Category Archives: Historic Districts Council

Ace Hotel and Madison Square North Park

Friday, May 5

2:20 pm

Attendees of this unique tour will get to view the Ace Hotel located in the Madison Square North Historic District, and tour Madison Square Park. You will learn how the park affected development around Madison Square and how the hotel is a part of that history. The Ace hotel has embraced its historic roots by creatively decorating its interior with contemporary pieces that reflect the neighborhoods past. The tour will begin inside the lobby of the Ace hotel, where a staff member will guide us around the the original mosaic floor and stained glass windows. The tour will then continue through Madison Square Park. The land around Madison Sq. Park was designated a public space in the first city charter of 1686; in the ensuing centuries the land would be used as farmland, military training and finally a park. Come learn the storied history of the park and the neighborhood on this special Six to Celebrate tour.

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Six to Celebrate App

HDC now has a Six to Celebrate app! All the amazing information in the walking tour brochures is now available right on your phone   (or tablet). You can learn about the history of each Six to Celebrate neighborhood along with additional information about specific sites within each neighborhood. Now all you have to do is take out your phone and you can impress everyone with your knowledge about NYC history.

The app is free and available for Apple IOS and Andriod OS

Apple Download

Android Download 

2017 Six to Celebrate Launch Party!

2017 Six to Celebrate Launch Party!

Calvary-St. George’s Parish 

61 Gramercy Park North, Manhattan

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

6pm

Friends $20 / General Admission $25

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2017 Six to Celebrate:

Chelsea, Manhattan

Corona-East Elmhurst, Queens 

Hart Island, The Bronx

Mott Haven, The Bronx

Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn

West Harlem, Manhattan

 

Six to Celebrate annually identifies six historic NYC neighborhoods that merit preservation. These will be priorities for HDC’s advocacy and consultation over a yearlong period. Please join the Historic Districts Council at the 2017 launch party!

To read more about the 2017 Six to Celebrate go to our website 6tocelebrate.org

 


Support is provided in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by City Council Members Margaret Chin, Inez Dickens, Daniel Garodnick, Vincent Gentile, Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Stephen Levin, Mark Levine, Rosie Mendez and Rafael Salamanca, and by New York State Assembly Members Deborah Glick, Richard Gottfried and Daniel O’Donnell.

Announcing the 2017 Six to Celebrate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chelsea, Manhattan

Encompassing the area from West 14th to West 30th Streets and the Hudson River to Sixth Avenue, Chelsea boasts residential and commercial architecture spanning roughly 200 years of New York City’s history. While there are three designated Historic Districts in the area, the safety of the buildings under the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s (LPC) purview has been called into question due to a number of deleterious projects approved by the agency in recent years. Through robust public programming and outreach, Save Chelsea is positioning itself as a neighborhood watchdog to foster civic awareness. By galvanizing widespread support for historic preservation and continuing its work to document undesignated historic buildings in Rose Hill and the Flower District, the group also hopes to lobby for further protections in the area.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corona-East Elmhurst, Queens

The sister communities of Corona and East Elmhurst are known for their richly diverse populations and roster of influential residents, some of whose homes still stand. Rapid redevelopment and a lack of public awareness have resulted in the loss of many culturally significant sites in Corona-East Elmhurst. To encourage interest on the part of the local community and to make those community members’ voices heard, the Corona-East Elmhurst Historic Preservation Society is working to make historic memorabilia and artifacts accessible to the public and to grow its organizational capacity in order to reach broader audiences and share information about the vibrant cultural history of the area.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hart Island, The Bronx

Unbeknownst to many, the largest public cemetery in the United States lies within the Long Island Sound just a stone’s throw from City Island in The Bronx. In existence since the Civil War era, over one million people are buried on Hart Island, but visitation is strictly limited, thus keeping the island shrouded in mystery. Working to uncover its historic significance, The Hart Island Project formed in 1991, incorporated in 2011 and has made immense progress to provide awareness, access, burial records and maps. In addition to advocating for public access and, ultimately, to transform the island into a park, the group is also working to illuminate the island’s history through public programming and a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mott Haven, The Bronx

After decades of neglect, investors and developers have turned their gaze toward Mott Haven, and tourism and business has followed. The neighborhood has three designated Historic Districts: Mott Haven, Mott Haven East and the Bertine Block, all of which boast beautiful and intact rowhouses, as well as houses of worship. To celebrate the historic and architectural contributions of the neighborhood and explore the powerful role they play in the future of the area, the Mott Haven Historic Districts Association formed in 2016 to ensure that long-term residents (and buildings) have an active, inclusive stake in the neighborhood’s renaissance. The group will launch an annual “Decorators’ Showhouse,” host walking tours and establish a strong organizational presence in the neighborhood to cultivate stewardship, foster conscious citizenship and guide new investment sensitively to this gem in the South Bronx.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn

The Prospect Lefferts Gardens Heritage Council, the Parkside Avenue Block Association, and Concerned Citizens for Community Based Planning have worked to give residents a voice about current rapid development that has left this neighborhood with an unprecedented number of demolitions. With only one, small historic district and a much higher-density zoning that is ill-suited to the existing built environment, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens is rapidly changing in scale, character and identity due to rowhouses and other smaller buildings being replaced by speculative, high-rise, “luxury” development. Residents have begun to document and make the case for the preservation of portions of their unprotected historic neighborhood before it disappears forever.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Harlem, Manhattan

Displaying a rich variety of historically, culturally and architecturally significant buildings, West Harlem is home to late 19th century rowhouses, grand apartment buildings, theaters and religious structures designed by some of the leading architects of their time. Speculative development and rising real estate values have left the neighborhood at risk of losing some of the character that makes it a desirable and dynamic community in which to live and work. The West Harlem Community Preservation Organization is formulating a proposal to the LPC to expand the Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill Historic District by surveying historic buildings, creating an outreach system to the local community and hosting workshops and other public programs.


Support is provided in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by City Council Members Ben Kallos, Rosie Mendez, Mark Levine, Inez Dickens, Vincent Gentile, Corey Johnson, Stephen Levin, Margaret Chin, Dan Garodnick, and Rafael Salamanca and New York State Assembly Members Deborah Glick, Richard Gottfried, and Daniel O’Donnell.

 

2016 Six to Celebrate Tours

Saturday, September 24, 11:00AM: East New York

Following up on the success of our first tour of East New York in the spring, HDC is pleased to offer a repeat tour of this fascinating corner of Brooklyn! East New York has certainly been the talk of the town lately, as the City moves forward to rezone the neighborhood, along with 14 others. However, East New York is also known for its rich and somewhat troubled history.  Join us for this tour, led by Farrah Lafontant, neighborhood resident and member of Preserving East New York, the newly formed civic group working to preserve the neighborhood’s built heritage. The tour will begin at the 75th Police Precinct Station and include visits to a Magistrates Court, the former site of the East New York Savings Bank, Maxwell’s Bakery and the Borden Dairy Company factory complex, which was recently heard by the Landmarks Preservation Commission for potential landmark status.

After the tour we will head to Arts East New York for a reception. The party will allow neighbors to learn more about PENY and the work they are doing in East New York. The party is free and open to the public, you do not have to attend the tour to attend the party.


Sunday, October 30, 11:30AM: Clay Avenue & Grand Concourse

Join us for a tour highlighting two very different historic districts in The Bronx! We will begin with a stroll through the charming Clay Avenue Historic District, a one-block stretch of remarkably intact and refreshingly unchanged rowhouses. Following this treasure of a block, the tour will loop back to the Grand Concourse Historic District to take in a smattering of Revival and Art Deco apartment buildings. This juxtaposition of small-scale, late 19th century rowhouses and large-scale, early 20th century apartment buildings will allow participants to compare and contrast trends in the development of middle-class housing a generation or so apart. The tour will end at another locally designated gem, the Andrew Freedman Home, located on the Grand Concourse at East 166th Street. The home has a colorful and unlikely origin story, having been built by millionaire philanthropist Andrew Freedman as a retirement facility for wealthy people who had lost their fortunes.

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Sunday, October 30, 2:00PM:  East River Vistas: Architecture and Changing Lifestyles in Yorkville

Once home to bucolic farmland, the eastern edge of Yorkville was dotted with clapboard farmhouses and country houses before being transformed into an industrial factory hub at the turn of the 20th century. As immigrants settled in Yorkville, tenement buildings were constructed, and by the 1930s the area around East End Avenue was home to luxury apartments designed by elite architects. Join the Historic Districts Council and FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts as we track this fascinating history of housing in eastern Yorkville with architectural historian and famed tour guide, Francis Morrone. Highlights will include East End Avenue, Gracie Square and Carl Schurz Park, model tenements such as the Cherokee Apartments, the idyllic rowhouses at Henderson Place and everything in between, including the largest white brick high-rise in the universe!

SOLD OUT


Support is provided in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by City Council Members Ben Kallos, Rosie Mendez, Mark Levine, Inez Dickens, Vincent Gentile, Corey Johnson, Stephen Levin, Margaret Chin, Dan Garodnick, and Rafael Salamanca and New York State Assembly Members Deborah Glick, Richard Gottfried, and Daniel O’Donnell.

NYSCA

DCLA

Help! Spot-zoning bringing towers to Inwood

Proposed 23-story tower from Ft. Tryon Park. 4650 Broadway visibility study by Saratoga Associates

Proposed 23-story tower from Ft. Tryon Park. 4650 Broadway visibility study by Saratoga Associates

The Historic Districts Council chose Inwood as one of the Six to Celebrate neighborhoods in 2011 for its historical, architectural and environmental attributes. Nearly half of the land in Inwood is public park space which preserves natural terrain and geological features of Manhattan, as opposed to the designed landscapes of many parks in New York City. Thus, Inwood’s distinctive development pattern and architecture was created in relation to the original landscape of Manhattan Island.

One of Inwood and Washington Heights’ treasured historical resources is Fort Tryon Park, a 67-acre park which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of only ten Scenic Landmarks in all of New York City.  Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. the park’s landscape is unrivaled in its romantic views of the Hudson River, the Palisades, and its rich topography.

However, the super-tall development found in other parts of the city has arrived above 200th Street in Manhattan in this low-scale neighborhood. Ft. Tryon Park and the Inwood community is currently threatened by two rezonings which will irreversibly alter the experience of the park and the neighborhood at large.  The proposed rezoning for 4650 Broadway will be a 27-story building abutting the park, four times taller than the surrounding buildings’ heights. The other proposal, 4566 Broadway, would allow a 19-story development (increase in FAR from 3.44 to 9.96).

Click here to send a letter saying “NO” to spot-rezoning and require an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) of the cumulative impacts of these projects, and undertake a comprehensive plan to develop appropriately scaled development, similar to the City’s InwoodNYC plan immediately to the north.

 

Yorkville: A Celebration of Home

Promo Image-sm

Scenes of Yorkville’s past (NYPL)

What was it like to live in Yorkville when 86th Street was known as German Broadway, when the smell of hops from the Ruppert and Ehret’s breweries filled the air, and when a stop at Paprika Weiss on 82nd Street preceded daily exercise at Sokol Hall? FRIENDS and the Historic Districts Council will celebrate Yorkville’s past while highlighting places that still offer a glimpse into this area’s rich immigrant history. The symposium will feature panels on Yorkville life and architecture, and cuisine from some of the neighborhood’s storied establishments.

Saturday, April 30th
10:00 a.m.

Bohemian National Hall
321 East 73rd Street

$15 friends / members, $20 non-members
To register, click here.

Performance by the Czech puppetry demonstration with the Czech American Marionette Theatre

Speakers include:

Majda Kallab Whitaker – Independent scholar and cultural historian contributing to the development of the Dvořák Room at Bohemian National Hall, a Board Member of the Dvořák American Heritage Association and the Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association

Alexandra Kelly – Manager of Outreach Services and Adult Programming at the New York Public Library, and developer and director of the NYPL’s Community Oral History Project

Edward Kasinec – Born and reared in the post-war Czech, Slovak and Rusyn communities of Yorkville, serves as a Research Scholar at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University and since 2015 as Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Thomas Pryor – A native Yorkville resident, storyteller and author of I Hate the Dallas Cowboys – tales of a scrappy New York boyhood

Peter Walsh – Longtime Irish resident of Yorkville, writer, and musician

Irene Mergl – A lifelong Yorkville resident and member of the Sokol Hall, where she serves as 1st Vice President and Historian

Vít Hořejš – Co-founder of the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, who showcases traditional Czech marionettes, many of which were discovered in Yorkville’s Jan Hus Presbyterian Church

Gregory Dietrich – preservation consultant and proprietor of Gregory Dietrich Preservation Consulting, graduate of Columbia University’s Historic Preservation program, and an Advisor to the Historic Districts Council

 

Co-Sponsored by the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Member Benjamin Kallos.

2016 Six to Celebrate Launch Party

Introducing the 2016 Six to Celebrate!

Six to Celebrate annually identifies six historic NYC neighborhoods that merit preservation. These will be priorities for HDC’s advocacy and consultation over a yearlong period.

To honor our new Six to Celebrate we will be hosting a party at the South Street Seaport Museum’s Melville Gallery at 213 Water Street on January 28th at 6 pm!

 

2016 Six to Celebrate Launch Party

Introducing the 2016 Six to Celebrate!

Six to Celebrate annually identifies six historic NYC neighborhoods that merit preservation. These will be priorities for HDC’s advocacy and consultation over a yearlong period.

To honor our new Six to Celebrate we will be hosting a party at the South Street Seaport Museum’s Melelville Gallery at 213 Water Street on January 28th at 6 pm!

 


Audubon Park, Manhattan

Audubon Park-blurb photo-lg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the Audubon Park Historic District, characterized by large apartment buildings dating to the early 20th century, was designated in 2009, 626-648 West 158th Street was unfortunately left out. These 12 rowhouses were built earlier than the rest of the district, thus representing an earlier phase of development and an alternative vision of how the area should be developed as transit moved northward at the turn of the 20th century. The Riverside Oval Association is compiling a request for evaluation to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to expand the historic district to protect this deserving row.


Clay Avenue, The Bronx

Clay Ave-blurb photo-sm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Clay Avenue Historic District encompasses both blockfronts on Clay Avenue between East 165th and 166th Streets in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. The block sits on land that had previously been a horseracing track called Fleetwood Park, and its residential buildings were the earliest to be constructed on the property. In recent decades, economic disinvestment has plagued the block, but local residents are working, under the name Clay Avenue Historic District, to improve public safety, encourage building restoration, and cultivate support for neighborhood beautification.


Crown Heights South, Brooklyn

CHS-blurb photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

In response to rapid changes in Crown Heights South and the successful preservation efforts of their neighbors in Crown Heights North, the Crown Heights South Association formed in 2015 to work toward a similar success story. Crown Heights South is characterized by its charming rows of early 20th century houses, stately apartment buildings, and the imposing Bedford Union Armory serving as a grand anchor. The group will survey and document the area, perform community outreach, and compile a request for evaluation to the LPC for landmarks and historic district consideration.


East New York, Brooklyn

East New York-blurb photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unveiled in 2015, the city’s East New York Community Plan to rezone sections of East New York and Cypress Hills for mandatory affordable housing has left many wondering about the neighborhood’s historic resources. A new group, Preserving East New York, has formed to tackle this issue and to advocate for planning that includes the protection, restoration, and reuse of some of the area’s treasured buildings. The group will identify and highlight endangered structures, build community support for their preservation, and work with the city to protect them.


Richmond Hill, Queens

Richmond Hill-blurb photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the first planned communities in New York City, Richmond Hill has a strong sense of place that is most noted for its wood-frame, Queen Anne style houses. The Richmond Hill Historical Society has led the effort to preserve portions of the neighborhood for decades, but with renewed energy and supportive elected representatives, a comprehensive survey will be undertaken in 2016 to determine boundaries of a potential historic district. In addition to this survey work, the Society will work to raise awareness of the area’s history and architecture through outreach, programs, and tours.


Yorkville, Manhattan

Yorkville-blurb photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Formerly an industrial waterfront neighborhood, Yorkville is relatively isolated due to its distance from the Lexington Avenue subway, but change is inevitable with the Second Avenue subway under construction. The area’s historic resources, a mix of townhouses, tenements, high-rise residential towers, and grand institutions, have been well documented by Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. Friends and HDC will advocate for landmark designation and celebrate Yorkville’s immigrant heritage through a series of educational programs, including a spring conference featuring cuisine from some of the area’s storied immigrant establishments.


 

Support for Six to Celebrate is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York City Councilmembers Inez Dickens, Daniel Garodnick, Vincent Gentile, Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine, and Eric Ulrich.