Infotrue Educational Experiences by Rick Landman


Want to book a 1.5 hour Walking Tour learning about NYC's history of Urban Renewal and Housing Discrimination/ Segregation while waking through the Urban Renewal site in Greenwich Village?

Learn about the conflicts of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs while walking through one of the major Urban Renewal-Highway controversies.

Here are some of the groups who participated in past walks.

Hunter College
Hunter College
2 Sections of Hunter College Urban Planning and Policy Class - 2018.

Wagner 2009
NYU's Wagner School UPSA Tour- 2009
Garden City Action Committee (GCAC)- Singapore 2011

Garden City Action Committee (GCAC)- Singapore 2011 Tour

The GCAC comprises senior management (CEOs, Directors etc.) from several government agencies and aims to promote greenery and greening initiatives. These agencies include the Ministry of National Development (MND), the National Parks Board and URA. The delegation of about 13 government officers will be led by Deputy Secretary (Planning, MND) Ms Chang Hwee Nee. The GCAC will be in New York on the 25-26th October 2011. We will be hosted by the NYC Department of City Planning while we are there.

This tour is given by Rick Landman, a land use professor and attorney and former Chair of the Landmarks Committee, Planning Committee and Tribeca Committee of Community Board #1 Manhattan. He is a Native New Yorker who was born under Mayor Impellitteri's term when Truman was president. That was before Brown v. Bd of Education and the various Civil Rights laws during the mid 1960's. He was part of the "bussing" guinea pig students to end segregation in the NYC Public Schools. He grew up in NYC when "separate but equal" was the law of the land in both private and public housing. He also worked for NYU for almost 20 years as an administrator and adjunct professor. Many of his stories about the subject are from first hand memories.

Did you know that:
  • The original apartment houses under the Urban Renewal plan were for "whites" only?
  • La Guardia Place was named in honor of the end of Robert Moses's plan?
  • There was a law suit by Ed Koch to get one of the Silver Towers to be a coop for the community?
  • There is an early example of Visual Artists Rights Act on Broadway?
  • Houston was widened to be an automotive street?
  • The origninal NYU gym had to have its roof used for recreational purposes?
  • The Mews and part of NYU was part of Sailors Snug Harbor?
  • The Lower Manhattan Expressway and its feeder roads were going to eliminate the Village and SoHo?
  • The Zoning Resolution of 1961's Tower in the Park had a great impact on the area?
  • The Urban Renewal Plan's photo of urban blight later became a shining example of federal individual landmarks?
  • How the Phillip Johnson plan was to remove the entire NYU campus and replace it with buildings similar to Bobst?
  • The Provincetown Playhouse has been rebuilt several times?
  • The fountain in the Park has been moved and that before that buses and cars drove through the Park?
  • The bluestone sidewalk and street lights came about due to a lawsuit between NYU and various City Agencies?

Click Here for more details about other Walking Tours

Examples of other Walking Tours in Lower Manhattan.


�Arch�1. Starting at the Arch in Washington Square Park we will have a brief discussion of the Urban Renewal program and Landmark Preservation movement. If you scroll up and look at the top pictures you will see the rendering of the Urban Renewal Plan, which was created to remove the "blight" from the neighborhood. How did local politics come into play? �Johnson�2. This was the Philip Johnson Master plan which was proposed before Bobst was constructed. Bobst was to be the prototypical building of 150 feet high and made of red sandstone. Do you know what happened to the sandstone quarry?
�Bobst3. This was the vacant lot after the former structures were demolished where Bobst now sits. Can you see why the community was a bit perturbed about Bobst's lack of open space? �Bluestone�4. We will then carefully cross the street to walk on the recreated bluestone sidewalk, which came into existence out of a Landmarks Preservation controversy. Can you tell which flags are new and which are original?
�Mews�5. Walking around the corner we will go through the privately owned street called Washington Mews and discuss its history. �1/2�6. When we approach Fifth Avenue we will discuss the creation of the address 1/2 Fifth Avenue and will view the Kimmel Building from the north. Do you know why the address of 1/2 was chosen?
�No.3�7. Why is this house different from all of the other rowhouses? Why is this door painted green? �pless�8. Why is the balustrade beige and the cornice black? Why isn't it the same colors as Goddard Hall, namely beige and red?
�shirtwaist�9. HISTORICAL NOTE: On March 25, 1911 the Asche Building had the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. �happyland�10. HISTORICAL NOTE: On March 25, 1990 the Happyland Fire in the Bronx occurred. How did both fires affect NYU's real estate portfolio?
�WTC�11. This is a view of the Arch when Loeb Student Center was still standing, when the trees covered Loeb and when the camera is not tilted. �Kimmel��Kimmel�12. This is the view after the Kimmel Center was completed. As you can see, it depends on how you tilt your camera to show if Kimmel is in the view or not. If you scroll up to picture No. 1, you can see the view before Loeb was even built; and the warehouse behind Loeb was still visible.
�sign�13. We will continue west on Washington Square North and then south on Washington Square West.Which plaque received a Landmarks Preservation Violation for not being filed when it was installed by a civic group? �Provincetown�14. We will leave the Greenwich Village Historic District and walk on MacDougal Street and pass the former Provincetown Playhouse site.
�MacDougal�15. Continuing our walk, we will pass the 3 houses which were once the "poster child" of the Urban Renewal plan, depicting the blight. �MacDougal16. The same 3 houses are currently protected by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
�Bobst�17. Do you know why Bobst sticks out so far to the west on LaGuardia Place? Do you know why it is now called LaGuardia Place and not West Broadway or Lower Fifth Avenue? �Sullivan�18. Do you know where the open space and FAR went to for this garden space? What is underneath the street?
�poe�19. Walking eastward on West Third Street we will discuss the former Elevated Subway line. Do you know where the Poe House actually was situated before it's facade was incorporated into Furman Hall? �WSV�20. We go south on La Guardia Place discussing the whole issue of Robert Moses and Mayor LaGuardia. We will then walk through the residential portion of the Urban Renewal plan, staying on the former street grid.
�WSVKing�21. The retail area of the Urban Renewal Plan (with a commercial overlay) once housed the Martin Luther King Center African-American Student Center. �Garden�22. The interior open space of Washington Square Village was not open to the public or even to NYU affiliates. Do you know who was permitted to use the elevated park? It is now open to the public.
�Picasso�23. We then cross Bleecker Street and walk through the I. M. Pei superblock and discuss the lawsuit by Edward I. Koch and the creation of the third tower for community residents. Do you think that Picasso was the artist of the large Sylvette sculpture or could it be some Norwegian artist? �Houston24. The tour ends up on Houston Street walking back to the Puck Building. We will pass another lawsuit dealing with who owns public artwork that is installed on the side of a commercial condo within a Historic District. Do you know who owns the public artwork that is affixed to buildings? Is it the condo, the artist or the city?
�Calvin�25. Is this obscene? How does the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution affect land use law when it comes to public advertising signs and the regulations that control them? The First Amendment also comes into play with religious land use issues, such as Crosses on public lands, and steeple heights, etc. Useful Information:

Click Here to see the NYC Zoning Map for the area around NYU.

Click Here to see the Landmarks Preservation Designation Report for the NYU block of Silver Towers (Block 524).

Most of the area is in the R7-2 Zoning District, which permits residential and community facility (university) uses as-of-right, with a maximum residential FAR of 3.44 and a Community Facility (or mixed building) FAR of 6.5. Part of the area is covered with special Urban Renewal restrictions and covenants.

  • Rick Landman, Esq., a Native New Yorker, has been an AICP Certified Planner for over 30 years, and an Attorney since 1988.

  • He is an adjunct Professor of Planning at NYU's Wagner School and taught a Land Use law class from 2003 - 2009. His class is a required core class for the Urban Planning Masters students. After that he became an Adjunct Professor at New York Law School, teaching his Land Use Law class as a seminar for law school students.

  • Rick has 3 Masters Degrees (M.C.R.P. in City and Regional Planning, Ed.M. in Curriculum Development, M.S. in Civil (Socio) Engineering) and a J.D. in law (cum laude). His B.A. was in Sociology. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1988, and is now an Attorney Emeritus.

  • He was the Executive Director of Real Estate Development for the City of New York for 5 years and was the Director of Real Estate Development at NYU for 19 years.

  • One of Professor Landman's Masters Degrees was an Ed.M. in Curriculum Planning, so if you want a "Tour in the Classroom" lecture that can also be arranged. The lectures will be age appropriate to your needs. He also has a permanent certification as a Social Studies Teacher (grades 7-12) since 1974.

  • Rick was the chair of several committees of Community Board #1 Manhattan, including the chair of the Planning & Community Infrastructure Committee, the Tribeca Committee and chaired what is now called the Landmarks Committee when Tribeca was first designated in 1992.

  • He moved into a Lower Manhattan converted apartment in the 1970's, that is approximately 1,000 feet from the World Trade Center.

  • He is a licensed NYC Sightseeing Tour Guide. License No.: 1281818 exp. 3/31/20.

  • He also has dual citizenship between the USA and Germany. He is the son of two Jewish Holocaust Survivors, and is active in several Second Generation programs.

The Standard Rate for Large Group Tours: usually for up to 20 persons in a group or class which follows one of the existing listed Tours is $300.
The lecture can be modified to meet your group's needs. For an additional $50 a new Tour can be researched and designed just for your group's individualized needs. This is like having a special tutorial by your own professor and not just a tour guide.

Each Tour is approximately one and a half hours long.

FORM OF PAYMENT Cash, Travelers Checks or NYS checks (with proper identification are acceptable forms of payment.

Clients assume all liability and risks during the walks. Please be vigilant when crossing the streets.

The tours are given in English or German (Deutsch).

Should the tour guide cancel the tour, then a total refund of any deposit will be given and no fee will be charged for the tour. No consequential damages will be offered. However, if the tour was an individualized tour that required specific research, then the deposit from the group is not refundable, should the group decide to cancel. But the rest of the fee will be forgiven should the group wish to cancel the tour. Please give at least 24 hours notice.

To make a reservation, please click the email icon below and supply the following in the email. Make sure that you get a written confirmation from me before considering the reservation confirmed:
  • The time and days that you are interested in having a tour
  • How many people are expected in your group
  • The location that you are interested in seeing
  • Any special interests, such as historical, cultural, religious, architectural, etc. that you would like me to research for your tour.
  • Your name, phone, address and email address
  • Means of payment

NY Metro Chapter, 2011 Autumn Walking Tours


Richard Landman, AICP, Attorney Emeritus* 
APA NY Metro Chapter      OR 


Saturday October 15, 2011 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM EDT


Fifth Avenue and Washington Square North
(Washington Square Park Arch)
Meet underneath the arch
New York, NY 10011

"Greenwich Village's Urban Renewal Plan 

The New York Metro Chapter's autumn series of walking tours - five in total, conducted by Mr. Richard Landman, AICP, Attorney Emeritus - include lectures given as the participants walk through the various areas where the subject matter occurred. Instead of viewing photos or slides, participants are invited to take-in the entire scene to see all of the surrounding contextual aspects that influence the subject, with particular attention to the impacts on, and lessons for urban planning.


  • Greenwich Village Urban Renewal Plan

  • Lower 5th Avenue And Lower Manhattan Expressway Connections

  • Greenwich Village Historic District - Mews

  • Bluestone Sidewalk Litigation on Washington Square North

  • Federal Brownstones On MacDougal And Urban Renewal Demolitions

  • La Guardia Vs. Moses and the Naming of La Guardia Place and Park Washington Square Village

  • Silver Tower Development

  • Lawsuits Concerning Bobst, Silver Towers, Kimmel and Fuchsberg Halls

    Greenwich Village's Urban Renewal Plan:  This tour will analyze the Urban Renewal Plan for Greenwich Village and how it has played out over the past 40 years (along with other Robert Moses concepts). The tour will include many of NYU's 1960-2005 real estate projects and land use laws such as Landmarks and ULURP influenced the area. The tour will include many of NYU's projects, and discuss how the town and gown relationship has evolved over the decades. The creation of the Greenwich Village Historic District will also be discussed. 

    * Richard Landman is a New York City licensed tour guide with three masters degrees and a JD from New York Law School. Richard was the Director of Real Estate Development (in-house land use attorney), at New York University for almost 20 years and an adjunct professor of Land Use Law at NYU's Wagner School for seven years. Currently, he teaches a land use law class at New York Law School and gives walking tours on various topics. He also volunteers at Housing Court once per week and is a court appointed guardian ad litem for the elderly with housing issues. Richard was the chair of Community Board #1 - Manhattan's Landmark Committee, Tribeca Committee and Planning and Infrastructure Committee over the years. Earlier in his career, he was the Executive Director of Real Estate Development for the City of New York's Division of Real Property.