Mike Wallace on Mission of the Gotham Center Founded in 2000 by historian Mike Wallace, the Gotham Center for New York City History is part of the City University of New York's Graduate Center. The popularity of his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 ( co-authored with Edwin Burrows ), inspired him to create a public center devoted to the history of New York. The Gotham Center's mission is to examine and explore the city's rich history, and to make it more accessible to citizens and scholars, teachers and students, locals and out-of-towners. We accomplish this by bringing together an array of talented scholars and buffs, curators and archivists, librarians and teachers, filmmakers and preservationists, all of whom study, preserve, and present its rich and fascinating past. We are committed to providing free access to the best and most interesting developments in New York City history by creating high-quality, relevant, and cutting-edge programs, and through our website, offering an extensive virtual guide to history-related resources. We want both to entertain, by providing an entree to one of the most fascinating cities on earth, and to illuminate the present by thinking critically about the past. New York is in constant flux ; understanding how it evolved is an indispensable precondition for shaping its future.