The Columns Club consists of supporters ages 21-40 who donate $75 or more annually and are invited to special tours of historic places, archives, and exhibitions.
The Columns Club is an exciting way to engage a new generation of New Yorkers in the Archive Project’s important mission. Founded in 2014, the Columns Club—consisting of young professionals ages 21-40 who donate $75 or more annually—are invited to behind-the-scenes tours of historic sites and archives throughout New York City. These unique experiences have been created to appeal to the wide-ranging tastes of this multi-faceted group. The inaugural event was an after-hours flashlight tour of the nooks and crannies of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, a Dutch Colonial-style structure that is the last remaining farmhouse on the island of Manhattan. The growing troupe of Columnists has taken a private tour of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and a twilight streetcar visit through Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, ending with wine, cheese and a look through the archives! The group has also explored one of New York City’s greatest icons, Grand Central Terminal, and one of its most secret gems, the Grand Masonic Lodge.
If you are interested in joining this hearty crew of urban explorers, please donate here or contact us with any questions.
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Tour of City Hall
The most recent Columns Club event was a tour of City Hall with Mary Beth Betts, former Director of Research for the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
One of the oldest continuously-used City Halls in the nation that still houses its original governmental functions, New York’s City Hall is considered one of the finest architectural achievements of its period. Constructed from 1803 to 1812, the building was an early expression of the City’s emerging cosmopolitanism. City Hall is a designated New York City landmark, and its soaring rotunda with its cantilevered marble staircase, a feat of engineering ingenuity, is a designated interior landmark.
This special Columns Club tour included a discussion of the building’s history, art, architecture, and civic function. The group visited the landmarked Rotunda, City Council Chamber, and the Governor’s Room, which features the City Hall Portrait Collection and historic furnishings (including George Washington’s desk!). These rooms have witnessed a broad spectrum of New York City history and eminent personages. The Governor’s Room, for example, has been visited by Presidents Monroe, Lincoln, and Jackson, the Marquis de Lafayette, Albert Einstein, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr….and again by Lincoln when it served as the backdrop for his coffin as he lay in state. City Hall recently completed a large-scale project to stabilize and preserve the historic building, bringing it up to 21st-century standards.
After the tour the group retired for a drink at Maxwell’s Bar & Restaurant (59 Reade Street), where the bar, booths, and smoke-stained mirrors have been restored from the original Joe Maxwell’s, which opened in 1938.
Join the Columns Club now to gain access to tours such as this!