Damien Cregeau on “Mad Men in the Age of Downton Abbey"

Lunch and Learn Series

Damien Cregeau on “Mad Men in the Age of Downton Abbey\

Thursday, July 21, 2016 | 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Manhattan’s skyline is quickly changing, with major construction projects in the planning and building stages. As such, it seems imperative that we remember the historic buildings that were torn down in the 20th century, as well as those that are increasingly obscured by new skyscrapers.

The title of this talk refers to two of the most popular television shows in recent history. “Mad Men” reflects the fact that powerful businessmen with considerably large egos, imaginations and deep pockets were responsible for an incredible variety of architectural masterpieces. The most notable buildings that remain from this era are the 1913 Woolworth Building and the lesser-known but equally interesting American International Building, built in 1931 at 70 Pine Street. Many landmark buildings have also been tragically demolished -- the last one being the tallest building ever demolished in New York, the Singer Building, which was built in 1908 and torn down in 1968.

This colorful 45-minute PowerPoint presentation beautifully illustrates not only the skyscrapers but also the Downton-Abbey-like in-town mansions of the Vanderbilts, Astors and others that were largely demolished in the 20th century. A splash of social history is interwoven into the presentation, not only for the aforementioned houses, but for such scandals as the murder of an actress associated with Stanford White, the famed architect of the second Madison Square Garden.

About the Speaker
Damien Cregeau is an independent historian from Connecticut and New Jersey who earned his Bachelor’s degree in history from Hillsdale College in Michigan and his Master’s degree in history from Colorado State University. His architectural experience includes working for his father’s architectural firm, Cregeau Associates, for many years in Washington, Connecticut. Mr. Cregeau was most recently the narrator for the new Benedict Arnold Walking Trail in Norwich, Connecticut, an architectural and historical tour of various homes and other historic buildings in that town’s oldest historic district. You can listen to his narration here.