NYC walking tours
Lower East Side History Project NYC Walking Tours
About Us

The Lower East Side History Project (LESHP) is a non-profit organization under the fiscal sponsorship of Bowery Arts and Science, 501(c)(3)

Who we are
LESHP programs are organized and operated by community historians, educators, artists, activists and preservationists dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the history, culture and community of the Lower East Side. Everyone involved with LESHP are native or veteran New Yorkers who are active community members who take great pride in their work and neighborhood.

Our mission
LESHP's mission is to document the Lower East Side's great history comprehensively and accurately and utilize this information to raise awareness of the Lower East Side's historic significance and influence in world history. The Project has been collecting important data since 2001, and countless students, journalists, preservationists, media outlets, educators and history junkies continue to utilize our information.

What we do
LESHP provides educational programming to K-12 and university level students, public walking tours, media consultation, research services, and special events, lectures and presentations.

How we are funded
LESHP is funded by public walking tours, generous donations, a membership program, and recently awarded a grant from the prestigious Citizen's Committee for New York.

Board of Advisers:

Al Orensanz, Ph.D
Executive Director,
Angel Orensanz Foundation & Center

Margaret Halsey Gardiner
Executive Director,
Merchant's House Museum

Andrew Berman
Executive Director,
Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Tamara Greenfield
Executive Director,
Fourth Arts Block, 4th Street Cultural District

Jan Hanvik
Executive Director,
Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center
Educational Committee member,
The NYC Collaborative for Fairness and Equity in Philanthropy

Quinn Raymond
Founder & Executive Director,
Coalition of Block and Tenant Associations (COBATA)

Bill Millard, Ph.D
Published journalist, editor and architectural historian

Alan Solomon
Local business owner, historian

Mary Tierney
Board of Directors,
Theater for the New City

Steve Warnick
Executive Director,
P.S. 122

Fiscal Sponsor:
Bowery Arts & Science
Bob Holman
Executive Director


Citizens Committee for New York City

Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy

4th St Cultural District

Merchant's House Museum

Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Historic Districts Council

New York Public Library

NY Historical Society

Angel Orensanz Foundation

Municipal Art Society

The New Museum

Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center

Story Corps Dixon Place

Big Apple Greeter

Tenement Museum

Bowery Mission

Metropolitan Playhouse

Lower East Side Girls Club

NOHO/Bowery Partnership

A.C.E. programs for the Homeless

Bowery Arts & Science

Guides Association of New York City

ericEric Ferrara is founder and executive director of Lower East Side History Project, as well as a published author, movie and TV consultant and fourth generation Lower East Sider who has made it his life mission to document his neighborhood's great history and share it with the world. More about Eric here.
robRob Hollander, Ph.D, a native East Side New Yorker, author, researcher and licensed tour guide, moved into Alphabet City in the 1970's, during its most desperate years of poverty, and has never left. A neighborhood preservationist and community activist, Hollander earns his living as an academic linguist and early music vocalist while contributing articles to various online media sources and published works on, among other subjects, tenement architecture and local history.
davidDavid Bellel is a native Lower East Sider who graduated from Stuyvesant HS and went on to earn a master's degree in education from Brooklyn College. David has been an educator, program developer and mentor in the New York City school system since 1968. In retirement, David continues to work with the Department of Education on several initiatives. Davids blog: Knickerbocker Village
andreaAndrea Coyle is a native New Yorker, a licensed NYC tour guide, and a member of The Guides Association of NYC. She is a graphic artist, has been an early education preschool teacher, and was the Director of Outreach for Lower East Side History Project from 2009 through 2013. Andrea is a community activist and is passionate about preserving the fabric and culture of NYC neighborhoods, and supporting independent small businesses.
sethSeth Franklin Abrams is a native New York City writer, producer, actor and founding curator for the Museum of the American Gangster, Seth is also the creator of Our Gotham, a film series that is set in the underworld of 1904 New York chronicling the exploits of the legendary Monk Eastman, Kid Twist and a host of other unforgettable characters. Franklin also produced Inside a Change, recipient of the 2009 Best Film Award at the 2009 HBO New York International Latino Film Festival. As an actor, Franklin has appeared in a host of films, video games and videos.
anthonyAnthony Donovan, award winning documentarian, author, BSN, medical manager serving NYC's sick for 35 years, is a fifth generation New Yorker living in the East Village for the past 20 years. His mother is of the notable McAllister tugboat family (incorporated in NYC 1868). Frequenting the Lower East Side for it's rich music scene since 1968, that same year he began his passion and journey into Interfaith events and services throughout NYC.
cornThom Corn is a respected, veteran artist whose work has exhibited throughout New York City since 1981. With numerous credits to his name, Thom was an original organizing founder of Bullet Space, a pioneering artist collective/squat on the Lower East Side (1988-1991) and since 1998, has maintained an ongoing "environmental survival mechanism" entitled Uncle Thom's Cotton Patch. Besides his impressive success in arts, music, poetry and film, Thom is a veteran, licensed tour guide with an incredible wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience.
cary abramsCary Abrams is a native New Yorker who graduated from Stuyvesant HS, City College and NYU and has been involved in local politics and arts since the 1960s. He is a retired NYC public school history teacher who developed training materials for institutions like the Whitney Museum and has written and presented numerous papers on local history, including The New York School of Poets and their relation to the Beats, at the 1994 NYU Beat Conference.
© 2003-2015 Lower East Side History Project c/o Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003