Events & News

The Historian as Activist: One Man’s Struggle to Rescue a Forgotten Civic Hero from Disgrace and Obscurity

The Historian as Activist: One Man’s Struggle to Rescue a Forgotten Civic Hero from Disgrace and Obscurity

October 23, 2013
6:30 PM
General Society Library

In fall 2013 the Archive Project cosponsored a conversation between Manhattan Borough Historian Michael Miscione and Archive Project founder and chair Anthony C. Wood entitled “The Historian as Activist: One Man’s Struggle to Rescue a Forgotten Civic Hero from Disgrace and Obscurity.” Andrew Haswell Green, a nineteenth-century city planner, reformer, and historic preservationist—and the mastermind behind the 1898 consolidation of the five boroughs—easily qualifies as one of New York City’s most influential civic leaders. Yet until recently he has been largely forgotten, even by most local historians. A decade ago Michael Miscione, a television producer turned historical activist, set out on a one-man campaign to rescue Green from oblivion. In an engaging conversation with Anthony C. Wood, Miscione revealed how he first learned of Green, and described his tactics, successes, and failures in his campaign to honor this important historical figure. Miscione, who was appointed Manhattan Borough Historian in 2006 largely due to his work on Green, shared his advice with other would-be historical activists, hoping to inspire similar quests to rescue other unknown historical figures from obscurity. This conversation was presented as part of New York Archives Week in collaboration with the Manhattan Borough Historian’s Office and the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York.

Location:
General Society Library
20 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
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Above: Andrew Haswell Green, 1899; Courtesy of Success Magazine