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‘New York Skyscrapers and the Terra Cotta Revolution’ Webinar

December 1, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Can’t make it live? Register and get access to the full replay for one week!
New York Adventure Club | www.AdventureClub.com

Before New York’s skyscrapers were sheathed in glass, they were clad in clay. Terra cotta, an ancient building material made of baked clay, became a sought-after fireproof skin for some of New York’s earliest skyscrapers beginning in the early 1900s. It’s time to get fired up about fired earth, and see how this revolutionary lightweight and highly malleable material came to define the New York City skyline (and keep it from burning down).

Join New York Adventure Club as we explore some of New York City’s most prominent terra cotta structures from across the five boroughs, and the eminent 20th-century architects who chose to get creative with clay.

Led by writer, historian, and New York City tour guide Lucie Levine, our virtual experience will include:

  • A deep dive into terra cotta, and why it became the favorite building material of New York’s budding skyscrapers
  • A look at some of the city’s most iconic terra cotta facades, such as the Flatiron Building, Woolworth Building, and Plaza Hotel
  • The famed architects who worked with terra cotta, including Cass Gilbert, Henry Hardenbergh, George B. Post, and Ely Jacques Khan
  • How this stunningly versatile material moved from monochrome to multi-colored, and helped shift the city from Beaux-Arts beauty to Art Deco splendor
  • Stories from inside some of these iconic landmarks, from tales of government spies inside the Woolworth Building (the word’s tallest Terra Cotta building) to young Franklin D. Roosevelt’s time as a lawyer inside the Liberty Tower (which was also the site of the Zimmerman Telegram, which helped catapult the United States into WWI)
  • Why terra cotta is making a comeback in 21st-century New York architecture

Afterward, we’ll have a Q&A with Lucie — any and all questions about terra cotta in NYC are welcomed and encouraged!

Can’t make it live? Don’t worry, you’ll have access to the full replay for one week!

See you there, virtually!

*Immediately upon registering, you will receive a separate, automated email containing the link to join this webinar

**For the best possible viewing experience, please ensure you’re using the latest version of your internet browser — Google Chrome is the most compatible. Exact technical requirements and a webinar user guide will be shared in the automated confirmation email upon registration.

***A full replay of the experience will be available to all registered guests for up to a week


“I liked that images we given a narrative and in context. I’m not a terracotta expert, but I could follow along to” -Dana

“Loved learning about the history or Terra Cotta and how much a part of the NYC was involved in using this material” -Richard

“The Tour guide Lucie was so knowable it really held my attention. The information and maps made it possible to follow along the terra contra trail.” -Lin

“Love Architecture, Lucie covered the history of NY skyscrapers and the architects that made it happen as well as the influence of Terra Cotta and why.” -Lynn

“Incredible facts & well explained to us (me!) non-architects or artists.” -Sharon

“Lucy was knowledgeable, professional and approachable with questions. Content was terrific too, not too much, just enough to detail” -George

“The entire show was great! I like how she started with the map of destinations for the tour. I was able to google places to get more information.” -Melissa

“Really great host, and such wonderful research. Really well done.” -Kirsten

“It was both informative and entertaining. I loved all the photos. I learned a lot!” -Lisa

“Lucie put together a very good overview of terra cotta and its effect on architecture and NYC” -Stephen

“Very knowledgeable presenter and slide of great architecture!” -Pat


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Categories: Arts, Historic Sites, Hidden Spots, Virtual