New York’s Hidden Renaissance

By: Anna Majeski

Buildings inspired by the architecture of the Italian Renaissance dot the streets of modern-day New York. These monuments are indebted not just to the Renaissance of fifteenth and sixteenth century Italy, they are the products of New York’s own architectural rebirth in the final decades of the nineteenth century. With newly built mansions, libraries, and universities, New York was transformed from a humble urban outpost into a cultural capital. The Neo-Renaissance style of many of these buildings associated New York itself with a long line of great urban centers, and the city’s elite with the princes, merchants and who built them. At the head of the American Renaissance movement were the architects of McKim, Mead and White. The firm’s buildings are studied adaptations of Renaissance architectural principles, modern reinventions for a city building its first skyscrapers. This guide will show you some of the great spaces hidden inside these monuments, the rooms where New Yorkers played out a Renaissance of their own making.

Places include: St. Ignatius of Loyola R.C. Church, The New York Palace Hotel, The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, E.A.T., The Morgan Library & Museum, 1 Centre Street, Eataly, and Low Memorial Library