Monday, June 27, 2011

Click here to view the proposed boundary map.
WHAT:  Public hearing to consider the West End - Collegiate Historic District Extension  (West 70th to 79th Streets; proposed boundary map at right)

WHEN:  TOMORROW, Tuesday, June 28th; Time approx. 1:45PM*
*This can sometimes be a moving target, depending on the pacing of earlier items on the agenda.  West End Avenue could be heard right on time, or it could run late.  Patience and flexibility of schedule are key!  Can't make it?  See below!

WHERE: Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor -- Bring photo ID
(Click here for directions)

Attending the public hearing is incredibly important; your presence speaks volumes.  Please let us know if you are planning to attend.  And if you haven't already, don't forget ...

(1)  Sign the Petition!  Add your name to the list of those who support the West End Avenue historic district extensions.  And encourage your friends and neighbors to sign as well!

(2)  Email the LPC, and copy your elected official(s) ... or vice versa!  Tell them you support their efforts to expand existing historic districts anchored by West End Avenue.  Here's how to do it!

For continual updates on this advocacy issue, stay tuned to the LANDMARK WEST! blog!

We'll see you tomorrow at the Commission!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Heavenly Voices, Inspiring Instruments Celebrate West-Park's Congregation

The congregation of the Upper West Side's newest Individual Landmark--the West-Park Presbyterian Church on Amsterdam Avenue at West 86th Street--just turned 100!

It was this time of year, back in 1911, that the West and Park Presbyterian Churches--then two separate bodies--came together as one unified congregation.  To commemorate the occasion, West-Park hosted the Bridge Concert Series this past weekend (more here!).  An eclectic mix of musical styles came together in support of West-Park, as did members of the community. 

LW! staffers attended the first two concerts in the series.  First, on Thursday, June 16th, was Bridge to Possibilities.  Featuring a talented group of singer-songwriters, their voices filled the sanctuary of the church (spruced up and ready for public events in large part thanks to the Winter 2011 clean-up organized by the congregation, Preservation Alumni, LANDMARK WEST!, Friends of West-Park, and other generous friends).  A fantastic kick-off to the four-day long concert event!

The following evening, Friday, June 17th, brought flavor and flair to the Upper West Side.  Bridge to Fusion, the second concert, featured both a world-renowned tango pianist and an acclaimed tango harmonica player.  Argentinian pianist Octavio Brunetti spoke of West-Park as being "one of the most beautiful places for music in the city".  Coming from a Latin Grammy-winner, that's saying something!

Last weekend's series was heralded by the congregation of West-Park as the first of many such public programs to celebrate their 100th year.  Stay tuned for updates on more events here and on the church's blog, the West-Park Press.

For more on how you can support the bricks-and-mortar restoration of West-Park, click here!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

SPECIAL INVITATION :: For Residents of West End Avenue and Environs

West End Avenue Walking Tour
For Residents of the proposed West End - Collegiate Historic District Extension

** UPDATE **
  Since first announcing this FREE public tour, we've had an overwhelming response from residents of the West End Avenue neighborhood who want to learn more about this area!  To accommodate even more people we've added a second tour of the area ...

View of West End Avenue.
LW! invites you on an early evening walking tour of a section within the proposed extensions of the historic districts along West End Avenue, focusing on the area between 70th and 79th Streets.  A tour will be led by Andrew S. Dolkart, the Director of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University's School of Architect, Planning and Preservation.  AND NOW a second tour will be led by preservation consultant Gregory Dietrich.

West End Avenue, an assortment of grand residences, houses of worship and educational institutions, offers a cohesive picture of the development of the Upper West Side.  A strikingly consistent streetwall of uniform cornice heights, harmonious materials and creative interpretations of historical styles showcases the work of many of the city's most prolific, if less recognized, architects, such as Schwartz and Gross, Neville and Bagge, and brothers George and Edward Blum.

LW! invites our friends and neighbors residing in the proposed West End Avenue historic district extensions, of which there are three, to attend at no charge.  This is a terrific opportunity to learn more about the history of West End Avenue prior to the Tuesday, June 28th, public hearing at the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Not a resident of West End Avenue? 
Contact us about being added to the tour waiting list.

*Preference will be given to those who did not already attend the March 9th informational breakfast session of the proposed historic district extensions.  Space is limited.  To RSVP call (212) 496-8110 or email

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Landmark Q & A: How to write your elected official(s)?

In less than two weeks, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will be holding the second of three public hearings to consider historic district extensions, stretching from West 70th Street all the way up to West 109th Street, anchored by West End Avenue.

Support for expanded landmark protection received early support from Upper West Side elected officials in whose districts landmarking would occur, thanks to the
West End Preservation Society (WEPS).  As the continued support of your elected representatives remains essential, LANDMARK WEST! urges each of our Upper West Side neighbors to put their pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!).

Landmark Q & A: How to write your elected official(s)

Q: Who are my elected officials?
A: Determining in whose district you reside is easy; just click here and type in your address.  Once you know, below are quick links to email our Upper West Side representatives.

          Congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Charles Rangel
          State Senators Thomas K. Duane, Adriano Espaillat and Bill Perkins.
          State Assembly Members Linda Rosenthal and Daniel O'Donnell
          City Council Members Gale Brewer, Inez Dickens and Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Q: What are recommended points to touch upon in my email or letter?
A: First, offer your thanks to them for their early backing of this important issue.  Then, request their continued commitment at the public hearing on June 28th.  Consider visiting the LW! YouTube Channel to watch video from the first hearing in March for a refresher on each representatives' comments.  Let them know that the community is looking to them for continued leadership at this second--and the third, coming in October!--public hearing.

Q: Is there any other agency or organization who I should forward my email or letter to?
A: YES!  Be sure to send a copy to the LPC!  The Chair, Robert Tierney, needs to know that the community supports his agency's work on this issue.  Please copy Chair Tierney on your email to your elected representatives at  And w
hether you're emailing or corresponding via postal mail, LW! asks that you copy us, so that we may have a record of your support for this issue as well (

Need some help getting started?  Here's a sample letter, as well as a copy of LW's statement from the March 22nd public hearing (the first of the three hearings regarding expanded landmark protection along West End Avenue).

Writing to your elected official can take as little as 5 minutes, and will make an incredible difference for the whole of the West End Avenue neighborhood!  For more information on the community's campaign for increased landmark protection along West End Avenue and its row house sidestreets via our blog updates, click here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

REPORT from the FIELD :: Social Media Leaders Share their Secrets

Social media success!
Representatives from community organizations throughout the city and neighborhood advocates (individuals curious about how social media can give greater voice to their neighborhoods) braved the menacing weather outside for last night's social media roundtable.

From the sleek Steelcase WorkLife Center, our social media mavens shared their insider tips with an enthusiastic audience. Here, a brief recap and a peek at photos from the evening! Attended the event? Take the survey; tell us what you thought of it!

Following a welcome by LW!'s Cristiana Peña, our moderator,'s Trevor Sumner kicked off the roundtable, facilitating discussion among our six panelists*:

NearSay - Trevor Sumner, co-founder & CMO. Roundtable moderator.
(Trevor on Twitter: @trevorsumner; NearSay on Twitter: @NearSayNY and @NSayUpperWest)

LANDMARK WEST! - Cristiana Peña, Senior Director of Preservation
(Cristiana on NearSay; LW! on Twitter: @landmarkwest)

Flatiron BID - Jennifer Brown, Executive Director
(Jennifer on Twitter: @FlatironBID)

Fashion Center - Ryan Daly
(On Twitter: @FashionCenterNY)

34th St. Partnership - Tricia Lewis, Director of Digital Media
(Tricia on Twitter: @34thStNYC)

Fourth Arts Block- Tamara Greenfield, Executive Director; and Shaun Newport, Program Manager
(Tamara and Shaun on Twitter: @FourthArtsBlock)

*Listed in order of seating, left to right, in accompanying video and photos.

Drawing on their social media adventures, panelists clued the audience in to how they've embraced social media outlets to broadcast their organizations' messages and reach a wider audience. Weren't able to make it? Never fear -- you can watch video of the discussion on LW!'s YouTube channel. Metaphors seemed to be popular last night! Some of our favorites:

Trevor, Twitter is like a cocktail party with friendly banter. If you meet someone you're interested in knowing better, you invite them back to Facebook, which serves as your clubhouse. And if someone in turn then wants to know more about you, they can visit your website, which is your library, the place you store your wealth of resources.

Shaun, Fourth Arts Block: Twitter is like a coffee shop, where you can strike up a casual conversation. But not everyone there wants to know the finer details about you. Those that do, you bring to Facebook, where you can store things like photos that say more about who you are. For those who really want to learn about your organization, there's your website!

As the panel progressed, the discussion ranged from how organizational protocol fit into social media, how organizations address negative feedback, and more! All said, a great evening with lots of food for thought. Each panelist shared their innovative tips for reaching out and activating community participation. See more photos on Flickr! And stay tuned to LW!'s YouTube channel for the full video of the social media discussion.