Tour 16: The Restaurants of Madison Square Park, 1859–2014

Saturday, January 3, 2015: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Americas Hall I (New York Hilton, Third Floor)

Tour leader: Dan Levinson Wilk, Fashion Institute of Technology

In the late 1800s, the area around Madison Square Park (by the intersection of Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and 23rd Street) was the premier entertainment district in New York, and probably the nation. This walking tour will explain how the restaurants and hotels of the neighborhood built the earliest business chains in any industry, developed trust among businessmen, strengthened the national Republican Party during and after the Civil War, and trained New Yorkers in certain tastes for food and restaurant service. While discussing the restaurant and hotel chains of that era, we will also be visiting four restaurants in the neighborhood—Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Shake Shack, and Eataly—and discussing with managers of those restaurants how they still face the same challenges and opportunities that neighborhood establishments encountered a century and a half ago.

Please note: The walking part of the tour will last for two hours.

Limit: 25 people. $10 members, $15 nonmembers

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