A new book explores how and why New York City became a showcase for the art and architectural styles of ancient Greece and Rome. Classical New York: Discovering Greece and Rome in Gotham, co-edited by Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis and Matthew McGowan (Fordham University Press, 2018), examines the Greco-Roman influence on buildings, monuments and public spaces from Rockefeller Center to the Gould Memorial Library at Bronx Community College.
Walking around New York, Macaulay-Lewis says she “was struck by how many classical-looking buildings there were.” Indeed, references to the myths, gods, motifs and structures of the ancient world are seemingly everywhere: in courthouses, museums and libraries, in arches and columns, in Latin inscriptions and sculptures.
But these classical references aren’t just about aesthetics or engineering. They also symbolize the aspirations of a city that saw itself as a capital of learning, culture, and civic life, on par with the finest institutions of the ancient world.
A podcast series featuring scholars and experts in conversation with the authors of recent books on New York City history.
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