Category Archives: Historic Districts Council

Introducing the 2018 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.

Arthur Avenue, The Bronx

Arthur Avenue, the long-time home of The Bronx’s Little Italy, has been a haven for Italian-Americans, Italophiles and curious tourists seeking an authentic shopping and dining experience for generations. In a city that is constantly evolving, its family-run businesses offer consistency, quality and a connection to the past on a storied and historic street. To capture the essence of this place, the Belmont Business Improvement District will undertake a series of oral histories with key constituents and develop an official tour of the area. These place-making initiatives will serve to enhance the public’s experience of and appreciation for Arthur Avenue, as well as ensure that its history is not forgotten. The group also seeks to investigate zoning tools to protect the character and scale of the neighborhood.

Elmhurst, Queens

This community in western Queens boasts many charming, yet unprotected, residential, commercial and religious structures, as well as a number of historic burial grounds that are at risk of damage due to poor stewardship and lack of awareness. The Elmhurst History and Cemeteries Preservation Society, Inc., a newly-formed and first-of-its-kind civic organization in Elmhurst, is working to document the neighborhood’s treasures and pursue appropriate preservation tools to ensure their survival. In addition, the group is working to foster local pride in Elmhurst’s heritage through robust public programming, including walking tours and signage.

Lower West Side, Manhattan

Prior to the construction of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the World Trade Center, the area from roughly Liberty Street to Battery Place west of Broadway was host to a vibrant immigrant neighborhood called the Lower West Side. Initially populated by Irish and German immigrants, it later became a Middle Eastern enclave (known as the “Syrian Quarter” or “Little Syria”) and was subsequently home to a large Slavic population. The area’s major redevelopment in the mid-20th century nearly wiped the neighborhood off the map, but several buildings still exist to tell the story, and the Friends of the Lower West Side is determined to make sure this history is not lost. The group will appeal to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to protect a small area of significance, as well as expand its oral history program, publish a written history and offer walking tours to raise awareness.

Prospect Heights Apartment House District, Brooklyn

Constructed on a lost fragment of the original footprint of Prospect Park, now in southern Prospect Heights, is a concentration of 82 apartment buildings dating from 1909-1929. This development, boasting a cohesive design vocabulary and scale, was promoted by the Prospect Park Commissioners to attract high quality construction to complement the nearby Park, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Public Library. The buildings, representative of a period in Brooklyn history when building patterns shifted to accommodate a rising middle class, remain exemplary for their architectural integrity and as housing stock for a diverse population. The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and the Cultural Row Block Association on Eastern Parkway are working to garner local support and submit a proposal for historic district status from the LPC.

Westchester Square, The Bronx

Westchester Square, now a major transportation hub in the northeast Bronx, was once home to a critical location in the birth of our nation. Hidden in plain sight, sites such as Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church and the Westchester Creek were crucial to American victory in the Revolutionary War. Other sites such as the Huntington Library and above-ground subway station serve as vestiges of the early 20th century innovation and architectural character that continue to anchor the neighborhood today. The Westchester Square Business Improvement District is working to rebrand the area with a focus on its rich history. This public awareness campaign will involve formally documenting its history and commemorating important events through the installation of plaques in and around the Square.

Cultural Landmarks, Citywide

Working in partnership with the New York Preservation Archive Project and the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, HDC will undertake a campaign to shine a light on sites of cultural significance throughout the five boroughs. In recent years, the LPC has designated several landmarks based largely on their cultural impact and has expressed that such designations are a priority for the agency. Through the formation of a diverse coalition of stakeholders, HDC hopes to broaden the conversation about preservation tools for culturally significant sites and to create an action plan for their proper stewardship.


 

 

 

 

Support for Six to Celebrate 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 with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by New York City Council Members Margaret Chin, Daniel Garodnick, Vincent Gentile, Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Peter Koo and Stephen Levin.

Introducing the 2018 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.

Arthur Avenue, The Bronx

Arthur Avenue, the long-time home of The Bronx’s Little Italy, has been a haven for Italian-Americans, Italophiles and curious tourists seeking an authentic shopping and dining experience for generations. In a city that is constantly evolving, its family-run businesses offer consistency, quality and a connection to the past on a storied and historic street. To capture the essence of this place, the Belmont Business Improvement District will undertake a series of oral histories with key constituents and develop an official tour of the area. These place-making initiatives will serve to enhance the public’s experience of and appreciation for Arthur Avenue, as well as ensure that its history is not forgotten. The group also seeks to investigate zoning tools to protect the character and scale of the neighborhood.

Elmhurst, Queens

This community in western Queens boasts many charming, yet unprotected, residential, commercial and religious structures, as well as a number of historic burial grounds that are at risk of damage due to poor stewardship and lack of awareness. The Elmhurst History and Cemeteries Preservation Society, Inc., a newly-formed and first-of-its-kind civic organization in Elmhurst, is working to document the neighborhood’s treasures and pursue appropriate preservation tools to ensure their survival. In addition, the group is working to foster local pride in Elmhurst’s heritage through robust public programming, including walking tours and signage.

Lower West Side, Manhattan

Prior to the construction of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the World Trade Center, the area from roughly Liberty Street to Battery Place west of Broadway was host to a vibrant immigrant neighborhood called the Lower West Side. Initially populated by Irish and German immigrants, it later became a Middle Eastern enclave (known as the “Syrian Quarter” or “Little Syria”) and was subsequently home to a large Slavic population. The area’s major redevelopment in the mid-20th century nearly wiped the neighborhood off the map, but several buildings still exist to tell the story, and the Friends of the Lower West Side is determined to make sure this history is not lost. The group will appeal to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to protect a small area of significance, as well as expand its oral history program, publish a written history and offer walking tours to raise awareness.

Prospect Heights Apartment House District, Brooklyn

Constructed on a lost fragment of the original footprint of Prospect Park, now in southern Prospect Heights, is a concentration of 82 apartment buildings dating from 1909-1929. This development, boasting a cohesive design vocabulary and scale, was promoted by the Prospect Park Commissioners to attract high quality construction to complement the nearby Park, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Public Library. The buildings, representative of a period in Brooklyn history when building patterns shifted to accommodate a rising middle class, remain exemplary for their architectural integrity and as housing stock for a diverse population. The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and the Cultural Row Block Association on Eastern Parkway are working to garner local support and submit a proposal for historic district status from the LPC.

Westchester Square, The Bronx

Westchester Square, now a major transportation hub in the northeast Bronx, was once home to a critical location in the birth of our nation. Hidden in plain sight, sites such as Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church and the Westchester Creek were crucial to American victory in the Revolutionary War. Other sites such as the Huntington Library and above-ground subway station serve as vestiges of the early 20th century innovation and architectural character that continue to anchor the neighborhood today. The Westchester Square Business Improvement District is working to rebrand the area with a focus on its rich history. This public awareness campaign will involve formally documenting its history and commemorating important events through the installation of plaques in and around the Square.

Cultural Landmarks, Citywide

Working in partnership with the New York Preservation Archive Project and the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, HDC will undertake a campaign to shine a light on sites of cultural significance throughout the five boroughs. In recent years, the LPC has designated several landmarks based largely on their cultural impact and has expressed that such designations are a priority for the agency. Through the formation of a diverse coalition of stakeholders, HDC hopes to broaden the conversation about preservation tools for culturally significant sites and to create an action plan for their proper stewardship.


 

 

 

 

Support for Six to Celebrate 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 with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by New York City Council Members Margaret Chin, Daniel Garodnick, Vincent Gentile, Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Peter Koo and Stephen Levin.

Corona-East Elmhurst Walking Tour

Corona-East Elmhurst Walking Tour

Saturday, June 10, 2017

11am-1pm

Corona-East Elmhurst has become one of the largest and most intercultural Latino communities in NYC. Originally part of the colonial village of Newtown, established in the 1600s by Dutch and African settlers, it has been home over the years to sizable Italian, African-American, Caribbean, German, Irish, Jewish and Swedish populations simultaneously. It also has a history as a horse-racing destination, a railroad and baseball town and a haven for New York’s jazz community. On this two-hour tour we will explore these aspects of Corona-East Elmhurst’s heritage, concentrating on the Corona portion of this diverse area. Sights include historic houses of worship, a 19th-century country villa, beloved local parks and eateries and the longtime home of music legend Louis Armstrong, as well as the former residence of his friend and fellow legend Dizzy Gillespie, who along with Charlie Parker ushered the era of bebop into the American jazz tradition. Tour participants will have the option of extending their tour by continuing with the guide to the World’s Fair Marina, a waterfront promenade where the mysterious Candela structures stand.

Jane’s Walk- Chelsea

Historic Preservation in Northern Chelsea: a tour led by Save Chelsea

Friday, May 5, 2017

6 – 8pm

While many people are familiar with the area between 14th and 23rd streets in the west side of Manhattan as the heart of Chelsea, many are not so familiar with Chelsea’s northern portion above 23rd Street. In recent years losses of architecturally and historically significant structures in this northern part of Chelsea have been cause for alarm.

What was once largely a wholesale district and extension of the garment district and area of lower cost commercial loft spaces has seen a dramatic increase in residential conversions and new construction as well as an influx of new businesses, non-profits and cultural groups. While a small historic district has been created to honor New York’s abolitionist past, historic Tin Pan Alley and other historic resources and architecture in the area remain largely unprotected.

This walk, conducted by members of Save Chelsea one of the Historic Districts Council Six to Celebrate for 2017 covers the area between West 23rd and 30th Streets. — where changes over the past decade have transformed a once-thriving wholesale and commercial loft district into a land of increasing residential and office density. Armed with a knowledge of zoning reform, infrastructure investment, and the areas significant African American, French and grand theatrical past, Save Chelsea leads this the two-hour foot tour — taking into account not just the area’s rich history, but the practical requirements of ensuring the integrity of unprotected locations such as historic Tin Pan Alley.

FREE
Tour starts in front of 167 West 23rd Street ( Landmark Liquors)  and terminates on 9th Avenue in the low 20’s.

Ace Hotel and Madison Square North Park

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.

REGISTER

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


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.