Downtown Terra Cotta Tour

at Archive on Parade - Manhattan

Course Details
$35 25 seats left
Start Date:

Sat, Oct 26, 4:00pm - 5:30pm

145 Nassau Street
Btwn Beekman Street & Spruce Street
New York, New York 10038
This tour meets in front of the Potter Building
Purchase Options
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 18 and older
Average Class Size: 10
Teacher: Lucie Levine

What you'll learn in this tour class:

Before New York’s tallest towers were sheathed in glass, they were clad in clay. Terra-Cotta, or “fired earth,” is an ancient building material made of baked clay, that helped make New York a Modern city. At the turn of the 20th century, terra-cotta became a sought-after fire-proof skin for the steel skeletons of the city’s tallest buildings. 

Though you’ll find it on some of New York’s most iconic structures, including the Flatiron Building, The Woolworth Building, and the Plaza Hotel, terra-cotta often hides in plain sight, mimicking other materials like granite or carved wood. On this tour of Lower Manhattan, we’ll uncover some of city’s earliest terra-cotta structures, and find out how New York got fired up about fired earth. 

Along the way, we’ll see the tallest terra-cotta structure in the world, find out how the nephews of Samuel Morse commissioned the city’s earliest surviving “fireproof” sky-scraper, and learn how this stunningly versatile material moved from monochrome to multi-colored, and helped shift the city from Beaux-Arts beauty to Art Deco splendor!

This tour meets in front of the Potter Building.

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Refund Policy
Cancellations must be made at least 24 hours in advance of a tour or event for a full refund or a credit to reschedule for a future tour. If you cancel within 24 hours, we can offer you a credit to reschedule for a future tour.


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Archive on Parade

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Start Dates (1)
Start Date Time Teacher # Sessions Price
4:00pm - 5:30pm Lucie Levine 1 $35

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Reviews of Classes at Archive on Parade (7)

(7 Reviews)
Downtown Terra Cotta Tour
Reviewed by Ada O. on 4/9/2019
This is an excellent tour. If you like architecture, go for it. It is a short walk full of interesting stories about amazing terracotta buildings. The guide was very good. Thanks!
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School: Archive on Parade

Archive on Parade

Archive on Parade is a Brooklyn-based tour and event company that aims to take New York City's fascinating history out of the archives and into the streets.

We love collaborating with local institutions and businesses to create exciting and memorable ways for people to access history and have a great...

Read more about Archive on Parade

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