Friday, December 17, 2010

An APPetite for Architecture :: Launch of iPhone walking tour app for Manhattan's Upper West Side

It's here!  LW! proudly introduces the first ever iPhone walking tour app of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, using technology to offer a uniquely local perspective on NYC history, architecture and futureClick here to download the app for free, and begin your neighborhood discovery!

  • Designed by local experts for people of all ages and interests—neighbors, visitors to the city, families, armchair travelers...everyone!
  • 35 landmark locations including the legendary Dakota Apartments, Beacon Theatre, Ansonia Hotel and American Museum of Natural History.  
  • Intriguing facts and striking photographs telling the story of the Upper West Side’s development since the 19th century.
  • Automatic updates on current preservation issues facing our neighborhood's landmarks.
 LW's app lets YOU take immediate action to help protect landmark sites!  Here are some examples of how you can learn about the issues and get involved:

Image courtesy of Office for Metropolitan History.
Tour Stop #15:  Former Dakota Stables
This significant but unprotected building was torn down after a robust public campaign, led by LW!, to save it.  LW! is now deeply involved in ongoing efforts to fix flaws in the city's landmarks preservation process that directly resulted in the Stables' demise.  

Join the cause and find like-minded friends on the "Citizens Emergency Committee to Preserve Preservation" Facebook page.  Read other LW! blog posts on the NYC landmarks crisis.

Image from the New York Times, 11/1/2006
Tour Stop #19:  New-York Historical Society
The New-York Historical Society's landmark building is one of 10 sites on Central Park West where new condo towers may rise, according to a professional study commissioned by LW!, forever changing this iconic skyline as we know it today.   

While strong community opposition has so far pushed back the Historical Society's plans for a 280-foot-tall highrise looming over its landmark, the City recently approved a slew of special permits allowing Congregation Shearith Israel, another low-rise Classical landmark, to build 5 floors of luxury condos on top of its West 70th Street community house.  Learn more about LW's skyline study and join the list of "Save Our Skyline" supporters (launched in 2006, re-launching now!).  Read other LW! blog posts on defending the skyline.

Tour Stop #28:  Central Park
LW! led efforts, supported by more than dozen ally organizations and over 1,400 individuals, to defend Central Park against a misguided City proposal to install four 35-foot-tall vinyl bubbles over existing outdoor tennis courts near 95th Street.  

The City hasn't completely abandoned its proposal, which would privatize public space and pose an environmental threat to a Scenic Landmark and historic urban oasis.  Join the list of concerned citizens who want to Keep Central Park Open to AllRead other LW! blog posts on Central Park. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

PHOTOS :: 25th Anniversary celebration a magical success!

It was an indescribable sensation to stand among our friends Tuesday evening, in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse in the Rose Building at Lincoln Center.  In a room suspended among snowflakes, we gathered to celebrate a quarter century of an organization truly central to the preservation of our amazing Upper West Side neighborhood: LANDMARK WEST!   

Master of Ceremonies Tom Brokaw graciously presided over our evening's program-- a command performance, he mused: "Arlene commands; I perform!"  The revelries kicked-off with a special performance by Isaiah Sheffer, Founding Artistic Director of Symphony Space, and members of the Thalia Follies cabaret troupe entitled "The Preservation Follies".

But the night wasn't just about us!  LW! is going strong because of families like the Blechmans, the Caros, and the Wolfes.  Remarkable people whose passion fuels our own, who put their exceptional talents to work for the greater good, who help to organize the community around issues and values that matter most -- beauty, history, culture, and sustainability.  These families remind us why it is so important for LW! to persist for another 25 years ... and more!

For our friends who were able to join us for this magical night of revelry, may the photos below (and here, in our Flickr album!) serve as a reminder of our whimsical evening.  For those unable to attend, we hope to see you at another event in 2011.  Thank you, all, and here's to the next 25 years!