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History of New York

Learn the History of New York at The Beekman School

This course takes a novel approach to history. It is taught not chronologically, but by thematically. Every semester, we delve deep into the following topics: 

(1) When did the subway system begin (believe it or not, it was 1870), how did it go bankrupt and how did the city wage war on graffiti?
(2) How did Manhattan’s street grid develop and where are the streams that continue to run under our streets?
(3) Why were the 1970s one of the city’s worst eras and, at the same time, a decade that gave birth to Disco, Punk, and Hip 
(4) What goes into building a Manhattan skyscraper and how did the city discover that the 59-story Citicorp Center could fall during a mild hurricane?

The course is taught through lecture, a wealth of rare video, and homework readings. While the workload in this elective is not as rigorous as a standard Beekman history course, students are tested after each unit, and they are required to write short papers and make class presentations. 

We are welcoming students to class this fall either via a hybrid in-person/online learning model in NYC or via fully remote, synchronous online classes. 

Learn more about our re-opening plan and response to COVID-19 >