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Thread: 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage

  1. #1

    Default 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage

    May 25, 2006
    If Winners Write History, New York Trumps Jamestown

    A replica of the 17th-century sailing ship Godspeed made its way down the James River on Monday. The ship is being used to promote the 400th anniversary of Jamestown's founding, which will occur next year.

    Hungry for gold, committed to converting savages and seeking a shortcut to the Orient, on May 14, 1607, settlers landed on a marshy peninsula they christened Jamestown.

    According to an official account, they came ashore "never to leave." Except for one thing. By the end of the 17th century, after creating a legacy that included slavery and profiteering from tobacco, the Jamestown settlement had all but vanished. Jamestown, Va.'s permanent population today? Two — an archaeologist and his wife.

    Jamestown has been billed as the nation's birthplace, the first permanent English colony, and has already begun an extended celebration of the site of America's 400th anniversary.

    While plenty of other locations stake a claim, some New Yorkers maintain that if any place deserves to be known as the nation's birthplace, it is New York, population 8.2 million. And a real birthday is almost here.

    Perhaps it slipped your mind, but 2009 is the 400th anniversary of the voyage of Hudson up the river that would within a few years bear his name. It's also 400 years since Champlain sailed down his lake upstate. The 200th anniversary of Robert Fulton's inaugural steamboat voyage up the Hudson in 1807 is also being marked in 2009.

    Kenneth T. Jackson, the Columbia University historian and editor of the Encyclopedia of New York City, doesn't begrudge Jamestown its celebration. It's not that Jamestown wasn't important, he says. Just that the contrast with New York couldn't be greater.

    "In Jamestown, they discover a town that disappears into the mud," Professor Jackson said. "New York becomes the greatest city in the world. The Hudson becomes the river west, the river of empire."

    Not surprising, Barbara C. Fratianni, executive director of the state's Hudson Fulton Champlain Quadricentennial Commission, agrees. "New York has never been given the credit that it's due," she said. "They went to Jamestown but never stayed there. New York was the entryway."

    So far, though, plans and resources for New York's celebration pale in comparison with Virginia's, where scholars, archaeologists, civic boosters and the tourism industry have diligently joined forces to mount an 18-month celebration. Just last week, a new exhibition center opened there.

    "Every American should visit here," said Elizabeth Kostelny, executive director of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. "This is where our nation began."

    But Kent Barwick, the president of the Municipal Art Society in New York, described Jamestown, half-jokingly, as "a swamp" and said its "place in history, the present and the future is not comparable" to New York's. The Hudson celebration, he said, "gives us an opportunity to reclaim the river."

    Ms. Fratianni's commission began a Web site on the anniversary this month ( Plans for a federal commission are being drafted. Separately, a joint American-Dutch group called Henry Hudson 400 is planning commemorations in Amsterdam and New York to evoke the legacy of New Netherlands, which, once permanent settlers began arriving in 1624, has included Dutch names sprinkled throughout gazetteers and street signs, cole slaw, bowling and the ethnic and racial diversity that distinguished New York from most other New World settlements.

    The New York State Library and the Holland Society of New York have been sponsoring the research of Charles T. Gehring, who has been translating Dutch colonial records for the New Netherland Project.

    In 1909, less than two decades after Chicago stole New York's thunder with the Columbian Exposition, the 300th anniversary of Hudson's voyage up the river was an extravaganza that lasted two weeks. Six years after his first flight, Wilbur Wright flew up the Hudson from Governors Island to Grant's Tomb and back. Hundreds of vessels paraded up the river, including a replica of Hudson's ship, the Half Moon, which, unfortunately, sailed smack into the facsimile of Fulton's Clermont.

    In "The New World," Terence Malik's recent film about Jamestown, the role of the colonists' lead ship was actually played by a new Half Moon replica, which, captained by William T. Reynolds, director of the New Netherland Museum in Albany, normally plies the Hudson.

    In 1909, Americans looked back 300 years, to when the Half Moon's mate wrote that the first New Yorkers weren't all that different from today's — at least on one count: "They desire clothes," the journal said, "and are very civil."

    They also looked ahead, to 2009. Stephen Chalmers, a New York Times reporter turned novelist, drolly predicted the obsolescence of the automobile and the triumph of pedestrians, and a race by air to Chicago and back by competing pilots from Hoboken and from Mars.

    The chief controversy then was whether Hudson, who was English but was commissioned on this voyage by the Dutch East India Company, should be referred to as Hendrik or Henry.

    This time, there's no such controversy — "we call him Henry," Ms. Fratianni said — although there might be some confusion again over a name, since the Hudson Fulton Champlain initials evoke not so much the state's rich heritage as the Household Finance Corporation. "It's important that we celebrate New York's place in history," Ms. Fratianni said. "Life in America started right here in New York City."

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  2. #2
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    January 30 - February 5, 2009
    Photo by Edward Reed
    Mayor Bloomberg, Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen, second from the right, Dutch Cabinet Minister Frans Timmermans, far right, announced a year-long celebration of the 400 anniversary of the voyage of Henry Hudson, right image, to what is now known as Lower Manhattan.

    400 years later, city goes Dutch on Hudson festival

    Four hundred years after Henry Hudson sailed a Dutch ship up the river that now bears his name and discovered what would become New York City, the New York and Dutch governments are planning a massive celebration of the city’s history and waterfront.

    Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wednesday in announcing plans for a year of events, exhibits and performances, culminating in Harbor Day Sept. 13. The first annual Harbor Day will include free ferry rides and free bike rentals in Manhattan and Brooklyn and on Governors Island.

    One permanent feature of the celebration will be a 5,000-square-foot New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion erected at the Battery by the end of the year, a gift from the Dutch government designed by Dutch architect Ben van Berkel. Bloomberg unveiled a model of the pavilion at a press conference Wednesday, which Warrie Price, president of the Battery Conservancy, also attended.

    “All of these celebrations will give people one more reason to visit New York City this year,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Tourism is going to be one of those industries that helps support our local economy during the recession, and we are working harder than ever to promote it.”

    The celebration will extend all the way up the Hudson into Upstate New York and across the Atlantic to the Netherlands. The two governments are working with hotels, airlines and tour-operators to boost tourism between New York and the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg region. Continental Airlines is offering a special fare of $591 including taxes and surcharges for return flights from Amsterdam from now until Feb. 28, subject to availability and changes.

    Last year, a record 366,000 visitors from the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg region visited New York City.

    Cohen, the Amsterdam mayor, said New York and his city have much in common, including the significance of maritime and creative industries.
    “The Netherlands and New York City have a unique connection that links the two not only in terms of history, but also current priorities and future legacy,” Cohen said in a statement.

  3. #3


    In Riverdale, visit the Henry Hudson Memorial.

  4. #4


    Established in 2006 in Amsterdam and in New York, the Henry Hudson 400 Foundation was organized to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson. Besides celebrating the historic event, the Foundation also wants to explore future ties between these two great cities which are linked by their shared belief in the value of free, diverse, outward-reaching societies.

  5. #5



    Kiosk at the Center of the World

    UNStudio marks Dutch-American legacy at the Battery

    Kicking off this year’s elaborate celebration of Henry Hudson’s voyage into New York Harbor, the Dutch architecture firm UNStudio has designed a sinuous “X” to mark a spot in the Battery where New York and the Netherlands will jointly honor the founding of Neue Amsterdam some four hundred years ago.

    On January 28, the whirligig-shaped pavilion designed by Ben van Berkel was unveiled to the applause of Mayor Bloomberg, the Dutch Consul General, and others, among them Dutch newsmen who demanded to know whether the structure wasn’t in fact shaped like a windmill. Others called it a flower, and some even thought it suggested a “ninja star,” but no matter, said van Berkel. “It’s all good,” he told AN. “I always aim for designs to work on many different levels.”

    The 5,000-square-foot pavilion will enliven what is now a bleak piazza hemmed in by Whitehall Street and the bus loop in front of the Staten Island ferry terminal. Every year five million people, including 70,000 daily commuters, charge across the so-called Peter Minuit Plaza between ferries, buses, and subways. “That’s a quarter of the entire population of the Netherlands,” van Berkel said, a bit awed by the prime Manhattan site.

    The structure is multivalent in more ways than one. Known as the Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion, it will include openings on three of four sides to accommodate a cafe, an information desk, and public restrooms. Materials for the project are as yet undetermined, although it will, according to its architect, most certainly be white with a changing LED light display. When asked if that was rather too much like another sculpted white pavilion—Zaha Hadid’s art-stuffed pod for Chanel that critics deemed an unseemly metaphor for corporate profligacy after it landed in Central Park—van Berkel replied to the contrary. “Oh, no!” he exclaimed. “This is a really working pavilion.”

    Handel Architects will serve as local associates on the job, with site design by New York City parks department landscape architects and furnishings including van Berkel–designed park benches. Due to be up and running by September, the pavilion will be the famed Dutch architect’s only extant work in the United States, since a widely published house that van Berkel and partner Caroline Bos designed in upstate New York burned to the ground last February, barely six months after its completion. Construction on the firm’s luxury condominium, the metal-beribboned Five Franklin Place, has been reported to be at a standstill, but van Berkel said it is going ahead as planned, and that its 55 apartments are still getting snapped up, albeit less briskly than before.

    Warrie Price, president of the Battery Conservancy, said in a statement that the pavilion will offer “a superb culinary experience, great visitor orientation information and materials, and an iconic, recognizable spot for residents and visitors to rendezvous.” But let’s not forget the toilets, perhaps a most fitting way to celebrate the pragmatic genius that has long marked this great Dutch-American experiment, New York.

    All images courtesy UNStudio

    Copyright © 2003-2008 | The Architect's Newspaper, LLC.

  6. #6
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Pretty sculpture but why so short? Should be bigger (at least 3 or 4 stories) if you want to inspire awe.

  7. #7


    I'm glad it's small, any larger and it would overwhelm the site.

  8. #8


    Its a pavilion, they are generally low structures.

  9. #9
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    We'll all be dead and buried before trees in Peter Minuit Plaza (now devoid of anything) will be as big as those shown in the 3rd Image above

  10. #10
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    About the Plein & Pavilion


    UNStudio’s initial conceptual design for New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion calls for a 5,000 square-foot, carefully programmed space located within The Battery’s Peter Minuit Plaza, named for the enterprising Dutch Director-General who in 1626 consolidated the early settlements at the tip of Manhattan – a grouping that came to be known as New Amsterdam. This destination is, in the words of architect Ben van Berkel, “the ideal site for a permanent commemoration of 400 years of Dutch history in New York, because it is steeped in a sense of a shared past and looks directly toward the harbour where Henry Hudson sailed, but is also entirely focused on the future by virtue of its role as a modern transportation hub within the constantly changing scene of Lower Manhattan. This is a site where history meets the future.”

    To express the interplay of history and future, the landscape architects of New York City Department of Parks & Recreation Manhattan Capital Projects have conceived a stone-paved civic platform – plein, in Dutch – with walkways featuring engraved quotations from Russell Shorto’s acclaimed book ‘The Island at the Center of the World’. A carved stone map of Castello’s New Amsterdam will grace the entrance to the Plein to provide historical context.

    Within the open space of the Plein, visitors will find UNStudio-designed seating and tables. These will surround a highly sculptural pavilion with an expressive, undulating roofline and curving walls – a compact little building with the authority of a major landmark, evoking a flower opening to its surroundings. The pavilion will be equipped with an electronic facade LED system that allows for a constantly changing light show at night, “an experience that will carry the animation and drama of the day into the evening,” according to van Berkel.

    Van Berkel’s pavilion will offer, according to Warrie Price of The Battery Conservancy, “a superb culinary experience, great visitor orientation information and materials, and an iconic, recognizable spot for residents and visitors to rendezvous.”

    New Amsterdam Plein will also feature berms and perennial garden planting beds, designed by New York City Parks & Recreation using the color palette of Piet Oudolf, who created The Battery Bosque Gardens and the Battery’s Gardens of Remembrance.

  11. #11


    A ten year old layout for the reconstruction of Peter Minuit Plaza, which I don't think has changed much, showing the "bus loop."

  12. #12


    March 13, 2009, 4:41 pm

    From New to Old (Amsterdam, That Is)

    By Jennifer 8. Lee

    Markley Boyer/The Mannahatta Project
    A composite image splits Manhattan into two visions; how it looked in 1609, left; its more vertical profile today, right.

    Updated, 5:03 p.m. | Before this city was New York, it was New Amsterdam. So to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Dutch exploration of the New World, New York is sending a contingent to Old Amsterdam as part of a series of cultural exchanges between the two cities over the next year.

    Other tributes include a likeness of the Statue of Liberty made out of 51,000 tulips, and the lending of the famous 1626 letter that lists the “purchase” of Manhattan for 60 guilders. (The Indians thought they were just giving land-use rights.)

    The contingent, which leaves Monday, will include Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president; Representative Maurice Hinchey from Hurley, and Joan K. Davidson, chairwoman of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission. (“It’s a mouthful,” she admitted.) They will, among other things, go to the Keukenhof Gardens on Tuesday when the tulip Statue of Liberty will be unveiled by Queen Beatrix.

    One of main goals of the Quadricentennial Commission is to commemorate Henry Hudson’s 1609 journey from Amsterdam Harbor, which set out in search of a shorter trading route to Asia. Instead, he ended up at what is now New York, back when it was full of lush forests, expansive wetlands and rich wildlife.

    The Dutch government is also playing an active role in the celebration.

    And in September, the South Street Seaport will display the Schaghen Letter, which mentions the purchase of what is now Manhattan by the Dutch for the equivalent of 60 guilders.

    “It’s, in a way, the birth certificate of New York,” said Gajus Scheltema, the consul general of the Netherlands. That being said, the purchase is mentioned only in passing in the letter, he said: “It’s basically about something else. The focus on the letter is about the beaver skins and furs.”

    The exhibit will also include other rare documents, maps and books on loan from the Dutch government, including the first maps ever drawn of New Nederland; a sketch from the diary of Arnoldus Buchelius, a Dutch advocate of religious freedom; the charter of the Dutch West India Company; and other commercial documents.

    The British first claimed control of the settlement in 1664 and again in 1674 (when the Dutch got Surinam in return) and permanently renamed it New York. Now the dominant language here is English, and Americans have long identified with Britain, but New York’s connections to the Dutch run long and deep from those first 50 years. They can be seen in the names of streets (Amsterdam Avenue), neighborhoods (Harlem, named after the the Dutch city Haarlem) and high schools (Stuyvesant High School, after Peter Stuyvesant).

    But one essential Dutch imprint is not in left in name at all, but in a philosophical approach: the vision of this juncture of rivers and the Atlantic Ocean as a place that promoted diversity and tolerance. Religious tolerance was posited a legal right by explicit orders in 1624 that “everyone shall remain free in religion and that no one may be persecuted or investigated because of religion.”

    Early settlers included a number seeking both freedom and opportunity: Jewish refugees from Brazil, Quakers, freed African slaves and entrepreneurs from Morocco. At its height, half of New Amsterdam’s population was non-Dutch. One visitor in 1643 observed that 18 languages were spoken and a wide number of religions existed side by side.

    “We believed that back in the Netherlands in the 17th century that an economy, an entrepreneurial society was better served as an inclusive society, a tolerant one than an exclusive one,” Mr. Scheltema said.

    It is an argument made by the city’s leaders now as then.

    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

  13. #13


    Celebrating 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s Historic Voyage

    Published: March 28, 2009

    Looking for something to celebrate? How about the commemoration of New York’s 400th birthday beginning next Saturday?

    New York Public Library
    An illustration thought to be that of the English explorer Henry Hudson.

    National Maritime Museum Amsterdam/Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum
    A 17th-century navigation journal at the Museum of the City of New York.

    On April 4, 1609, the English navigator Henry Hudson left Amsterdam harbor to search for a shortcut to Asia. Hudson’s instructions from the Dutch East India Company were to sail east, as he had on two earlier voyages that were thwarted by Arctic ice.

    Instead, inspired by insights gleaned from other explorers, Hudson steered his triple-masted ship toward the New World in hopes of discovering a Northwest Passage to Asia.

    The 400th anniversary of Hudson’s departure will be celebrated this week in Amsterdam and in Manhattan, where the Museum of the City of New York opens “Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson.”

    The exhibition includes 275 artifacts in an installation that evokes the hull of Hudson’s 85-foot-long ship, the Half Moon. It will remain open through the end of September, which is when New York City and New York State will formally commemorate the anniversary of Hudson’s arrival in what would become America’s most diverse metropolis and a city of superlatives.

    Hudson and his crew received a decidedly mixed reception from the natives. Today, New York’s diverse population includes more American Indians and more people who identify their ancestry as Dutch than any other big American city.

    And that is precisely the point of the museum’s exhibition: New York is and has always been different from other places in America because it was founded by the Dutch.

    “The Dutch were the first to overthrow a king and create a republic,” said Sarah Henry, chief curator of the museum. “Nobody was celebrating tolerance, but the Dutch had a pragmatic approach to diversity.”

    The exhibition — in collaboration with the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam and the New Netherland Project in Albany — includes rare maps, excavated objects, paintings, documents and other artifacts. (Curators also correct a historical footnote: Peter Stuyvesant, the irascible director general of the Dutch colony in the mid-17th century, was missing his right leg, not his left.)

    The collection validates the enduring Dutch legacy and the shared economic heritage of Amsterdam and New Amsterdam, including the figurative and literal birth of Wall Street, where stock trading and multinational companies were incubated and where a barricade was built as protection from the Indians and the British.

    The exhibition is the first of three being organized by the museum this year to celebrate New York’s quadricentennial.

    The exhibit “Mannahatta/Manhattan,” which explores the natural environment that Hudson encountered, will open on May 18 and is being mounted in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society. In addition, modern images of New York by Dutch photographers will be featured in “Dutch Seen: New York Rediscovered,” which opens June 10.

    In September, the museum will publish “New York 400: A Visual History of America’s Greatest City With Images From the Museum of the City of New York,” a collection of paintings and photographs, many of them never displayed publicly before.

    The three exhibitions and the book, edited by John Thorn, a historian and author, are intended to provide a new portal to a past that is unfamiliar to many, and a contrast to the myths largely perpetuated by Washington Irving’s satirical Diedrich Knickerbocker and by other fanciful 19th-century interpretations.

    Ms. Henry, the curator, calls the visual history a “birthday card to the city.”

    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

  14. #14



    The Hudson, 400 Years Later

    June 9, 2009

    All this week, a mighty procession of ships and boats is sailing and motoring up the Hudson River from New York Harbor to Albany, stopping in harbor towns and cities along the way to the roaring of cannons and pealing of church bells. It’s a big event for a big anniversary: the 400th year since Henry Hudson made the same voyage in his little ship, the Half Moon. It is also an opportunity to take stock — to see how far the Hudson has come and how far it still has to go.

    The river is a living logbook of environmental destruction and rebirth. Having suffered a century of industrial despoliation, it inspired the modern environmental movement in the 1960s and ’70s, starting with the successful battle to stop Consolidated Edison from building a hydroelectric plant on Storm King Mountain, south of Newburgh.

    Landfills were plugged; power projects thwarted. And after decades of delay, General Electric has, at last, begun to dredge PCB’s from the river above Albany, slowly clearing away the final dark stain of the Hudson’s industrial past. As all the blue crabs, striped bass and bald eagles would tell you if they could, the river flows far cleaner than before.

    But the job is far from finished. When the flotilla heads upriver, it will pass gleaming parks and river walks, and go under a historic railroad bridge that is being turned into a soaring public walkway. It will also pass condominium sites in places like Yonkers, where development threatens to turn the riverbanks into the high-rise equivalent of stadium bleachers, and the aging Indian Point nuclear plant, whose outdated cooling pipes suck up and kill billions of fish and fish eggs. For all the progress, many of the Hudson’s fish populations remain seriously threatened.

    The river’s fiercest advocates — among them Pete Seeger, who turned 90 this year; Riverkeeper; the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries — know the struggle is far from over. One of them, the nonprofit Scenic Hudson, recently began an all-out campaign to protect 65,000 acres of land along the Hudson from sprawl and overdevelopment. This is a 10-year project that will require cooperation among various land trusts, New York State and the federal government.

    The goal is noble, its future uncertain. The financial crisis has put a huge dent in both public and private resources. But economic recovery will come someday, and the river will still be here. Long after this week’s party ends, there will still be serious work to do to preserve the Hudson River’s long-term vitality, and we are counting on New York State to dive back in.

    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company


    Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries

    Scenic Hudson

    The Nature Conservancy in New York

  15. #15
    European Import KenNYC's Avatar
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    I got the Mannahatta Project book a few days ago, and it's really interesting, and a lot of great pictures and illustrations. Can be easily recommended.

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