Historic House Trust of NYC Launches Initiative to Enhance Accessibility at 23 Historic Sites




Image via Historic House Trust

The New York Community Trust has awarded the Historic House Trust of New York City (HHT) $339,000 to improve physical and intellectual access to public house museums in ways that are beneficial to people living with disabilities. This project—led by a team specializing in ADA compliance within historically-significant environments, and with experience creating innovative accessibility programs—will position HHT and its 23 historic sites at the forefront of such initiatives across the nation.

Dyckman House c.1890s photo credit James Reuel Smith via Historic House Trust

The substantial funding will facilitate the creation of a tangible plan for improving accessibility to HHT’s significant cultural treasures. The organization will also launch pilot programs that invite all populations to participate in the educational opportunities these resources provide. This two-year initiative will include an accessibility audit; the creation of concrete recommendations for pressing needs; and the implementation of solutions through the introduction of new programming, technologies, and tools at five historic house museum sites.

View houses by Borough ~ Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx, on the Map Here.

HHT’s Executive Director John Krawchuk notes that the organization is “thrilled to be spearheading this vital project via the generosity of the New York Community Trust, a partnership that will focus on both addressing physical access within historic contexts and launching programming that creates universal interactive experiences. This will result in enhanced exploration at these portals to nearly 400 years of New York City history and inspirational models that can guide other historic sites that strive to broaden accessibility.”

Historic House Trust Accomplishments in 2018

The Historic House Trust of New York City is a nonprofit that works in partnership with NYC Parks to advocate for, promote, and provide expertise to preserve 23 publicly owned historic sites located throughout the city’s five boroughs. Ranging from modest farmers’ cottages to grand manors, these sites thrive as cultural institutions that represent New York City’s colorful history and attract more than 860,000 visitors annually, nearly a third of whom are schoolchildren. Located on parkland, these functioning museums are open to all and are instrumental in creating appealing amenities, engaging programs, and a distinct sense of place for their surrounding neighborhoods. This year, as HHT celebrates its 30th anniversary and its past achievements, the organization is working to ensure that these living institutions continue to enrich the city’s cultural life and engage diverse audiences well into the future.