In Waterfront Manhattan: From Henry Hudson to the High Line, Kurt C. Schlichting tells the story of the Manhattan waterfront as a struggle between public and private control of New York’s priceless asset. Nature provided New York with a sheltered harbor but presented the city with a challenge: to find the necessary capital to build and expand the maritime infrastructure. From colonial times until after the Civil War, the city ceded control of the waterfront to private interests, excluding the public entirely and sparking a battle between shipping companies, the railroads, and ferries for access to the waterfront. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the City of New York regained control of the waterfront, but a whirlwind of forces beyond the control of either public or private interests―technological change in the form of the shipping container and the jet airplane―devastated the city’s maritime world. The city slowly and painfully recovered. Visionaries reimagined the waterfront, and today the island is almost completely surrounded by parkland, the world of piers and longshoremen gone, replaced by luxury housing and tourist attractions.
Free and all are welcome. Seating is limited. Call 401-847-0292 for reservations or register online below.
Kurt C. Schlichting is the E. Gerald Corrigan ’63 Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences at Fairfield University, where he is a professor of sociology. He is the author of Grand Central’s Engineer: William J. Wilgus and the Planning of Modern Manhattan and Grand Central Terminal: Railroads, Engineering, and Architecture in New York City.
This lecture is generously sponsored by John Quinlan Murphy Programming Fund.
Program Type: Adults Date: Saturday, July 7, 2018 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm