Monday, June 9, 2008

Special Guest to Introduce Nina Gray on June 12

Exciting news! Joseph Cunningham, decorative arts historian and co-host of LW’s spectacular Evening at The Dakota celebration last September, will introduce Nina Gray at her slide lecture on June 12 (this Thursday). Don’t miss this special opportunity to join LW! in the lovely interior of St. Michael’s Church, with decorations by Louis Comfort Tiffany and others.

RSVP today! Call 212-496-8110 or email

“The Tiffany Girls”
The Designing Women of Tiffany Studios
A slide lecture by Nina Gray
Thursday, June 12, 2008, 6 pm
at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
West 99th Street & Amsterdam Avenue
(enter through garden and Parish House at 225 West 99th, between Amsterdam and Broadway)
Tickets for this program are $25 (includes lecture, wine reception and book-signing). See special offer above!

The “Tiffany Girls,” directed by Clara Driscoll, were the “gifted artisans who made vital yet almost entirely anonymous contributions to many of Louis C. Tiffany’s most famous mosaics, windows and decorative objects” (New York Times, 2/25/07). Recently discovered letters written by Driscoll inspired the ground-breaking exhibition, “A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls,” at the New-York Historical Society in 2007. Nina Gray, a noted independent scholar and co-curator of the exhibition, will share the story of the women who labored behind the scenes at the Tiffany Studios, presenting the firm’s celebrated works in an entirely new context. Gray also co-wrote the exhibition catalogue, A New Light on Tiffany (D. Giles Limited, 2007 - book cover shown above), and will sign copies immediately following the lecture. Please join us in the historic 1891 St. Michael’s Episcopal Church (designed by Robert W. Gibson and recently heard by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission for official Landmark status) in the glow of the sanctuary’s magnificent Tiffany stained-glass windows and mosaics.

Special "Talk & Walk" Offer! Sign up for both the June 12 "Tiffany Girls" lecture by Nina Gray and the June 25 "Central Park West Skyline" walking tour by Andrew Scott Dolkart. Pay only $40 per person! That's a $10 savings, so RSVP today...

Central Park West Skyline
A Walking Tour with Andrew Scott Dolkart
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 (rain or shine), 6 pm
Meeting location to be announced.
Tickets for this tour are $25. See special offer above!

The iconic Central Park West skyline silhouette is one of New York’s most beloved treasures. Learn about the past, present and future of this unique urban vista—the western “frame” of Central Park—with its soaring twin towers and low-rise cultural and religious institutions. Acclaimed writer and architectural historian Andrew Scott Dolkart, the James Marston Fitch Associate Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University, will lead this special walking tour focused on the history, architecture, real estate, planning and preservation of Central Park West’s distinctive profile for future generations to enjoy.

Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling 212-496-1714 or emailing Space is limited.
LANDMARK WEST! is a non-profit award-winning community group working since 1985 to preserve
the best of the Upper West Side’s architectural heritage from 59th to 110th Street between Central Park West and Riverside Drive. Owing in large part to our advocacy, there are nearly 2,700 designated landmarks in this area (up from only 337 in 1985).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

LW! Urban Forests Environmental Project UPDATE

If you didn't get a chance to Tune in to The Brian Lehrer Show on May 21 to learn about LW's environmental project: “Urban Forests in the Midst: In your Backyard,” you can download the conversation at:

Scroll down to "backyard trees" and click on the arrow!

LW's Evan Mason and Bill Solecki from CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities talked with Brian Lehrer and fielded listener questions about the acres of open spaces located behind rowhouses throughout the City—in neighborhoods as diverse as the Upper West Side, Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Cobble Hill, and many more, in all five boroughs!

We are conducting a Pilot Project to:

Investigate the environmental benefits of these open spaces;

Instill awareness about the benefits of backyard open spaces, such as the capacity to reduce air pollution, alleviate strain on the the City’s water treatment system, and the temperature reduction capabilities of these combined backyards;

Inspire public policy officials and residents alike to recognize the environmental contributions conveyed by even small spaces to the urban air we breathe;

Incentivize landlords and tenants to maximize the environmental benefits of these backyards!

Stay tuned for future emails to update you about the progress of the study and shed light on what you can do to clean the air, reduce the burden on the City's aging water treatment infrastructure and enhance your enjoyment of even small open spaces—be they front, back or side yards!

Did you know that there are 108 acres of open spaces hidden behind rowhouses on the Upper West Side alone? That is 13% the size of Central Park! These backyard open spaces convey a range of environmental benefits to the entire City—and yet these benefits are overlooked by the architects of public policy for NYC, environmentalists, building owners and tenants alike.

To learn more about the project, check out this recently published Gotham Gazette article at

"Urban Forests" Team:
This research study is a creative community-university partnership that brings together Landmark West!, a non-profit community-based organization committed to preserving the architectural heritage of Manhattan's Upper West Side with The CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in order to develop evidence-based policies and best practices with regard to environmentally sound management of privately owned open spaces.

To donate to this project, click here. Help us meet our goal of $200,00 for this project!