This post is about a tour of NYC’s historic PARK AVENUE ARMORY on May 1st.  However, there is NO TIME TO DITHER as you need to act fast because these tickets are evaporating as this is being written.  MWC’ers, go to the “PARK AVENUE ARMORY” channel on MWC-SLACK and click on the link there to get your ticket.  They are $30/$25 (Senior) and we’ve already been squeezed out of one of these tours – so, you know the drill; you snooze, you lose.  You need to be there promptly (you know, the big red, out of place building on Park between 66th/67th Streets) by 10:45am – the tour starts at 11am.  This event has been created by MWC Member Lydia C.  Go to the MWC-SLACK channel now to get your ticket, see who else is going and perhaps arrange to get together before or afterwards. 

Most of us have attended events in the Arnory’s cavernous drilil hall – yes, it’s so big because the Seventh Regiment used to do military exercises there (with horses)!  But now it is used for avant garde theatrical events (several years ago the MWC saw the LEHMAN TRILOGY there), antique and art shows, soignee benefits …etc.  The 75-minute guided walking tour is of this Upper East Side landmark building which was designed in the Gothic Revival style and dedicated in 1880. The Armory was built by New York State’s prestigious Seventh Regiment of the National Guard, the first volunteer militia to respond to President Lincoln’s call for troops in 1861.  This militia was known as the Silk Stocking Regiment due to the disproportionate number of its members who were part of the city’s social elite of the Gilded Age.

But the jewels in this building are its ORIGINAL, UNCHANGED detailed interior rooms which are furnished with ornamental woodwork, marble and stained glass. Over the last several years there has been a painstaking restoration of this National Landmark focusing on these very rooms.  The tour will cover the achingly beautiful  first-floor rooms, and some second-floor areas not normally open to the public.  One of the most celebrated rooms is the library which is known as the Silver Room or “Trophy Room” and was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany who worked with architect Stanford White on the project. The masterpiece of the armory building is the Veterans Room, also known as the Tiffany Room, with hand carved wood paneling and coffered ceiling. The soaring 55,000 square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall is impressive if only for its size – right in the middle of Manhattan! – and for the ghosts of the amazing events which have been presented there.  -Including Kenneth Branagh’s MACBETH where the huge room was made into a moor which audience members had to traipse through to get to their seats!

Defying all expectations in a city which constantly tears things down to build the newest, coolest and biggest – this is a diamond smack-dab in the middle of midtown for all to see.  No wonder tickets go fast!


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