Our nation was founded by refugees seeking freedom of religion. How has this freedom affected our religious beliefs and practice? Join me to visit current or former religious sanctuaries of architectural interest on or near Central Park West. We will focus on religious movements that originated or proliferated in the United States, their often eccentric founders, and their distinguished architectural expressions.

Highlights include the West Side YMCA, the Society for Ethical Culture, the Fourth Universalist Society, and the Second Church of Christ, Scientist. Content covers the influence of secret societies on religious development, so we will include a visit to the Level Club, built by members of the Masonic order.

Not Starving Artists :  How the 1800s Art Scene Spawned the Co-op

Decked Out in the City - Deco Era Buildings and NY Glamour 

Don't forget to see all available tours listed in "Tours Offered" tab above - available by request for groups of any size! 

Email me for details -  ProwlerNYC@gmail.com    SCROLL DOWN TO SEE ALL UPCOMING OFFERINGS!

All tours are on level or gently sloped ground unless otherwise noted. Tours are ideal for ages 14 through adulthood, and are handicapped accessible. Sturdy shoes,

a water bottle, and weather-appropriate clothing are always recommended. Tours are two hours long, though walking distances vary per tour and per weather.

Join ProwlerNYC to Prowl the local haunts of the mad genius who brought us the Induction Motor, Current Wars, power distribution, a deluge of patents, and a fantastic deserted monument designed by the eminent architect Stanford White, meant to generate wireless power, graphic images, sounds, data and maybe even a focused DeathRay into the aether toward an unwitting recipient! Backed and then deserted by the Robber Barons of the last century, Tesla’s musings, inventions and rantings predicted and gave form to our modern  technological era. Join me to walk in the footsteps of this eccentric and colorful resident who left a charged impression on Our Fair City.  

Art Wars - The  Met, MoMA and the Whitney,

and What Each Will Argue Is Art: 

Inspired Insanity - Nikola Tesla in New York!

(steam punk/gilded era costumes or make-up welcome!!)

Down the High Line - Former Path to Hell!

Saturday April 7th 2018  1 PM - 

While socialism emerged in the 1800's European utopian dialogue, New York artists sought to make their mark on the international art scene. Our walk will illustrate how this utopianism was adapted domestically, through the genesis of cooperative living arrangements, originally by and for artists. Their goal was to enhance innovation and collaboration through proximity to an extended creative community. Join me on a visit to the West 67th Street Artists Colony; a string of well designed and appointed cooperative residences that to this day are peopled with creative individuals. Then let's stroll down to West 57th Street to see the institutions that were originated by these dynamic individuals - Carnegie Hall, the Art Students League, and other beautiful classic studio buildings along the way.

Sunday July 8th 2018, 1 PM -  on the 75th anniversary of Tesla's death:

through the Municipal Art Society of NY:  https://secure.mas.org/np/clients/masnyc/eventRegistration.jsp?event=3199

Saturday March 3rd, 2018  1 PM -

Saturday March 17th, 2018  1 PM

Puritans, Immigrants and Slaves - Central Park and the Vision of a Cohesive Society: 

The Grande Hotels of Manhattan's Grand Army Plaza

Architectural / Historical Walking Tours of Manhattan withDeborah Zelcer

After the Civil War, stewards of our young nation sought to develop artists with talent to rival that of Old Europe. Their goal was to elevate the level of refinement of the average American, and prove that we could be preoccupied with more than the almighty Buck! On this pleasant Museum Mile trek, we will discover how the keepers of our first cultural collections defined art and decided what would or would not hang within their walls, in the process competing with each other and the highbrow institutions overseas. This is an outdoor tour focusing on museum architecture as a reflection of their founders and the collections inside. Tour includes viewing and discussion of the exterior of the National Academy of Design and Whitney Museum uptown (now the Met Breuer), as well as the landmarked Metropolitan and Guggenheim Museum facades.

Saturday April 14th  2018  1 PM -

A new way of seeing an old classic. The Erie Canal and industrial expansion propelled New York City to the economic forefront in 1800s America. People flooded in to seek opportunity. Yet, inadequate housing and sanitation bred epidemics and squalor. Old World monarchs and aristocrats and Southern plantation owners derided the Yankee and his unholy metropolis. Join us to discover how the stewards of New York development addressed these problems, while hoping to elevate American culture and unite the city's disparate classes, religions and ethnicities through the gift of a Central Park. 

Saturday March 31st, 2018  1 PM - for the Spring Religious Holidays - 

What a meat market! Join me for a colorful Prowl through Manhattan's gorgeous new park, where drug addicts, prostitutes and gay/transgender life flourished in the years before its magical renaissance in the early 2000s. We'll have a colorful discussion about the industrial, architectural and social history of this pulsing artery traversing sought-after neighborhoods that restored or replaced former rail yards, food markets, slaughterhouses, and dark recesses that accommodated the seamier side of life. Join our parade of peeping Toms as we peer through glass facades at area occupants who willingly reveal their lives to this public promenade. We will learn how the High Line's history still shapes its future, while becoming familiar with Hudson Yards, Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, and prominent old and new buildings nearby. 

We celebrate Women’s History Month with a focus on one of our favorite women. Our beloved Jackie entered the public consciousness as a glamour figure and political wife, who made the Kennedy White House a global symbol of American culture and power. The world watched as she transitioned from wife, mother, and widow, to urbane working woman and preservation advocate. Learn about the very important role that our most unforgettable First Lady played in defining good taste, high culture, and the importance of preserving the livability and distinctive architectural character of American cities.

We will visit buildings associated with her charmed and often not-so-charmed existence, and consider her very important advocacy work in shaping and preserving New York.

Step off the sidewalk and back in time to the glamorous twenties. Explore the backdrop of that romantic and high living era by joining me to view magnificent period lobbies on or near Park Avenue, including the Waldorf Astoria, the Fred F. French Building, the former Shelton Towers Hotel, the Chanin Building, and the iconic Chrysler Building. These opulent landmarks are local place markers in the chronology of architectural form. Learn about the frenzied one-upsmanship that bred the 1920's race to build the tallest building in the world, and the colorful characters that competed in it, forever transforming the skyline of New York and creating a vivid new language of architectural style. (tour can be modified in foul weather to be mostly indoors)

Licensed NYC Tour Guide #2054130-DC

Worship Around the Park 

Saturday February 24th, 2018  1 PM -

Saturday April 21st 2018  1 PM - During Cherry Blossom Season!

Terminating the remains of the opulent 5th Avenue luxury retail zone sit the still-reigning hospitality jewels of yesteryear. The surviving triumvirate of The Plaza, The Pierre and the Sherry Netherland Hotels are notable Grande Dames of hospitality . These luxurious destinations have catered to discriminating travelers and local residents wishing to wake at the doorstep of rarified purveyors of finery, connoisseur quality restaurants, and the timeless romantic elegance of Central Park. Lets explore tales behind the creation of these landmark abodes, and their relationship with the evolving character of Millionaires Row and the changing city beyond. (good for inclement as well as good weather, as much of the tour is indoors)

The Little Pillbox Hat Tour :  (wear your favorite version!)

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the Preservation of Our Architectural Treasures

Sunday March 18th, 2018  2 PM - for the Municipal Art Society of NY