Our Staff

Simeon Bankoff

Simeon Bankoff
Executive Director
sbankoff[at]hdc.org | 212-614-9107 x12

“The goal of preservation is to protect our historic built environment as a living, functional part of our lives; there is no better way to understand history than to be able to encounter it physically.”

– Simeon Bankoff

Simeon Bankoff is the Executive Director of the Historic Districts Council, a position he has held since 2000. Mr. Bankoff has focused his entire professional career on historic preservation in New York, and is a renowned expert on the city’s built environment. His work encompasses land use, zoning, affordable housing, and adaptive reuse, and, as a result, is at the forefront of New York City’s historic preservation movement.

A fierce defender of New York’s historic neighborhoods and buildings, Mr. Bankoff is regularly called on for advisement, testimony, and comment by civic, cultural, and media entities. He serves as the Historic Districts Council’s primary spokesperson, and works closely with the Board of Directors and Advisers to formulate the organization’s strategic direction and policy.

Before joining the Historic Districts Council, Mr. Bankoff was senior staff at the Historic House Trust of New York City, where he coordinated programmatic oversight of more than 20 historic house museums throughout the five boroughs. He has also worked with the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation and the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center, where he helped initiate its acclaimed Cultural Medallions program.

Mr. Bankoff has lectured for graduate and undergraduate classes at Columbia University, Fashion Institute of Technology, Hunter College, New York University, Pratt Institute, and Sarah Lawrence College. He has also participated in cultural exchange programs concerning urban preservation with groups from Europe and Asia, and wrote a featured column for The New York Times.

Mr. Bankoff holds a Bachelors of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College, and is expected to hold a Master of Historic Preservation from the Pratt Institute in 2017.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Mr. Bankoff resides in the borough’s Windsor Terrace neighborhood.

Michelle Arbulu

Michelle Arbulu
Director of Communications and Programs
marbulu[at]hdc.org | 212-614-9107 x12

Michelle Arbulu is the Historic Districts Council’s Manager of Communications and Administration, and has been with the organization since 2009, when she began as a volunteer researching historic districts in the Bronx. Ms. Arbulu is responsible for both in-house and outreach communications, and disseminates hard news, action alerts, policy statements, white papers, and programming support.

Ms. Arbulu also manages the Historic Districts Council’s online presence, and helps coordinate the organization’s extensive website, e-mail, and social media content. In addition, she oversees the creation and production of printed matter for the Council’s activism and special events.

Ms. Arbulu attended the University of Mary Washington, where she studied Historic Preservation. She also took classes in Historic Preservation at the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen in New York City.

Born in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, Ms. Arbulu lives near the Jackson Heights Historic District.

Kelly Carroll

Kelly Carroll
Director of Advocacy & Community Outreach
kcarroll[at]hdc.org | 212-614-9107 x11

Kelly Carroll is the Historic Districts Council’s Director of Advocacy and Community Outreach, a position she has held since 2014. She serves as the organization’s primary liaison to a network of over 500 local activist groups and facilitates both local and citywide preservation campaigns.

Prior to joining the Historic Districts Council’s staff, Ms. Carroll served as Director of Preservation for Landmark West!, where she coordinated campaigns to preserve significant structures on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She also conducted an historic resource survey of Prospect Cemetery for CTA Architects and served as an intern at the Historic Districts Council while attending graduate school.

Ms. Carroll has loved architecture and cities since childhood, and began her historic preservation career as a teenage employee of the Smith-McDowell House in Asheville, NC. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where she was honored with the Hugh T. Lefler Award on North Carolina History for research and writing. She also earned her Master of Historic Preservation from Columbia University, where she focused on preservation planning.

One of Ms. Carroll’s proudest moments at the Historic Districts Council was securing the Vanderbilt Family’s support for landmark designation of their family mausoleum in Staten Island.

Santiago Preciado
Spanish-Language Fellow
spreciado[at]hdc.org | 212-614-9107 x14

Santiago Preciado is the Historic Districts Council’s Spanish-Language Fellow, a position that he has held since 2017. He is responsible for helping New York City’s Spanish-speaking communities preserve, improve, and celebrate historic elements of their built environment.

Mr. Preciado holds a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College with a major in history and minors in French and physics. Prior to joining HDC, he worked as Communications and Membership Development Coordinator for the Urban Design Forum and held a range of positions at engineering and law firms.

Mr. Preciado is a longtime resident of Kew Gardens, Queens and serves on the board of the Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery and the Richmond Hill Historical Society. In his spare time, Mr. Preciado is also working to raise awareness about the architectural and historical legacy of Kew Gardens.

Patrick Waldo
Preservation & Outreach Intern
pwaldo[at]hdc.org | 212-614-9107 x14

Patrick Waldo is the Historic Districts Council’s Preservation and Outreach Intern, a position he has held since February 2017. He assists HDC’s Public Review Committee, monitors Landmarks Preservation Commission hearings, and testifies on behalf of HDC.

Mr. Waldo is a licensed New York City tour guide and gives walking tours for the Municipal Art Society. He founded Midnight Monuments, a history appreciation group that meets monthly at noteworthy New York City sites and discusses what makes each place so significant. He also serves as a Board Member of Save Chelsea and is as an organizer with NYC Shut It Down, a group that formed out of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Mr. Waldo holds a Bachelors of Sciences in Psychology from the University of Mary Washington, and is currently pursuing a Master of Historic Preservation from the Pratt Institute. He also studied improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, where he also wrote and starred in a one-man show, “Moustache Man: Confessions of a NYC Graffiti Artist.”

Born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, Mr. Waldo currently resides in Hell’s Kitchen.

Barbara Zay

Barbara Zay
Manager of Preservation & Research
bzay[at]hdc.org | 212-614-9107 x10

Barbara Zay is the Historic Districts Council’s Manager of Preservation and Research, a position she has held since 2012. She is responsible for reviewing architectural drawings and delivering testimony at public hearings of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and other agencies.

Ms. Zay also manages “Six to Celebrate,” a competitive program that selects six local preservation groups for intensive guidance each year. Using research, technical knowledge, and public outreach, she helps these formulate and advance concrete preservation goals. This work also requires producing self-guided walking tour brochures of historic neighborhoods, organizing public programs, and strategizing with, and providing assistance to, community leaders on preservation campaigns.

Before joining the Historic Districts Council, Ms. Zay was an Associate for Programs at Jane Clark Chermayeff & Associates and interned for the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in the Grants and Outreach division. She also completed an internship in Galway, Ireland, as part of the US/ICOMOS International Exchange Program and worked in the Capital Projects Department of the Central Park Conservancy.

Barbara Zay holds a Bachelor of Arts from Scripps College and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University. Born in Rhinebeck, NY, and raised in Greenwich, CT, Ms. Zay is a resident of the Brooklyn Heights Historic District.

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About Us

The Historic Districts Council (HDC) is the advocate for all of New York City's historic neighborhoods. HDC is the only organization in New York that works directly with people who care about our city's historic neighborhoods and buildings. We represent a constituency of over 500 local community organizations.

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Historic Districts Council
232 East 11th Street
New York, NY 10003
Tel: (212) 614-9107
Fax: (212) 614-9127
E-mail: hdc@hdc.org

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