Resident Historian, Renaissance woman and Preservationist, Allison B. Siegel focuses on 18th through the mid-20th century New York City history. She has collaborated on numerous National Register nominations and Landmark Preservation Commission applications most with successful outcomes. Obsessed with all things history including hauntings, Allison can be found exploring, photographing and gawking at buildings, sharing their histories. She has an impressive collection of urban artifacts courtesy of adventures into the abandoned. A pirate preservationist, urban explorer and our ghost-teller of neighborhoods' past, NYC and Allison? Like tenement brick and mortar. Her roots here date back to 17th century Lower East Side as depicted by several tattoos on her person. Allison was born and currently resides in Manhattan.

Posts by Allison

Down in the Vault: Brooklyn Bridge’s Champagne History and Caviar Dreams

Last modified July 27, 2017 at 11:40 pm

The day I meandered around the Brooklyn Bridge mooring and ended up within the vault interior on the Manhattan side was the day a faux accent got me the hell out of dodge… Miss, are you lost? Ya. Do you speak in English? You can’t be in here. Tour. Ya. Lost. Ya. Lost in a […]

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Gregg Allman: Please Call Home (a Tribute)

Posted June 2, 2017 at 9:44 am

Won’t you fly high, free bird. On Sunday, May 27, 2017, the music died. At least for a little while. Southern rock, jam band, blues titan, Gregg LeNoir Allman passed away from liver cancer at the age of 69. He was a newlywed (7 times a lady, ah, musicians) and father of 5. Lynyrd Skynyrd […]

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Can Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Bounce Back from this Arsonist Inferno?

Last modified May 18, 2017 at 8:09 am

It’s become international news – the three-alarm fire that engulfed the inner sanctuary of the 167-year-old 60 Norfolk Street, formerly home to Beth Hamedrash Hagadol (“BHH”). The investigation is still ongoing, but here are some updates. First, at the top of our list: Was it arson? Yes. The 14-year-old kid who allegedly started the fire – […]

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Before Beth Hamedrash Hagadol was Destroyed by Fire [PHOTOS]

Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:07 am

One of the oldest synagogue buildings on the Lower East Side is on death’s door. Sunday night at around 7pm, a 3-alarm fire broke out in the vacant Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue on Norfolk Street. The blaze hollowed out the structure, leaving naught but a charred facade. It’s totally destroyed. So, we thought it appropriate to revisit […]

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This Was New York … in 1900 [VIDEO]

Posted March 16, 2017 at 9:41 am

Thank you to the Travel Film Archive for sharing some raw 1900 New York with the masses. Take a break from Instagram and watch our city turn street corners and a century. 20 plus minutes of “wow.” Every day was an adventure without apps and chats. As always…

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Did You Know that NYC has its Own Naval Militia? [HISTORY]

Posted February 24, 2017 at 9:49 am

Ever heard of the New York Naval Militia? I hadn’t, but now that I have, why not share? From their website: The New York Naval Militia was organized as a Provisional Naval Battalion in 1889 and was formally mustered into State service as the First Battalion, Naval Reserve Artillery, on 23 June 1891. Today, the New […]

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Uncapped: Connecting with New York Street Bomber ‘Easy’

Last modified February 10, 2017 at 10:33 am

Finally. An interview almost a year in the making for a man whose name currently sells on canvas for $5,000. He is easily (no pun intended) the most prolific bomber in NYC. Boogie faithful please welcome, EASY to our Uncapped series. Bowery Boogie: Thanks for joining us.  I cannot think of one person in the graffiti […]

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One Final Visit to 118 East 1st Street (and Darinka) Before Demolition [PHOTOS]

Posted February 8, 2017 at 5:11 am

Grab your flashilights ’cause we are going back to the beginning of 118 East 1st Street, and also to face the sad reality that is demolition all over our neighborhood. Hard hats must be worn at all times. Do not ascend stairwell, floors have been removed. Do not open this door, roof has been removed. […]


Take a Walk Through the Abandoned Bowery Subway Station [VIDEO]

Posted January 26, 2017 at 5:14 am

If you’re planning a visit to the abandoned Bowery subway station, which I am not encouraging, make sure to bring bail money and are ready to run. The city’s Vandal Squad has eyes on this NYC gem 24/7. As an alternative, check out the video below, shot in 2015 by YouTuber Urban NYC. It’s definitely […]

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The Heartbreak of Death and Social Media

Posted December 23, 2016 at 5:19 am

Have you ever  accidentally “unfollowed” or “unfriended” a deceased loved one? We are truly at the mercy of social media for better or worse. POLOGEI$T (a.k.a Angel Pomales) was murdered in April, 2016. His Instagram page is private. Every so often I scroll through to see his face. Today, my fingers accidentally hit unfollow and his page […]