A family quarrel, steamboats and US patent law

If all family disagreements resulted in innovations and progress, the world would be a far better place. A quarrel between Colonel Stevens and Robert Livingston resulted in the establishment of steamboat operations on the Hudson as well as in the creation of US patent law. Colonel Stevens, a man of many talents and a founder…

New York Yacht Club born in Hoboken

Despite its name, the New York Yacht Club, one of the most exclusive private clubs in the world, was not formed in New York. The club was established and located across the Hudson – in Hoboken. The idea was born during an outing on John Cox Steven’s yacht Gimcrack. While on the boat, a group of…

Snapping Turtles and Founding Fathers

It’s very hard to imagine Aaron Burr peacefully sharing a meal with Alexander Hamilton. However, as it turns out, both of them used to belong to an early gourmet organization called the “Hoboken Turtle Club.” They were joined by other founding fathers – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, to name a few, who…

Colonel John Stevens – the Founder of Hoboken

The city of Hoboken was founded by Colonel John Stevens – a patriot, attorney, civic-minded inventor, city planner, engineer, and founder of America’s first family of engineers. John Stevens was born in 1749 in New York City. He was raised and educated in New York where he graduated from the King’s College (now Columbia) with…

Sybil’s Cave and Unsolved Murder of the Beautiful Cigar Girl

Sybil’s Cave, a recreational destination for 19th-century leisure seekers, achieved its fame, or rather infamy, as the site of an unsolved 19th-century murder. Sybil’s Cave was created in 1832 by the Stevens family as a folly. The man-made cave around a natural spring was adorned with an elaborate Gothic-style entrance and served as a cafe…

The Witch of Wall Street – the legend of Hetty Green

There are people so odd, so easy to loath, that their character loses its human form and becomes the stuff of legends. One such person was the woman who went down in history as the “Witch of Wall Street.”  She was awarded the title of the world’s greatest miser by the Guinness Book of World…

Ode to a Brownstone

The character of New York’s many residential streets is defined by the perfect rhythm and uniformity of adjacent houses lined up in rows right next to one another and forming a solid street facade. Combining Yankee practicality with the romantic old-world feel, the brownstones are the soul of 19th century New York. Built all over…

Paramount Building

Built 1926 Architects Rapp & Rapp In 1926, Paramount Pictures, one of the major American motion picture companies, built its headquarters along with a cinematic theatre right in Times Square. At the time of its completion, it was the tallest building in Times Square and its illuminated glass globe could be seen as far as…

The Dorilton – One Beautiful Aberration

Address: 171 W 71st St, New York, NY 10023 Architect: Janes & Leo Opened: 1900   One cannot help noticing it. It’s elaborate, it’s bright-colored, it’s imposing… it is the Dorilton. The twelve-story structure is located at the corner of Broadway and 71st street across from its stylistic counterpart – the Ansonia. In contrast to the lacy and…