Preservation and the Presidency

The protection and preservation of our shared built environment is – and must be – a shared civil right for all (Continue Reading)

A Message From Executive Director Simeon Bankoff

Landmarks Lion 2012

Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director of HDC


November 15, 2016

Dear Friends and Allies,

The 2016 presidential election has shaken the entire country.

As things begin to settle in Washington, the possible effects on the core issues of the historic preservation community and movement are concerning. The Historic Districts Council (HDC) believes that the protection and preservation of our shared built environment is – and must be – a shared civil right for all people, guided by community consensus and aided by government action.

2015-11-24 -- Dan Allen Listening
An HDC supporter discusses preservation priorities with President Dan Allen

The incoming administration has made government deregulation a priority – going as far as to suggest that for every new governmental regulation proposed, two should be removed.

Relying solely upon private efforts to protect our country’s historic places and neighborhoods is like trying to hold back the tide with your hands. It takes collective effort, private investment, political capital AND government support to secure and maintain a positive future for our historic buildings.

Without any one of those elements present, the task is twice as hard. Without governmental support – or worse, with government opposition – protecting already designated landmarks is hard and saving non-designated historic buildings is almost impossible.

The Clay Avenue Historic District (Bronx, New York)

While the strongest preservation tools are local ordinances, they rest on a federal foundation of laws and legal decisions, both of which could be reversed or ignored by an administration which seems dedicated to stimulating economic development at any cost.

HDC pledges to work closely with our local, state and national colleagues to monitor any and all situations originating from the national level which might affect local community preservation concerns.

Moreover, we will alert all our supporters and friends about these situations as they arise, so that we can make our collective voices heard by the people who represent us at all levels of government.

In solidarity,

Simeon Bankoff
Executive Director
Historic Districts Council

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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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