On Friday, September 22, 2023, NYC Parks will host live music and lectures for the unveiling of the historic James Jackson tombstone in Washington Square Park. The event will take place at 11am at Park House, 200 Washington Square, with a host of attendee’s including NYC Parks Manhattan Borough Commissioner Anthony Perez and NYC Parks Art & Antiquities Director Jonathan Kuhn, who will join Washington Square Park Administrator William Morrison, City Council Member Christopher Marte, Chair of Community Board 2 Susan Kent, Consul General of the Irish Consulate Helena Nolan, Executive Director of Village Preservation Andrew Berman, New York University faculty member Marion R. Casey, Consultant Archaeologist JoanGeismar, Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission Sarah Carroll, Irish singer Guen Donohue, NYU Student singer Clare Martin and members of the community, all honoring the unveiling of the historic James Jackson Tombstone.
It was On This Day, September 22nd, in 1799, that James Jackson passed away.
Earlier this year, La MaMa ETC. completed the renovation and restoration of its original theater building at 74A East 4th Street. The individually landmarked building, constructed in 1873 as a German professional orchestral musicians’ association in the heart of what was then New York’s “Kleindeutschland,” later became home to a German singing society, several public meeting and dance halls, the Newsboys Athletic Hall, a laundry, and a meatpacking plant. In the late 1960s, however, it was rescued from abandonment by the scrappy new Off-Off-Broadway theater organization founded by Ellen Stewart, which would become an incomparable powerhouse in its field.
A years long renovation has restored the building to its historic glory, greatly expanded its capacity to serve artists and the public, and won awards and accolades from across the city, including from Village Preservation at our 2023 Annual Village Awards.
La MaMa ETC will be joining Village Preservation to convene a panel discussion and presentation by experts from the theater and the restoration team about the work to transform this beloved historic landmark, followed by a tour of the sparkling new space. Spaces are limited. The Event will take place on Wednesday, July 12th at 6:00pm with pre-registration (spaces are limited). This is a Free and in-person event.
After years of planning and delays, the tiny triangular Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza, unveiled its artist renderings for the’ Poets in the Park Monument‘ ~ memorializing the literary heritage of the Mahjar writers in a place that lies adjacent to the former Syrian Quarter near Washington Street in Lower Manhattan.
Award winners were announced for the 33rd Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards for 2023. The Lucy G. Moses Awards are the Conservancy’s highest honors for outstanding preservation efforts, named for a dedicated New Yorker whose generosity benefited the City for more than 50 years.
The Mayor’s Office of the City of New York has released its preliminary 2024 budget, which includes $62.3 million in funding for the restoration of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument and Plaza in Riverside Park.
This huge milestone comes after years of advocacy from Riverside Park Conservancy, elected officials and the public. Among the project’s most active champions has been Council Member Gale Brewer, who launched a petition to save the monument last year that garnered thousands of signatures.
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that nine projects and one individual are being recognized with 2022 New York State Historic Preservation Awards. Projects highlighted with this year’s awards include a community-led establishment of a historic district in Chautauqua County, transformational design of historic garden space in Westchester County, and the completed restoration of a historic pier in New York City.
The ten awards highlight individuals and projects that have contributed to the preservation and adaptive reuse of historic places.
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced eleven transformational projects in Chinatown as part of its $20 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award. In Round 5 of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the Regional Economic Development Councils had the opportunity to award two communities $10 million each or one community $20 million. The New York City Regional Economic Development Council chose to award Chinatown a $20 million award in recognition of the specific and acute effects of the pandemic on Chinatown’s businesses and the wider Asian diaspora in New York City. With these revitalization projects, this historic community can thrive again and open its unique corridors, restaurants, businesses, parks and cultural institutions, becoming, once again, a place to visit and celebrate the ethnic diversity of the Chinatown community in the Lower East Side.
Taken during research for his series of talks exploring the architectural details and clues of past use of the Salmagundi Clubhouse, architectural historian (and Club member) Anthony Bellov presents highly personal images of oft-overlooked aspects of the building, exciting and challenging the viewer to explore their own perceptions and assumptions of this unique structure.
Over the years, Harlemites watched the streetscapes on either side of Lenox Avenue between 119th and 120th Streets, with the hope that the owners had a view toward lovingly restoring these treasured buildings.
Built in the early 1900s, the buildings on the west side of the street attracted businesses, owners of townhomes and renters ~ all contributing to the renovation and preservation of the buildings.
However many of the buildings along that same strip, on the east side of the street, were not maintained, eventually vacated and boarded up. This month, neighbors watched as 186 Lenox Avenue was demolished.
NYC Parks’ Citywide Monuments Conservators were hard at work to preserve more than 25 war memorials ahead of Veterans Day. Parks’ bronze sculptures have been cleaned and rewaxed to make them shine in honor of our veterans.
Jonelle Procope, President and CEO of the Apollo, announced today that after two decades of leading the iconic cultural and civic non-profit dedicated to providing a platform for Black creativity, she will step down on June 30, 2023. Ms. Procope’s leadership, first as a member of the board and then as president and CEO, has transformed a venue that was in disrepair into an internationally recognized cultural institution, expanding it into the largest African American performing arts presenting organization with one of the most diverse boards and audiences in the country. Throughout her tenure, the Apollo has also served as an anchor for the revitalization of legendary 125th Street in Harlem and as a center for community and national discourse.
The Julius’ Bar Building located at 186-188 Waverly Place and 159 West 10th Street, held public testimony at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Zoom meeting on November 15, 2022. The iconic building moved forward in its final step, with two of the many speakers in support of Landmarking, Andrew Berman and Randy Wicker, On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously designated the Julius’ Bar Building to be a NYC Individual Landmark. Commissioner Michael Goldblum spoke eloquently about the importance of “holding on to a time in New York‘ when Greenwich Village looked quite different than it does today, and the importance of focusing on the fact that “it’s all about the history.”
Located at West 10th Street and Waverly Place in the Greenwich Village Historic District, the building housing Julius’ Bar is one of the city’s most significant LGBTQ+ history sites. In 1966, three years before the Stonewall Rebellion, members of the Mattachine Society sat at Julius’ bar, ordered drinks, announced they were gay, and were refused service. At a time of rampant discrimination—when few LGBTQ+ people lived openly, and gay New Yorkers were being targeted for arrest in city bars—this courageous act and other events at Julius’ led to major progress in fighting discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and enabling them to gather openly in public places.
Today, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) launched the LPC Designation Photo Collection, a digital photo archive of New York City’s designated landmarks and historic districts. The digital photo archive allows the public to easily search and explore high-resolution images of designated buildings and sites throughout the five boroughs, and property owners, architects and contractors can now easily search and download designation photos as they consider work on these properties. This project was made possible, in part, through a grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
On Tuesday, October 18, 2022, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) held a public hearing on the proposed Melrose Parkside Historic District in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn.
The proposed Melrose Parkside Historic District is a remarkably cohesive and intact group of 38 single- and two-family row houses located on Parkside Avenue between Flatbush and Bedford avenues in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn.
A meeting will be scheduled in the near future for a vote.
The New York City Parks Department Monuments Conservation Program Crew will be heading to Washington Square Park on Thursday, July 21, 2022 to begin intensive stone repairs, micro-abrasive cleaning, and chemical protection to preserve the Washington Square Arch’s masonry.
In honor of Pride Month, today, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), announced the launch of Pride: Celebrating LGBTQ+ Landmarks, an interactive story map highlighting individual landmarks designated for their association with people and organizations that made significant contributions to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) cultural and civil rights movements. Through narrative text, photos, maps, and multimedia content, the public can learn more about the important history behind these landmarks.
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission held hearings on an application to demolish the individual landmarked West-Park Presbyterian Church, located at 541 Amsterdam Avenue in NYC, on the grounds of financial hardship. Speakers lined up on Zoom, on all sides of the issue, with the June 14, 2022 meeting lasting more than four-hours. Below is a little background and a thumbnail sketch of that meeting.
After the June 14th meeting, 8 Commissioners from NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission visited the site. In the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting on July 19, 2022, which lasted 2 1/2 hours, it was determined that after careful (and ongoing expert) review, findings will be presented after Labor Day, and more discussion will take place at that time. View the entire July 19th meeting on YouTube Here.
Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June in 1969. All five boroughs of NYC will celebrate this June, 2022 with a plethora of actives, ending with the historic Pride March on June 26th. Below are just a few suggestions, and we will continue to add to the list.
The Schinasi Mansion, located at 351 Riverside Drive, is the last remaining detached single-family home in Manhattan used as a residence. Built in 1907, the 12,000 square-foot, neo-French-Renaissance style structure was designed by William Tuthill – the architect who designed Carnegie Hall. It was commissioned by the Turkish tobacco baron, Morris Schinasi. Schinasi, who lived there until his death in 1928.
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission voted on June 22, 2021 to designate the Aakawaxung Munahanung (Island Protected from the Wind) Archeological Site on Staten Island as an Individual New York City Landmark.
Located in Tottenville at the southern-most point of Staten Island, the Conference House Park Archaeological Site contains the region’s largest known prehistoric burial ground and the largest and best-preserved known archaeological site documenting Native American life beginning about 8,000 years ago and continuing through the Colonial period. The proposed landmark site includes approximately 20 acres of highly archaeologically sensitive land located within the city’s Conference House Park. Designation would recognize the over-8,000-year history of Native American occupation of the site and protect its below-ground archaeological resources.
This week, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) announced the launch of its Open Office Hours initiative for homeowners considering work on their designated buildings. This initiative will enable property owners to virtually meet one-on-one with preservation staff to discuss their potential projects and ask questions about LPC permitting.
NYC Landmarks Preservation commission voted June 22, 2021 to designate the Kimlau War Memorial in Chinatown a New York City Landmark. The Kimlau War Memorial is significant for its association with the architect Pay G. Lee, and for its importance as a monument dedicated to the contributions of Chinese American veterans.
Grand Central Terminal is a major destination when visiting New York, and a welcome historic site for all who move through it every day. Some points of interest ~ The ceiling in the main concourse featuring 12 constellations painted in gold leaf plus 2,500 stars ~ Information Booth Clock, the crown jewel of Grand Central ~ Whispering Gallery in the low, Guastavino ceramic arches ~ Grand Central market including a wonderful gift section at Eli Zabar’s ~ The Tiffany Clock at the Park Avenue Viaduct ~ The Campbell Bar with its 25-foot hand painted ceilings, grand stone fireplace, and century-old leaded glass window with original millwork ~ Oak leaf and acorn finishes, symbols of the Vanderbilt family ~ Vanderbilts symbol of the age of electricity, exposed light bulbs still on view + more.
In 2021, the Fulton Art Fair celebrated Black History Month and the 100th birthday of artist Richmond Barthé with the announcement of a restoration for the much loved relief, ‘Exodus and Dance.’ at Kingsborough Houses in Weeksville, Brooklyn.
Prospect Park’s historic Endale Arch has been restored to its original splendor with a $500,000 restoration funded by Tiger Baron Foundation and Council Member Brad Lander’s District 39 Participatory Budgeting.
The restoration of this historic arch, one of the first architectural elements in Prospect Park, reveals hidden details not seen in more than a century. Take a look at some pictures at the ribbon-cutting today.
In present day, New Yorkers enjoy a plethora of activities at the Park Avenue Armory, including live performances, concerts, art and antique shows. But the Armory enjoys a history just as exciting ~ completed in 1881, designed and decorated by some of the most sought-after masters of the American Aesthetic Movement during the Gilded Age, and home to the prestigious National Guard’s Seventh Regiment ~ also known as the ‘Silk Stocking Bragade.’ Take a look back in time.
Many New Yorkers have been stepping out of the city during this time of COVID, in search of space ~ more than six-feet of space. Today, we’re taking a leap back in time to 1853, when Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones (1810-1876), a New York Socialite, built a weekend and summer residence in a small town named Rhinebeck, directly across the Hudson River from the currently popular, Kingston. Below, our pictorial visit to what’s left of Rhinecliff (now known as Wyndclyffe).
Scroll down to read a 2023 update on the approval of a stabilization project for this beloved site, and the announcement of Soho House restoration and reuse of the Grasmere Estate, also on Mill Road.
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine received a donation of twelve 17th Century Italian Barberini tapestries in 1891, a year before construction began on the Cathedral itself. In time, the acquisition of a collection of Raphael designed tapestries depicting scenes of the Acts of the Apostles drawn from the New Testament Book of Acts, and nine Mortlake tapestries were acquired. So it should not be surprising that, in 1981, a textile conservation lab was established, by the Cathedral, as a way to care and conserve the collection.
On Sunday, October 22, 2017, preservationists and historians rallied to protect the cultural treasure known as Tin Pan Alley along 28th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue ~ with musical performances and a tour. It was a day to learn about the rich history of the historic one block, known asTin Pan Alley, and the efforts to preserve its heritage, along with many of its 19th-century structures still in tact.
On Tuesday, December 10, 2019, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designated five historic buildings on West 28th Street in Manhattan: 47 West 28th Street, 49 West 28th Street, 51 West 28th Street, 53 West 28th Street and 55 West 28th Street. These buildings are an intact part of a block known as Tin Pan Alley, home of the most significant concentration of sheet music publishers in New York City. While on this block — so named to describe the audible racket of piano music that made 28th St. sound “like a tin pan alley” — these firms revolutionized the music-publishing industry’s practices for the creation, promotion and consumption of popular music as we know it today.
The landmarked 120 Broadway, also know as the Equitable Building, has undergone a two-year, $50 million renovation. We were pleased to be invited to take a look inside, from the historic Banker’s Club space on the 40th floor to the newly created mural project on the third floor, and beautifully restored lobby. Come along, as we take in the new, while reflecting on the old.
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Queens Community Board 7 Parks Chair Kim Ohanian, and members of People for the Pavilion, Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy and Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, to break ground on the reconstruction of the New York State Pavilion Observation Towers.
The long-awaited ribbon-cutting for the restoration and unveiling of the historic Harlem Fire Watchtower took place on Saturday, October 26, 2019, to the delight of the entire community. Come along with us as we walk up to the Acropolis and celebrate the watchtower’s return.
Fraunces Tavern celebrated its 300th Anniversary (1719-2019) on October 1st, 2019. It commemorated the construction of one of the oldest historic sites in New York City ~ a place where General George Washington once stood.
One of the many historic sites in East Harlem is the Harlem Courthouse. It is located between Lexington and Third Avenues on 121st Street, adjacent to the Harlem Art Park and the tiny street known as Sylvan Place.
The total transformation/renovation of the historic Corn Exchange Bank Building is one we would hope for all of our historic sites. It was a work of love topped with true dedication to the project by a man who saw the building in its deteriorating state every day as he passed by on Metro North that runs alongside Park Avenue on his way to work. But let’s start from the beginning, because this historically Landmarked building has quite a history.
In anticipation of the reopening of the Hispanic Museum and Library this Fall on the Audubon Terrace, we thought we might take a look at the man behind the historic Terrace ~ Archer Milton Huntington ~ and his home on Fifth Avenue.
On the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission agenda in December, 2018, was a discussion on the 1st Spanish United Methodist Church becoming an Individual Landmark. Also known as The People’s Church, the discussion is not for its architectural merit, but for its historic cultural significance, located in the heart of El Barrio, associated with theYoung Lords occupation in 1969 and 1970. On Tuesday, December 12, 2018, it was determined that the history of the Young Lords still divides the community, and both the Church and the local Council Member would like more time to allow for more community dialogue. The 1st Spanish United Methodist Church will be removed from the calendar, per time limits established by Section 25-303(1) of the Landmarks Law, and can be considered for designation at a future date.
Join the First Spanish Methodist Church on May 21st and 22nd, 2022 for its 100th Anniversary!
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)designated the Central Harlem ~ West 130-132nd Street between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd a Historic District on May 29, 2018, and approved that proposal on September 27, 2018, when a full City Council vote took place.
Each year, the Historic Districts Council celebrates community preservationists with its Annual Grassroots Preservation Awards. The awards are given to individuals and groups dedicated to working in public service and online to bring attention and resources to saving the “heart and souls of New York City.”
Preservationists familiar with the building recognized it right away as the original home of the historic Julien Binford murals located at 101 West 14th Street. They were alerted to the murals by Andrew Cronson, who spotted the murals, but also noticed a demolition notice on the door. The murals at the 14th street location appeared to still be intact. The building, a shuttered HSBC bank branch, was built in 1952, designed by Halsey, McCormack & Helmer. The website nysonglines states that the Binford murals at that location were painted in 1954, and could gloriously be seen from the street.
Cronson’s alert took place in 2017, setting in motion a plethora of efforts by the non-profit organization Save Chelsea, the primary historic preservation advocate in that area. Council Member Corey Johnson’s office was also onboard, as was Jamestown, and soon after, a newcomer to the area ~ Google.
Inside a Sears store on Route 22 in Watchung, New Jersey, a 16 foot by 10 foot mural depicting “The Legend of Watchung” was painted in 1965. The mural depicts member of the Lenni-Lenape tribe living peacefully with Dutch settlers in a location that would later be known as Watchung. The historic mural is now in danger of being destroyed, since the Sears store that houses the mural is due to be demolished on October 1st.