Remembering Barry Lewis

POSTED ON: February 3, 2021

Barry Lewis teaching in 2016. Photo by Mario Morgado

Barry Lewis teaching in 2016. Photo by Mario Morgado

Long-time continuing education instructor Barry Lewis passed away on January 12, 2021. Lewis was an architectural historian whose series of walking tours throughout New York City for WNET/Thirteen were nominated for multiple Emmy’s. He taught “The City Transformed,” from 1994-2018 in Cooper’s Department of Continuing Education, a hugely popular course that ran for over 20 years. Conversant in the styles and building methods of his native city, Lewis was renowned for his breadth of knowledge as well as his high-energy presentations. In addition to his teaching and television work, he also lectured widely at cultural and academic institutions such as the Smithsonian; the Morgan Library; the University of Pennsylvania; and the Central Park Conservancy. Read more about his life from the New York Times.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.