Monday, November 26, 2012

LANDMARK WEST! on Roosevelt Island

LANDMARK WEST’s First Roosevelt Island Visit: FDR Four Freedoms Memorial Park



Kyle Johnson leading LW! and friends beneath the
Queensboro Bridge, en route to the Memorial
You read correctly…on Nov. 14th, 2012 LANDMARK WEST! left the Upper West Side for a sunny afternoon with friends to explore the new FDR Memorial on Roosevelt Island. Kyle Johnson, Co-Chair of the AIA NY Chapter's Architecture Tour Committee & Vice President of DOCOMOMO US-New York/Tri-State led LW! and friends via the Tram from Manhattan to Louis Kahn's only work in NYC.
 
In 1973 Mayor John Lindsay announced that a memorial park at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island for Franklin D. Roosevelt. Louis Kahn was selected as the architect and plans were completed. However, Kahn's sudden death in 1974 followed by NYC's fiscal crises of the 1970s diminished the priority of Four Freedoms Park. On October 24, 2012, the FDR Four Freedoms Park opened to the public; a project which began forty years ago.  

LW! upon arrival to the FDR Memorial

 
 "Surely, in the light of history, it is more intelligent to hope rather than to fear, to try rather than not to try. For one thing we know beyond all doubt. Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, 'It can't be done.'" - Eleanor Roosevelt, 1960 
The Upper West Side Roosevelt connection is the Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial. The First Lady's statue rests adjacent to the Hudson River and 72nd Street. Eleanor was a founder of the United Nations, served as head of the United Nations Human Rights Commission and helped to draft the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. FDR’s Four Freedoms speech, etched in Mount Airy Granite, faces the United Nations across the East River.



Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Speech, January 6, 1941

Thursday, October 11, 2012

West-Park to host U.S. premier of film "The Second Meeting"

Since even before its designation as a New York City Individual Landmark in May 2010, West-Park Presbyterian Church (Amsterdam Avenue at West 86th Street) has set the stage for an exciting array of community events.  

From experimental theater productions (twice!) to concert series, to craft fairs and film screenings, West-Park's programming (all the while remaining a house of worship for its congregation) speaks to the adaptability of historic structures.  The trend continues this weekend as West-Park hosts a screening of the film The Second Meeting 

Here's more from our neighbors at West-Park ... 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

NEW YORK, NY (September 24, 2012) – The advanced screening of a new documentary by Optimistic Film, The Second Meeting, will debut in New York City at West-Park Presbyterian Church on Saturday, October 13, 2012, at 7pm.  Immediately following, there will be a panel discussion that features one of the film’s subjects, U.S. Air Force pilot Lt. Colonel Dale Zelko and the producer and director of the film, Željko Mirković. West-Park Presbyterian Church presents the film in cooperation with The Center At West-Park. 

The Second Meeting follows Lt. Col Zelko’s journey back to Serbia to meet Col. Dani, 12 years after the first meeting of the pilot and missile officer who commanded the Yugoslav missile battery that shot down Zelko’s F117A Stealth fighter in 1999. “I had the remarkable opportunity to have a second chance at experiencing Serbia and her people and I will forever be deeply grateful, enriched, and blessed by it,” said Lt. Col Zelko of the experience. Lt. Col. Zelko will participate in a panel discussion and audience Q&A immediately following the screening. 

The advanced screening will be the first showing in the United States of the newest film by award-winning Serbian Filmmaker Željko Mirković. Col. Dani states, “The “Second Meeting” has taken place thanks to Mr. Željko Mirković and Mr. Dale Zelko, who have understood that in this way we can give an uncommon contribution that swarms with love and understanding, and has a goal to proclaim the world peace. This is exactly “the pearl of the goodness of humanity” we have always lacked.”

The event is open to the media. Željko Mirković, Lt. Col Zelko and Col. Dani are available for interviews. Please RSVP to attend. You can RSVP on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/events/413575218704120/.

           Who:  Open to the public; free will donation
          What:  The Second Meeting advanced screening and discussion
       Where:   West Park Presbyterian Church
                      165 W. 86th St (at Amsterdam Ave), NY, NY, 10024
        When:   Saturday, October 13, 2012, 7pm
          URL:    http://www.facebook.com/events/413575218704120/.

 
For more about Optimistic Film: http://optimisticfilm.com.
For more about West-Park Presbyterian Church: http://westparkpresbyterian.org/
For more about The Center at West Park (http://thecentreatwestpark.wordpress.com/.

Contact: Rev. Dr. Robert L. Brashear
Email: rlbrashear@gmail.comrlbrashear@gmail.com>

Monday, September 24, 2012

Advocacy How-To: Writing to your elected officials

Informing your elected officials of the issues that matter to you--to your neighborhood--is critical.  Whether you send an email, mail a letter or pick up the phone and speak to a member of staff, your neighborhood needs you to take action! Consider this post your one-stop shop for contacting your elected officials.

STEP ONE: Determine who are your elected officials.
It's easy to learn who is your City Council member, State Assembly member and so on; just click here and type in your address. 

STEP TWO: Get inspired!
Visit the LW! YouTube Channel to watch video from the first public hearing of the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a refresher on each representatives' comments about the proposed West End Avenue historic district extension. Still need a little help getting started? Here's a sample letter.
 
STEP THREE: Draft a succinct message that shares your concerns 
and requests their support.
If the above-linked sample letter is helpful, terrific!  If you'd prefer to send in something more individualized, that's equally great.  We recommend first offering thanks for support your elected officials have offered to important community issues in the past.  West End Avenue, for example, received early support from Upper West Side elected officials in whose districts landmarking would occur, thanks to the West End Preservation Society (WEPS). Then, request their continued commitment at the public hearing on October 3rd.

STEP FOUR (option 1): Send your email!
One email is all it takes!  Copy-paste the addresses below and share your request for support with all of the West Side's elected representatives at once:

     Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer: bp@manhattanbp.org
     City Council Member Gale Brewer: gbrewer@council.nyc.gov
     City Council Member Inez Dickens: idickens@council.nyc.gov
     City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito: mviverito@council.nyc.gov
     State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal: rosentl@assembly.state.ny.us
     State Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell: oneilln@assembly.state.ny.us
     State Senator Thomas K. Duane: duane@nysenate.gov
     State Senator Adriano Espaillat: espailla@nysenate.gov
     State Senator Bill Perkins: perkins@senate.state.ny.us
     Congressman Jerrold Nadler: form email-only available; click here
     Congressman Charles Rangel: form email-only available; click here
     And be sure add landmarkwest@landmarkwest.org in the "cc" line!

STEP FOUR (option 2): Send your letter!
Prefer to send a letter in hardcopy?  Links to each official's contact page is below:

     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.
 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Your support is essential to ensuring that our neighborhood's priorities are shared by our elected officials.  Thank you for taking the time to reach out to them.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ghosts of the Past: "Fading Ads" illustrated lecture, October 3rd

Fading Ads of New York City 
An illustrated lecture and book signing with author Frank Jump

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 at 6:00PM
New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street

"[Fading Ads of New York City] showcases Mr. Jump's loving record of hand-painted 'ghost signs' that lasted long enough to go from eyesore to historical asset."
             --David Dunlap, New York Times, 12/1/2011

New York City is eternally evolving. From its iconic skyline to its side alleys, the new is perpetually being built on the debris of the past. But a movement to preserve the city's vanishing landscapes has emerged. 


For nearly twenty years, Frank Jump has been documenting the fading ads that are visible, but less often seen, all over New York. Disappearing from the sides of buildings or hidden by new construction, these signs are remnants of lost eras of New York's life.  They weave together the city's unique history, culture, environment, and society and tell the stories of the businesses, places, and people whose lives transpired among them--the story of New York itself

This photo-documentary is also a study of time and space, of mortality and living, as Jump's campaign to capture the ads mirrors his own struggle with HIV. Experience the ads--shot with vintage Kodachrome film--and the meaning they carry through acclaimed photographer and urban documentarian Frank Jump's lens. 

Mr. Jump has given talks at The New York Public Library main branch, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and many others. 

Reservations Required!
$15 for "Steward" members, $20 for non-members
2-for-1 Admission for "Partners" and above members

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Morning at Play

The first official day of the Fall season may not be until tomorrow, but this morning's beautiful weather tempted us to celebrate a day early.  With blue skies on our side, we took a mid-morning romp through the Adventure Playground, located just a stone's throw from the LW! office, inside Central Park (at West 67th Street).

Tree houses in the Adventure Playground, Central Park.
It's no secret that the Adventure Playground, designed by Richard Dattner in 1967, has a special place in the hearts of West Siders.  We encourage you to swing by, kids in tow, and see for yourself how engaging and aesthetically this playground truly is.  Consider it your excuse to be a kid again!

Central Park is home to a collection of adventure-style playgrounds; take a tour via our Summer 2011 blog post, here. 

Hear (from Richard Dattner himself!) about the history of the Adventure Playground; just click on the image below:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tonight, Experience the Architecture of Cuba

"Say the word Cuba and most people think dictators, the prison at Guantánamo Bay, and Communism with palm trees. Architect Hermes Mallea believes there is so much more to the country and has the pictures to prove it." -- Architectural Digest
 
This evening, LANDMARK WEST! hosts the illustrated slide lecture "Great Houses of Havana", featuring architect and author Hermes Mallea. 

In his book Great Houses of Havana: A Century of Cuban Style (The Monacelli Press, November 2011) Hermes Mallea gives the first-ever insider's tour of Havana's architectural gems, bringing the reader inside never-before-published homes, presenting their fascinating personal histories alongside Havana's architectural patrimony.

Mallea presents portraits of important homes built in the city between 1860 and 1960, beginning with the extraordinary images taken by American photographer, George Barnard, who was permitted to bring his camera into the intimacy of the Palace of the Counts of Santovenia. These pictures set the standard for giving the reader access inside a famously closed world.

Read more about Hermes Mallea's book on Architectural Digest online.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Meanderings Captured in Instagram

Mid-morning errands produced a mini-collection of some Broadway gems.  Have a look at our "I'm running to Staples for labels, be right back!" album:

The Apthorp Apartments, between West 78th and 79th Streets.  Known perhaps most readily
as the longtime object of the late Nora Ephron's affections.


Head to our Twitter media grid to check out more photos from today's meanderings (including those shown above: First Baptist Church, the former Central Savings Bank and the Astor Apartments).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Countdown to City Council Sub-Committee Public Hearing: 15 DAYS

The Riverside-West End Historic District Extension I continues on the path to achieving bona fide landmark status! City Council has set a date for the public hearing (Wednesday, October 3 -- more details here).  Now they need to hear from YOU.  This is it! 
Click on the map to read
the LPC's designation report.

Your letter is absolutely essential to let the City Council members know just how important it is to preserve this incredible ensemble of buildings.  If they don't hear from you -- NOW -- it could cost the neighborhood its landmark protection.

DON'T WAIT, WRITE! 

Sending an email or writing a letter to your Council Member takes just moments with the help of our call to action blogpost.  Your letter is so important!  Please email
or write today!

To Gale Brewer,
UWS City Council Member
*:

"Thank you for your leadership on this first of three historic district extensions on West End Avenue; I'm with you!"

To other City Council Members*:  
"Please stand by the West Side's City Council Member, Gale Brewer, and affirm the Landmarks Preservation Commission's unanimous vote to designate the Riverside-West End HD Extension I."

To Christine Quinn, City Council Speaker*:
"The West Side community supports expanded landmark protection of our neighborhood -- people want preservation!"


*Please forward a copy of your letter or email to LANDMARK WEST!

Monday, September 10, 2012

What the LW! iPhone App has in Common with Vogue Magazine

It's Fashion Week in New York City.  And, more specifically, on the Upper West Side!  Lincoln Center has transformed, for the seven days between September 6th and 13th, into a kaleidoscopic blend of avant garde people and fashions.  It's an exciting week to be on the West Side!

From Vogue's September issue, Kennedy Fraser's article "The Tented Room" chronicles
1980s movers and shakers at Jean Stein's apartment at the Langham Apartments.
In the fashion vein, September is also the month when Vogue releases its mammoth, multi-pound issue of fall trends.  Imagine our giddiness when, between ads for couturiers and jewelers, leather goods and knit wear, we read writer Kennedy Fraser's article "Social History: The Tented Room", which chronicles the social life of West Sider Jean Stein in none other than the Langham Apartments.

Located at 135 Central Park West (between 73rd and 74th Streets), the Langham is an impressive Beaux-Arts apartment building designed by architects Clinton & Russell and built in 1904-07.  In her Vogue piece, Fraser remembers the remarkable bold-face names that came together at Jean Stein's Langham abode, described by the author as "handsome but slightly shabby".  "From Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote to Diane Keaton", Stein's home was a list--constantly in formation--of "Who's Who" in 1980s New York.

With this article, the worlds of Vogue and LW! have something in common: the Langham is one of 30+ sites featured on LW's FREE walking tour app!  Sneak a preview of the app here and then download it for yourself.  It's the next best thing, twenty-some years later, to toasting with Jean Stein herself, wouldn't you say?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to School Means Farewell to Interns

LW! bids farewell to our two great high school interns, Jahmauny Monds and Jonathan Ortiz. Here, they offer us some departing words. We wish them all the best on this first day of school!

Jahmauny writes ...
I loved my time here at LANDMARK WEST!. I enjoyed being introduced to people, organizations, and history. I learned about a building's primary purpose, and discovered how influential a building can be to a neighborhood. I sat in and got involved with discussions on something new I learned through LW!: transferable development rights. I jumped into conversations about potential undesired expansions of original buildings on the Upper West Side. As promised, I joined the fight for appropriate preservation and I am glad that I was able to not only have but enjoy and benefit from this experience. My LW! staff is simply divine. I thank you all for having me and making me feel welcome. You are all great. Although this is the end of my internship with LW!, I will not say goodbye. With similar interests at heart, I thank Debi, Kate G., Cristiana, and Mrs. Arlene, till next time.

We're blushing ... thanks, Jahmauny!

Jonathan writes ...

During my time here at LANDMARK WEST! I have had so many new experiences, from observing a public hearing at the Landmarks Preservation Commission, to writing about buildings, to office work. My time here at LW! just flew by, and yet I got so much out of it. I enjoyed when I would get the task of taking pictures of certain buildings, because it made me appreciate buildings that I passed by hundreds of times but never really looked at. LW! really opened by eyes and taught me to appreciate my surroundings because that's what makes up a part of you. I will remember the people I met here and the moments I had with each of them for a long time. I am also going to miss the office itself because it is the most unique space I have ever seen! You can't look anywhere without something catching your eye, whether it be a decoration, a knick-knack, or one of the several paintings or photographs just hanging around the office. Sometimes I would have to remind myself I have a job to do when I would start to look at all the cool stuff in the office. This has been a great experience and I would not have changed anything about it.

We were incredibly lucky to have two inquisitive and industrious students with us this summer.  As much as we taught them the ropes of neighborhood preservation, we learned so much from them as well!  Look back at posts from both Jahmauny and Jonathan -- and all of this summer's interns! -- by clicking here.

Friday, August 31, 2012

An Unexpected Find On West 70th Street

A guest post by IHDF Intern Jonathan Ortiz

Last week, I went out looking at buildings, searching for something that caught my eye. As I was walking, I decided to give myself a challenge: try to find a unique row house

I walked past so many of them but I was having trouble finding something that really stood out. Right when I was about to start looking for another kind of building, I noticed something on a row house bay window -- a very elaborate ornament. It was a very impressive piece of work, with an elegant flower design surrounding a crest right in the middle



Amazed by my find, I looked at the building next to it and, sure enough, it was the same type of ornament, but with a slightly different design. This went on for about six more buildings, all with elaborate designs. 

The ones that I favor are 27, 31, 33, 37, and 41 on West 70th Street. They were designed by architect Gilbert A. Schellenger and built in 1892. If you are ever taking a stroll on this street or just have some free time, I strongly suggest you go pay these buildings a visit.

Search more buildings by architect Gilbert A. Schellenger in the LW! Online Buildings Database

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's "Lunch Time" at the New York Public Library

The student becomes the teacher!  Recently, LW! graduate intern Kate Gilmore took two of our summer high school interns on a trip to the New York Public Library, to share with them one of the places in New York City that, as a historic preservation student, Kate knows all too well!  But rather than burying their heads in historical prospectuses or style guides, the intern team took in the NYPL's current exhibition "Lunch Hour NYC".  Here's Kate's report ...

Via Perfectly Produce
The New York Public Library's current exhibit, "Lunch Hour NYC," is a great look back into the history of how Americans eat. While today there seems to be a plethora of lunch options, from food trucks to a "power lunch", a midday meal has not always been part of Americans' routines. To find out more, I ventured down to the NYPL with fellow interns Jonathan Ortiz and Jahmauny Monds.

"Lunch Hour NYC" examines the history of lunch as we know it today and how it has evolved over the past century. One of the highlights of the exhibit was the old images and equipment from a Horn & Hardart automat. The hands-on exhibit allowed us to operate the automat machine to retrieve popular recipes. Once ubiquitous, automats were a quick, efficient lunch option for busy office workers. Here on the Upper West Side, 170-172 West 72nd Street, was once home to a Horn & Hardart automat designed by architects F. P. Platt & Brother in 1931.  Another West Side automat is already an Individual Landmark (more here!).

On the left, the former Horn & Hardart Automat on West 72nd Street (now a Citibank). 
On the right, the Automat as pictured in 1942.
The exhibit chronicles the invention of cafeteria-style restaurants, the rise and fall of the automat, soda parlor slang and the invention of the hot dog--to name just a few of the highlights. Who knew that lunch had such a rich and interesting history!

LW! summer high school interns Jonathan Ortiz and Jahmauny Monds learn more
about how an automat functioned at the NYPL "Lunch Hour" exhibit.

In addition to the amazing exhibit, the NYPL has an amazing Menu Collection that is available online. The robust collection features menus from popular eateries all over the city, totaling 45,000. It can be an invaluable resource when documenting the location of popular restaurant chains, since the menus usually featured lists of available locations. They are also highly enjoyable to get a sense of the popular foods of the period.

So the next time you head out to your favorite lunch spot or pull out your packed lunch to heat in the microwave, just remember this American routine has not always been. It continues to evolve with the food truck craze that has changed the eating habits of city dwellers yet again.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

VANDALIZED: News from Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn

Day to day, LANDMARK WEST!'s focus is on the Upper West Side, preserving the soaring apartments and brownstone-lined midblocks from West 59th to West 110th Street, as well as the stunning Scenic Landmarks--Riverside Park and Central Park--bookending the neighborhood on either side (and let's not forget the West Side's third Scenic Landmark, Verdi Square).  With 2,700+ landmark-protected sites included in that ensemble, LW! staff keeps busy!  From engaging with architects and property owners in design review, to advocating for expansion of the UWS landmark family, stewardship of our city's historic resources is a tireless and ongoing responsibility.

But sometimes, emergent issues concerning landmark sites outside our West Side boundaries call our attention.  Such is the case with the ongoing issue of 27 East 4th Street, a site of new construction that puts at risk the historic Merchant's House Museum, a landmark of value not only to its neighborhood but to all of New York City.  And less than a week ago, LW! was appalled to learn about serious vandalism occurring at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.  

A shattered brownstone headstone in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.
When it comes to landmarking in New York City's five boroughs, there's strength in numbers!  What's good for one neighborhood (engaged community stewardship, strong and thoughtful landmarks regulations, etc.) is good for all!  In that same vein, when landmarks are threatened, the preservation community must do what it can to support one another!  It's our duty, then, to share this news about this eggregious vandalism at Green-Wood Cemetery.


Tuesday morning started out like any other summer day at Green-Wood. About 90 men and women who work on the cemetery grounds reported for work and headed out to mow the lawns, trim the grass, and weed the gardens. But, something was not right, as Ken Nielsen, acting foreman of the south zone, discovered. And worker after worker soon learned the sad truth: a very sick individual, or individuals, had vandalized 43 memorials and monuments of the dead ...

I have been visiting Green-Wood since 1986, and, while I recall some incidents of vandalism, I cannot remember anything on this scale or close to it ...

Although neither Green-Wood Cemetery nor The Green-Wood Historic Fund have any legal obligation to repair vandalized monuments, we are stepping up here and will be repairing each and every one of them. We also have been contacting the families of those whose graves were desecrated ...

Ken Taylor, Green-Wood’s long-time vice president for operations, estimates that the damage is “well in excess of $100,000.” I already have made a contribution to help pay for these repairs and restorations. If you would like to do so, just click here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Savor the Summer with the LW! iPhone App

"This app is your personal tour guide, offering information and insights on West Side buildings and blocks from a uniquely local perspective." -- LW! App Fan
IMAGE: The southern tower of the San Remo Apartments, as seen from Central Park. 145-146 Central Park West, b/w W. 74th & W. 75th Sts. Built: 1929-1930. Architect: Emery Roth

There's less than a week until Labor Day brings Summer 2012 to an unofficial close. Don't let the season end without exploring the rich history of our Upper West Side neighborhood! Let LW's FREE iPhone walking tour app be your handheld guide to all the "Fun Facts" and "Did you know" details you never knew!

It's New and Improved!
LW! has worked out the kinks (you wrote us; we listened!) and relaunched its free Upper West Side walking tour iPhone app.

Designed by local experts for people of all ages and interests, LW's walking tour app is an innovative way to explore the architecture and history of one of New York City's most beloved and vibrant neighborhoods. Meant to appeal to a wide rage of users from residents to visitors to the city, families, and armchair travelers, the free app tour highlights 35 landmark locations including the legendary Dakota Apartments, Beacon Theatre, Ansonia Hotel and Central Park. Each location features intriguing facts and striking photographs that tell the story of the Upper West Side's development since the 19th century.


Preview the LW! app by visiting our blog!
To accompany the relaunched LW! app, we have created a user-friendly blog that highlights the features and tools found within the app, along with prominent sites and architects highlighted along the tour. See something you like and want more? Visit iTunes to download the LW! app and explore the neighborhood! Don't have time to explore the neighborhood on foot? You're in luck! Use the app from the comfort of your home to take a virtual walking tour.
Click here to begin your preview of the FREE LW! walking tour app!

What the App Users Are Saying (more here!):

"This app is a great way to see New York City's Upper West Side. I downloaded it at home, learned about some of the interesting locations and checked out a few stops on the walking tour. It's great for people visiting the city AND for people who have lived there their entire lives."

"Wonderful way to experience NYC architecture!" 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Anchor's Away!

There is perhaps no better place to spend a summer evening in New York City than aboard the John J. Harvey Fireboat, moving through the Hudson River, Wallabout Bay and greater New York Harbor.  Enjoy our Flickr album below, sharing some of our favorite scenes from a nautical evening to remember (Thursday, August 16th)!

 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

640 West End Avenue: A Neighborhood Favorite!

A guest post by IHDF intern Jonathan Ortiz

My favorite building on the Upper West Side is 640 West End Avenue, at West 91st Street. It is my favorite because it stands out from a mile away. One side of the building is almost completely covered in ivy, which in my opinion gives it a very good, mesmerizing look. I mainly like it because it doesn't follow the standard look of buildings in the area, it has its own identity.

Because this building captured my attention, I did some research. here are some things I found interesting: The building was designed by the architecture firm Townsend, Steinle & Haskell in 1912. It has a three-story rusticated limestone base with the rest of the building being grey brick. The entrance does not have a canopy, but instead two polished granite columns and a broken pediment reveal on the second floor window above the entrance. And here's a fun fact - 640 West End Avenue was used in an episode of Seinfeld as the exterior of Mr. Pitt's apartment building.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

West End Presbyterian: An intricate marvel

A guest blog by WHSAD intern Jahmauny Monds 

When I walked up to the West End Presbyterian Church, it was clear to me that this building is definitely a proud work of art.


It is detailed terrifically and precisely. I took great notice of its bold symmetrical design. I was stunned by the arch engraving. The building is absolutely impressive, with its unique brick patterns (bonds). The dazzling circle window above the arches has details that are simply exceptional. I think the aesthetics on this building are amazing; a fine church indeed.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In Two Weeks, Important Hearing for West End Avenue Extension

On June 26th, 2012, by unanimous vote of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), the Riverside-West End Historic District Extension I has been designated! This was the first step in a multi-agency process to secure the landmark designation that West End Avenue and its row house-lined midblocks have long deserved.

The next step is review by the City Planning Commission. The LPC's designation is forwarded to City Planning which will consider, as the LPC website states: "the effects of the designation as it relates to zoning, projected public improvements, and any other city plans for the development or improvement of the area involved. For historic districts, the City Planning Commission must hold a public hearing prior to issuing their report." This public hearing is open to all; please attend and offer a public statement or lend your "silent support" of this important community effort!

       WHAT:  Public hearing of the City Planning Commission to consider
                    the Riverside-West End Historic District Extension I
                    (W. 79th - 87th Sts. - click here for the boundary map)

      WHEN:  Wednesday, August 22nd; Time To Be Determined
                    Stay tuned to LW! emails for approximate time as the date approaches;
                    you may also consult the City Planning website, here.


    WHERE:  City Planning Commission; Amanda Burden, Chair
                    22 Reade Street -- Bring photo ID
                    (Click here for directions)

         WHO:  You, your neighbors, all who support neighborhood preservation!
                     Help us spread the word; let us know of others in your building or
                     on your block who are interested in learning more about this ongoing
                     issue. Attending the public meeting is incredibly valuable; if you're
                     unable to attend, please register your support in writing (here's how).

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Celebrating "Family Day" at Amsterdam Houses

Guest blog by intern Jason Crowley

For the fifth consecutive year, LANDMARK WEST! joined in the festivities at the Amsterdam Houses' annual Family Day celebration.


Saturday, August 4th, turned out to be another fun-filled day of music, BBQ and nostalgic tales of growing up at Amsterdam Houses.

Each year LW! sets up shop and spend the day sharing photographs of Amsterdam Houses dating back to the late 1940s, when the complex (an LW! "Wish List" site) was being constructed.



Featuring images of Amsterdam Houses' construction, LW's photo board
sparked many-a reminiscence among Family Day attendees

LW's Arlene Simon
Neighbors young and old huddled around our table, looking at our photos (and sharing some of their own!) while regaling us with fond memories of growing up in the community ("I've lived here for 40+ years" is not at all an uncommon thing to hear!).

 At this year's Family Day celebration, LW!'s President and founder, Arlene Simon received recognition, from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), for her years of outreach and leadership in the neighborhood.

One of the greatest experiences about attending Family Day year after year is the opportunity to speak with the residents who make Amsterdam Houses a vibrant and proud community of active and passionate neighbors. 

Intern Jason Crowley shares historic images with a Family Day attendee
LW's Cristiana Pena and Family Day celebrants
 
It was such a pleasure to meet everyone who stopped by the LW! table on Saturday; we are already looking forward to next year's Family Day! 


Monday, August 6, 2012

Love Your Landmark #5 - Riverside Church


Union Theological Seminary & Riverside Church 
122nd Street and Riverside Drive

Friends and staff members from the Historic Districts Council (HDC) stand in the shadows of Union Theological Seminary (foreground) and the steeple of Riverside Church.  This photo was snapped following Professor Andrew S. Dolkart's incredible walking tour of our neighbor to the north, the Upper-Upper West Side neighborhood of Morningside Heights.

Professor Dolkart's Morningside Heights tour was part of the HDC's 2012 Six to Celebrate.

Friday, August 3, 2012

When East Battles West, Who Will Reign Supreme?


Consult your collection of Robert A.M. Stern's New York books,
revisit your notes from Preservation Law 101,
and brace yourself for some fierce competition ...

it's trivia night!!

Young Professionals Trivia Night
Thursday, August 30th, 7PM* to 9PM
Common Ground, 206 Avenue A (b/w East 12th and 13th Streets)
FREE but space is limited; RSVP required!

LANDMARK WEST! and our colleagues from across the park,
the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, will host an
evening to test your knowledge of preservation history and other
esoterica centered on the great metropolis we work tirelessly to
protect: New York City!  Come early* and pick your team members
wisely; serious bragging rights are at stake!

Joining LW! and FRIENDS in our informal "East vs. West" trivia competition will be our friends at the Historic Districts Council
plus members from Preservation Alumni
and Pratt Historic Preservation Alumni.

*Happy Hour runs from 4PM to 8PM! Get to Common Ground early,  
order your drink, and prepare for the trivia to come! 
  
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------