Upcoming Events

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Book Talk: “Buried Beneath the City: An Archaeological History of New York”

Sponsored by:

Lower East Side Preservation Initiative

Bowery Alliance of Neighbors

Grace Church School

Tuesday, May 7, 6:00pm 

At Grace Church School, 46 Cooper Square

This illustrated book talk is a LIVE event, Free. It is part of Lower East Side History Month.

Space is limited: Registration is required. See below for registration information.

“Buried Beneath the City: An Archaeological History of New York”: H. Arthur Bankoff, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology from Brooklyn College and Amanda Sutphin, Director of Archaeology at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, will be sharing highlights from their book, co-written with two other archaeologists, that retells the history of New York – from the deeper layers of the past to the topsoil of recent events. 

The book explores the ever-evolving city and the day-to-day world of its residents through artifacts, from the first traces of Indigenous societies more than ten thousand years ago to the detritus of Dutch and English colonization and through to the burgeoning city’s transformation into the modern metropolis. It demonstrates how the archaeological record often goes beyond written history by preserving mundane things―details of everyday life that are beneath the notice of the documentary record. These artifacts reveal the density, diversity, and creativity of a city perpetually tearing up its foundations to rebuild itself.  

About the Speakers:

Amanda Sutphin is an Urban Archaeologist and serves as the Director of Archaeology at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, the largest municipal preservation agency in the nation.  Amanda oversees the department which reviews proposed subsurface work in New York City subject to environmental review and, for some sites, Landmarks Law and then oversees any ensuing archaeology. She created and manages the NYC Archaeological Repository: The Nan A. Rothschild Research Center which curates about 1,000,0000 artifacts to make them accessible digitally and to scholars by appointment.  She has more than two decades of professional experience protecting the city’s archaeological resources and is co-author of the award-winning book Buried Beneath the City: An Archaeological History of New York. 

H. Arthur Bankoff was the advisor to the chair for archaeology at the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and is a professor emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. He has worked at many sites in the city in the last forty years and other sites abroad.  

Buy the Book:

If you order “Buried Beneath the City: An Archaeological History of New York” from Columbia University Press, you can get 20% off by using the code CUP20. Books will not be available for sale at the event. 

Copies are also available at local bookstores such as Strand

About the Sponsors:

Lower East Side Preservation Initiative — LESPI — is a not-for-profit organization formed in 2007, dedicated to the preservation of the historic buildings and streetscapes of the traditional Lower East Side, which includes the East Village, LES below Houston Street, Chinatown, Little Italy and the Bowery. 

Bowery Alliance of Neighbors — BAN — is a nonprofit grassroots organization working to protect residents, small businesses, the neighborhood and the historic character of the Bowery. 

Grace Church School teaches skills of intellectual excellence and habits of ethical virtue, believing that these qualities depend upon each other to find their fullest expression in good lives, well lived. Through a pedagogy of joy, our teachers foster the wonder of our students to inspire a lasting love of learning. Our curriculum, grounded in tradition and open to innovation, helps students build a strong foundation of knowledge, a command of words and numbers, and a sense of purpose in their pursuits as scholars, artists, athletes, and citizens.     

Registration is required; register HERE.

The program is free, DONATIONS are welcome to help cover costs.

Contact info@LESPI-nyc.org with any questions. Thank you.

Past Live Events

For past Zoom webinars and meetings, see LESPI’s YouTube Channel and/or the list of videos below.

LESPI’s Photographers’ Talk on October 28 at The Loisaida Center was quite an event. Having braved a dumping of rain to join us, the crowd was treated to 8 professional photographers discussing the stories, inspirations, and techniques behind their work in LESPI’s “Lens on the Lower East Side” photo journal books. We wrapped up the evening chatting over light refreshments – fantastic!

LESPI sponsored a wonderful book talk on September 6 , “Spotlight on the East Village” featuring author Ada Calhoun, at P&T Knitwear Bookstore on Orchard Street.
On September 5 LESPI cosponsored the panel discussion “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine: A Conversation on the Future of Vulnerable Historic Buildings in New York City,” where various experts discussed how best to save historic buildings in danger of demolition.

Watch videos of these past LESPI webinar events at LESPI’s YouTube Channel, below is a sampling: