I have been a real estate professional for over 20 years and have lived in the Upper East Side for the last decade, and I tend to be very aware of buildings and their histories in my neighborhood. Yet in this walking tour guided by Michael Hirsch, I was made aware of architectural details I had never noticed and given the back-story of many amazing structures built throughout the last couple of centuries. This tour gives you more than an appreciation of the structures themselves, it gives color and depth to the society that created many of them, from the exclusive private clubs to the mansions of the Gilded Age that required 25-30 servants for a family of 2 or 3. You gain insight into the exorbitance of wedding gifts and the extravagance of a day gone by. In addition, you learn about the varying styles of architecture and the materials and motifs that were popular in different eras. If you live in NYC and want to learn more about your home, or if you are visiting and need to make the most of your time, this tour is DEFINITELY worthwhile! Take the time to walk the streets where Vanderbilt, Rockefeller and Carnegie lived. Stroll by hotels where history has been made; peer into the past of the most exclusive private clubs in the country and learn more about the fabulous Frick Museum.
Michael took us on a tour through the Upper East Side. Even though I live in Queens and work in Manhattan, I neeeever go to the UES. It was cool to see all the historic buildings and houses, see where the richest of the rich bought houses for their children's wedding present (which they never even lived in). Michael lives in the neighborhood, so having a local is great for guideship.
A great tour not to be missed! Michael Hirsch, architect, historian and preservationist, does an incredible job of walking us through the many remarkable gems on the Upper East Side that have beem predominantly but unintentionally overlooked by other guides. The Upper East Side is a neighborhood often walked by many but Michael is terrific at highlighting what we might see every day but not fully appreciate without his knowledge of the archetypal building styles and the people and organizations that have inhabited them over the years. I highly recommend this to everyone interested in an educational and entertaining walk!