taylor at Minton's Playhouse, Atallah Shabazz, Marcus Garvey, Jr. and Alelia Bundles.

Executive Producer: Michael Fields. Producer: James Nicoloro
Director of Photography: Tony Pagano.

A Walk Around Brooklyn, Part One, with David Hartman and Historian Barry Lewis

Click on above video for Brooklyn walking tour trailer

A Channel Thirteen (WNET) Production.
Nominated for year 2000 Emmy Award.
Debut: August 7th, 2000.
Access Channel Thirteen's walking tour website here

America's fourth largest city is covered, as an independent city, with its own nationally and internationally known cultural venues including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Museum, the Botanic Garden and Prospect Park and the Parkway system. Also covered are neighborhoods as diverse as Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Flatbush, Bay Ridge and Coney Island and historic monuments from the Martyrs' Monument in Ft. Greene Park to the Vitagraph Studio site in Midwood and the Underground Railway "station" at Plymouth Church, Brooklyn Heights.

Executive Producer: Michael Fields
Producer: James Nicoloro
Director of Photography: Tony Pagano

 

 

 

 

 

A Walk in Greenwich Village with David Hartman and Historian Barry Lewis

Above: Reverend Joseph A. Cogo, David Hartman and Barry Lewis in Our Lady of Pompeii Church.

A Channel Thirteen (WNET) Production.
Debut: March 5th, 2001, 8 p.m.

Greenwich Village, long synonymous with New York's bohemians, artists and intellectuals is revealed as having a more complicated history than is usually imagined with pre-Civil War nabobs settling in around Washington Square, immigrant Italians claiming large swaths of the South and West Village, 17th century free blacks farming land by the Minetta Creek and the more famous generations of "underground" types from the bohemians of the 1910's to the beats of the 50's and the gays of the 60's. Sites include Washington Square, Jefferson Market Library, the Stonewall, Chumley's, Zito's Bakery, the now-gone 10th Street Studio Building and the Provincetown Playhouse. Interviews include Richie Havens, "beat era" authority Ann Charters, community activist Reverend Joseph A. Cogo of Our Lady of Pompeii Church and Loraine Gordon, owner of the legendary Village Vanguard.

Executive Producer: Jodie Sheff
Producer: James Nicoloro
Director of Photography: Mark Gunning

A Walk Through Central Park with David Hartman and Historian Barry Lewis

Click on above video for Central Park walking tour trailer

A Channel Thirteen (WNET) Production, sixth in this series for Channel 13.
Debut: December 3rd, 2001, 8 p.m.
Access Channel Thirteen's walking tour here

Central Park's conception, design & construction in the mid-19th century sparked a generation of urban park building in the United States that civilized the cities that followed suit. Interviews include the Park's own dedicated staff plus those including Tony Bennett and George Plimpton who are its dedicated users and admirers.

Produced with the generous co-operation of the Central Park Conservancy.
Executive Producer: Jodie Sheff
Producer: James Nicoloro
Director of Photography: Mead Hunt

A Walk Through Newark with David Hartman and Historian Barry Lewis

Above: Barry Lewis & David Hartman in front of 744 Broad Street

A Channel Thirteen (WNET) Production, seventh in this series for Channel 13.
Debut: August 12th, 2002, 8 p.m.
Access Channel Thirteen's walking tour here

Newark rose to prominence in the 19th century as the western gateway to the New York metropolitan region. Riding high in the 1880's to 1950's period, skidding low in the 1960's to 80's, today Newark is on its way back with first-rate cultural facilities, varied housing stock, Olmsted designed parks & ready accessibility to just about everywhere. Newark is where Brooklyn was 25 years ago: un-discovered, under-priced but with a great future.
Executive Producer: John De Natale
Producer: James Nicoloro
Director of Photography: Mead Hunt

A Walk Through Hoboken with David Hartman and Historian Barry Lewis

Above: Dr. Michael Bruno, director of Stevens Institute's Davidson Lab with Barry and David at the Lab's boat tow tank.

A Channel Thirteen (WNET) Production, eight in the series for Channel 13.
Debut: August, 2003.
Access Channel Thirteen's walking tour here

Hoboken, on the New Jersey side of the Hudson, opposite Greenwich Village and Chelsea, has run the gamut of reputations An elegant resort of the 1820's, an industrial boomtown of the 1880's, a rust-belt city by the 1920's, Hoboken began to revive in the 1970's & '80's re-tooling itself for the post-industrial era. Today its population remains varied, & the city itself is a light-filled, low rise and low-keyed alternative to Manhattan's skyscraper culture.

A Walk Through Queens with David Hartman and Historian Barry Lewis

Click on above video for Queens walking tour trailer

Channel Thirteen (WNET) Production, 9th in the series for Channel 13.
Debut: December 2004.
Access Channel Thirteen's walking tour here

Queens is the melting pot of today's America. Ranked #1 in the last census as the most diversely populated county in the United States, all regions of the world are represented among Queens residents. Looking at that variety we visit neighborhoods as diverse as Astoria, Flushing and Jamaica. We also highlight Queens fine heritage of garden suburb/new urbanist neighborhoods such as Douglaston, Forest Hills Gardens and Jackson Heights. And we stop off at cultural spots unique to the city including the Noguchi Museum, PS 1, Museum of the Moving Image and the Steinway Piano Factory. Not the burbs of fifty years ago, Queens today represents the heady mixture of people that is today's New York.
Executive Producer: John De Natale
Producer: James Nicoloro
Director of Photography: Mead Hunt

A Walk Through the Bronx with David Hartman and Historian Barry Lewis

Above, Left to right: David Hartman, Robert Klein, and Barry Lewis at DeWitt Clinton High School

Channel Thirteen (WNET) Production.
Debut: December 2015.
Access Channel Thirteen's walking tour here.

The Bronx has suffered from a bad “rap” having become the poster boy for the failed American cities of the 1970s when President Carter stood amid the rubble and burnt out ruins of Charlotte Street. Today, that view is ancient history. With New York real estate prices skyrocketing, the Bronx is being re-discovered by a new generation (while having always been appreciated by those who never moved). Dense urban neighborhoods along the Parisian-styled spine of the Grand Concourse, beautiful parks from wetlands-rich Pelham Bay to the wooded hills and lush meadows of Van Cortland, first class cultural landmarks including the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden, Wave Hill and Orchard Beach all make the Bronx New York’s distinctive “uptown”.

From the fine mansions of Bartow-Pell and Van Cortlandt to the “casita” of Rincon Criolla’s community garden in Morrisania, from the recently restored 1929 Paradise move palace near Fordham Road to nearby Lehman College’s Performing Arts Center, from Bronx High School of Science in Kingsbridge to Hostos College at 149th Street and the emerging SoBro arts scene down at Bruckner Boulevard, the Bronx is coming back alive. Walk with us to see this famous symbol of late 20th century urban decay becoming the new city of the new century.

Executive Producer: John De Natale
Producer: James Nicoloro
Director of Photography: Mead Hunt

Modern Marvels: New York Bridges

Produced by Actuality Productions, Inc.
Written & produced by Shelley Ann Lawrence.
Debut: the History Channel, Spring,1999.

Lewis was interviewed for this documentary on the city's bridges and the social and historical milieu in which they were built.

The Statue of Liberty

Produced by ABC News Productions for the Discovery Channel.
Aired on The Discovery Channel, May 2, 1999.

Lewis was interviewed on the subject of the cultural environment in which New York's most famous Lady was built.

Executive producer: Lisa Zeff
Producer: Kristine Sabat

L'Ecume des Villes: New York, N. Y.

Screening at la Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris: October 6th 1999. 52 minutes.
Air dates: Paris Première (cable), August/Sept. 1999 and La Cinquième, 1999.
In French or English with French sub-titles, 52 mins runtime

Lewis was interviewed as an interpreter of the New York phenomenon for this French made video focused on the fringe scenes and upscale "fringe" scenes of New York.

Executive producer: Les Films d'Ici; Series producer: Elisabeth Kiledjian
Director / Journalist: Teri Wehn-Damisch
Camera: Mark Daniels and additional camera work by Teri Wehn-Damisch

Channel 4 NYC (NBC) Local News Documentary: A Stroll Through Central Park: Its 150th Anniversary

Aired Saturday, April 26th 2003. Host: Felicia Taylor of NBC Local News Division.

Barry Lewis appears several times as Ms. Taylor's "liaison" with Central Park.

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