Six to Celebrate is HDC’s yearly program of preservation priorities. As part of the program, HDC supports six chosen recipients in their preservation goals throughout the year and beyond. Support includes help on an advocacy campaign, guidance on communicating their message, planning of walking tours and other programs promoting the community, and a reimbursable grant of up to $1,000 to support preservation-related activities.
Samuel Brooks, Mott Haven:
“HDC has been the catalyst for our preservation agenda in the South Bronx. With the presentations, the walking tours, and the historic preservation guide, we have been able to engage residents around cultural and architectural preservation”
Since its inception in 2011, HDC has helped Six to Celebrate groups create:
• 5 National Register districts
• 3 National Register-eligible districts
• 3 National Register properties
• 37 New York City Individual Landmarks
• 9 New York City historic districts
• 1 contextual down-zoning to maintain neighborhood scale and character
• 20 neighborhood surveys, resulting in the documentation of thousands of buildings in all five boroughs
• HDC has also assisted in leveraging over $150,000 in private and public grants for these community-driven projects.
Selection of the SIX TO CELEBRATE is based on a combination of factors, including completeness and clarity of the material submitted, architectural and/or historical significance of the area, current threats to the area, need, and geographic distribution in New York City. An ideal Six to Celebrate recipient is one with a specific campaign or project and one in which HDC can make a meaningful difference with our involvement.
Applications for 2024 are now open. The deadline to apply is January 2, 2024
Requirements for application
—A completed application form.
—Up to 20 labeled, current images (photos or scans) that
illustrate the site/neighborhood – the good and the bad.
Images must be JPEG files, at least 300 dpi. Please make sure HDC has permission to use these images
—A map showing location and boundaries.
—Optional further documentation such as articles,
historic images, landmark nomination forms or reports
(please do not send originals).
Read below for some Six to Celebrate highlights from over the years!
West Harlem, Manhattan
After securing a series of grants, the West Harlem Community Preservation Organization embarked on concurrent historic resource surveys of two sections of the neighborhood, both of which will be turned into nominations to the National Register of Historic Places and Requests for Evaluation from the LPC. To reach out to the local community and raise awareness of West Harlem’s rich history, architecture and cultural legacy, the group hosted a public conference co-hosted by HDC that included a keynote speech, panel discussions, walking tours and a film screening.
East New York, Brooklyn
Launched in response to the East New York Community Plan to rezone for affordable housing, Preserving East New York (PENY) lobbied the City to consider the area’s historic resources in its plans. With HDC’s guidance PENY delivered testimony and rallied neighbors to attend the designation hearings for the Borden Dairy Company Complex, and raised awareness through a variety of public programs, including walking tours, workshops, exhibitions, panel discussions, presentations and tabling at the local farmers’ market. PENY was the recipient of a grant from the Citizens Committee of NYC and a Diversity Scholarship from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Richmond Hill, Queens
With support from the local City Council Member, Eric Ulrich, the Richmond Hill Historical Society (RHHS) and HDC contracted a consultant to perform a comprehensive survey – the first of its kind in Richmond Hill – of the neighborhood’s historic buildings and streetscapes. The survey was launched and its findings unveiled at community meetings attended by residents and elected officials. The RHHS and HDC are formulating next steps, including extensive outreach to gain support for a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places and a RFE to the LPC for local historic district designation.
Crown Heights North, Brooklyn
The Crown Heights North Association (CHNA) began the year with a bang, as the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the area’s third historic district, Crown Heights North III! HDC helped CHNA advocate for the district extension. The new district takes in more of the neighborhood’s astonishing variety of rowhouses, wood frame structures, free-standing mansions and churches. CHNA also made progress in growing its membership of neighborhood advocates and participated in a series of interviews by the New York Preservation Archive Project to document CHNA’s years-long efforts.
East Harlem, Manhattan
East Harlem, also known as “El Barrio” since the 1960s for its influx of Puerto Rican residents, has built on a long tradition in Latin American art of painting murals. Over the years, East Harlem’s tenement buildings have become canvases for this popular form of expression and storytelling. East Harlem Preservation, Inc., put the Six to Celebrate grant funds to great use by refurbishing the vandalized Oscar López Rivera mural and produced a short film documenting the refurbishment. The group is also engaged in community planning efforts around the Mayor’s rezoning proposal for East Harlem, identifying potential landmark properties in the neighborhood.
Long Island City, Queens
+Partners, a preservation group founded in 2014, formed to design, preserve, and catalyze the development of environments and places in Long Island City. Their inaugural project to landmark the Long Island City Clock Tower, a beloved neighborhood anchor, was swiftly designated by the LPC very early in the Six to Celebrate year. HDC assisted the group in launching a comprehensive survey of the industrial architecture of Long Island City.
Landmarks under Consideration, Citywide
In November 2014, the LPC announced a plan to remove 95 sites from its calendar of potential landmarks. Thanks to advocacy efforts by HDC and other organizations in collaboration with Borough President Gale Brewer, the LPC announced its “Backlog95” initiative to hold special hearings by borough for all 95 items. HDC conducted outreach to elected officials, community members and the general public about the hearings, and was the only preservation group in the city to present written testimony for nearly every item. LPC designated 30 Individual landmarks as a result of the hearings.
If you have any questions call 212-614-9107 or e-mail drobayo at hdc.org
Six to Celebrate is generously supported 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 Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Additional FY23 support is provided by New York City Council Members Erik Bottcher, Gail Brewer, Christopher Marte, Keith Powers, and Lincoln Restler. Communications support for the program is provided by the Ford Foundation.