Museum of the City of New York
An Audio Guide for a Walking Tour of Gilded New York
Walking Through History on City Streets
To produce an audio guide walking tour that would bring the exhibition Gilded New York out of the Museum and into the streets of the city and reveal stories about New York’s wealthiest elite at the turn of the 20th century, while visiting the extravagant mansions and lofty cultural monuments they built up and down and around Fifth Avenue.
Concept Consulting Editing Audio Production
Principal Robin White Owen worked closely with Jessica Lautin, Associate Curator at the Museum of the City of New York, to create the mobile app.
It’s full of wonderful stories about the lives of the rich and famous – Astors and Carnegies, Fricks and Vanderbilts, to name a few – and places like Tiffany’s, where they bought their jewels; Delmonico’s, where they dined; Lord & Taylor, where they shopped; and the Metropolitan Club, where they socialized.
Some of these buildings no longer exist. Some, like the Warburg mansion, have been repurposed. For example, Frieda Warburg gave their home to The Jewish Theological Seminary for the Jewish Museum. Fortunately, several survive and walking from one to the other, while listening to these stories, enriches our understanding of what makes New York such a great city.
You can listen and look at scores of photographs of the original buildings and their owners, their jewels, evening gowns, and decorative objects, while you walk. Or you can sit on your couch and be an armchair traveler for an afternoon, while taking the tour of all 18 stops on your iPad.
People have enjoyed engaging with history while using A Walk Through Gilded New York. The app has been used over 19,000 times, helping users to seamlessly merge the past and present, and to imagine what life was like for the wealthiest New Yorkers.