Date: Sunday, May 22nd
Time: 2pm sharp – 4pm
Admission: $25 cash per person
***SOLD OUT***, but email phantasmaphile [at] gmail.com if you’d like to be added to the waitlist
Time Out magazine calls it a “can’t-miss event” featuring “seldom-told stories of New York’s mystical history”
Presented by Phantasmaphile
*We will be meeting at 2pm at the front gates of Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue just north of East 29th Street, in front of the bronze statue of Norman Vincent Peale.
**You must RSVP to phantasmaphile [at] gmail.com if you plan on attending, as we have a 40 person maximum for this event.
Long before the “Aquarian Age” hit California, America’s laboratories of spiritual experiment were in the tenements of Hell’s Kitchen, the metaphysical churches built in New York’s old cow pastures, and the lodges nestled among Manhattan office buildings. Join Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America, for a walking tour to explore New York City’s astonishing – and overlooked – role in igniting the occult revival and the revolutions in alternative spirituality that swept America (and the world) from the nineteenth century to the present day.
Discover little-known landmarks of our underground spiritual legacy, such as:
The New York New Church. This beautifully restored Renaissance-revival Swedenborgian church was a wellspring of supernatural ideas in America in the mid-nineteenth century, when its pulpit was presided over by Spiritualist minister George Bush – ancestor to the Bush presidential clan.
Fred F. French Building. This jewel of the art deco movement of the early-twentieth century is a landmark of esoteric symbols and hidden imagery, designed by an aficionado of the occult who left his mysterious markings on apartment and office buildings across New York City.
Marble Collegiate Church. From the pulpit of this Romanesque church (and one of America’s earliest congregations) the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale spread the philosophy of “positive thinking” throughout America – a spiritual system built on American mystical teachings.
Occult Grand Central. The crowning edifice of the beaux-arts architectural movement, Grand Central Station forms a temple of esoteric and mythical imagery (some of it hand-picked by the Vanderbilt family), including magnificent statues of Hermes, Athena, and Hercules, and a domed ceiling featuring one of the largest and most intriguing zodiac murals in the world.
Esoteric Lodges. The tour identifies and discusses remarkable and little-known spiritual lodges nestled along midtown Manhattan streets that many of us walk down each day.
The Lamasery. In the 1870s this west-side tenement housed the salon of the occult Theosophical Society, whose earliest members included Thomas Edison, Major-General Abner Doubleday, and the mysterious Russian noblewoman Madame Blavatsky. This is where Civil War-era Colonel Henry Steel Olcott said he was visited by mysterious “Masters” who heralded the dawn of a new spiritual age.
Here is an unforgettable opportunity to experience a lively and up-close overview of the “secret history” found right in our own neighborhoods. Plus a few surprises along the way…
A widely known writer and speaker on the history and impact of alternative spirituality, Mitch Horowitz is the editor-in-chief of Tarcher/Penguin and the author of Occult America (Bantam), which The Washington Post Book World called: “Fascinating…a serious, wide-ranging study of all the magical, mystical, and spiritual movements that have arisen and influenced American history in often-surprising ways.” The book received the 2010 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence. Horowitz has written for The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, and BoingBoing, and has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, Dateline NBC, and All Things Considered. Visit him online at www.MitchHorowitz.com