Art Deco New York: The Architects Speak

Art Deco New York: The Architects Speak


When: Thursday, September 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Center for Jewish History, Leo and Julia Forchheimer
Where: Auditorium
Where: 15 West 16th Street, New York, New York 10011


About the Event:

Kick off the fall season with ADSNY as we hear about some of New York’s most acclaimed Art Deco architecture straight from the architects that designed them! In this unique event, at the Center for Jewish History, architectural historian and ADSNY Vice-President, Anthony W. Robins will explore the work of three of the architects who helped transform the face of New York City in the 1920s and 30s with the colorful and geometric designs we now call Art Deco––and let us hear the architects describe their buildings in their own words.

The great Art Deco skyscrapers––the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building––were designed by socially prominent architects, often of old New York stock. But a generation of Jewish architects and builders––new to the profession and often new to the country––helped spread the Deco style across the more modest, but also more numerous, middle-class landscapes of the city, from the Garment District to the Grand Concourse. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Robins had the good fortune to meet and interview three of those architects and, fortunately for us, recorded the interviews.

The three architects––Israel Crausman, Louis Allen Abramson, and Marvin Fine––came from varying backgrounds. Fine, of the firm of Horace Ginsbern, had a sophisticated architectural education at the University of Pennsylvania; Abramson apprenticed to a famous older architect, took a few extension courses at Columbia, and then went out on his own; while Crausman was a self-taught builder. Fine designed the first Deco apartment house in the Bronx; Crausman designed many Bronx apartment houses on and off the Grand Concourse; Abramson designed notable Horn & Hardart Automats, as well as restaurants in the Longchamps chain.

In this talk, Robins will look at these buildings, put them in their historical context, tell their stories, and then let us hear the architects talking about the buildings as we look at them on the screen.

This talk is sure to fill quickly. Claim your seat today!

About the Speaker:

Anthony W. Robins has been guiding natives and visitors to the city’s wonders of steel and stone for twenty-five years. He has led hundreds of walking tours of New York history and architecture. A founding member of ADSNY, Robins created the Society’s original tour program in 1981. In 2017, the Guides Association of New York City honored him with the “Guiding Spirit Award.” He lectures on New York history and architecture to audiences both in the United States and abroad, teaches various levels of students about architecture and the development of New York City, and has authored five books and a number of short guide books, as well as many newspaper and magazine articles. His latest award-winning book, New York Art Deco: A Guide to Gotham’s Jazz Age Architecture, explores Art Deco throughout the five boroughs.



To take advantage of our discounted member rate, your ADSNY membership must be valid the date of the event. If your membership expires between the time of event registration and the date of the event, you will be asked to renew your membership or pay the additional fee at the non-member price.

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Members: $35.00
JAO: $30.00
Non-Members: $50.00
Jazz Age Order Guest: $45.00

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