E-BULLETIN: East Village Historic District, OpEd about Legislation, Tours, Movies and More!


October 2012, Volume 9, Number 2

A New Historic District for the East Village


On Tuesday, the LPC designated the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District as New York City’s 109th historic district. Encompassing 330 buildings and centered largely around Second Avenue between East 2nd to East 7th Streets, this new district helps tell the story of the development of New York City through successive waves of newly-arrived immigrants and emerging artistic subcultures. HDC worked vigorously for years on this campaign and it is only with the collaboration of strong neighborhood partners and the LPC’s commitment of resources which brought this designation forward. Special thanks also to Council member Rosie Mendez for her unbending commitment to this initiative.


Since 1999, HDC has been fortunate enough to have been based in the East Village – in the Neighborhood Preservation Center – and certain staff members have been habituates of the area since the 1980s when they went to school there. The new historic district is far from perfect – there are several important buildings and streets in the area which have not been included, such as the Orpheum Theater, St. Mark’s Place, the streets largely east of Second Avenue, but this is a great start in gaining protection for a very special part of New York, that we feel fortunate to know well. We look forward to working with the LPC and our neighborhood partners to bringing more preservation attention to this neighborhood in order to ensure that remains a vital part of New York City for the New Yorkers to come. 

 Bay Ridge Walking Tour

Saturday, October 20, 2012 10:00AM

Bay Ridge’s richly varied architecture, made up of vibrant commercial districts, attractive rowhouse blocks, historic wood frame farmhouses, Victorian mansions, magnificent places of worship, pre-war apartment buildings and quaint cul-de-sacs, tell a fascinating story of the neighborhood’s development.  To ensure that Bay Ridge retains its rich sense of place, local activists are working to nominate some of the neighborhood’s architectural and cultural gems on the State and National Registers of Historic Places and formulate proposals for landmark designations.  Join us on Saturday, October 20, as Victoria Hofmo, founder of the Bay Ridge Conservancy, leads a tour focusing on some of the neighborhood’s preservation priorities, including stops at Christ Church, Public School 102, “Doctor’s Row,” and the brownstone block on Senator Street.  The tour will conclude with an informal reception at the Telecommunications High School to continue the discussion about recent preservation efforts.

$5 for Friends of HDC, Seniors and Students, $10 general admission. To purchase tickets click HERE! Meeting location announced upon registration.


Six to Celebrate is generously supported by The New York Community Trust.

Additional support for the Six to Celebrate Tours is provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from New York City Council members Margaret Chin, Inez Dickens, Daniel Garodnick, Vincent Gentile, Stephen Levin and Rosie Mendez.





A film series that highlights stories from across the five boroughs on how our city came to be and the people who helped shape it.

All screenings will be held at the Tribeca Film Center located at 375 Greenwich Street

To Purchase Tickets click HERE!


Thursday, November 1, 2012 6pm


Our first program will be a screening of the acclaimed documentary “At Home in Utopia”.  Written and directed by Michal Goldman,  this film tells the story of the Eastern European, Russian and Polish garment workers who joined together to create a “Bronx Bohemia” known as the Coops.  This cooperative apartment complex was built in 1925 on the corner of Allerton Avenue across from Bronx Park.  The Coops were what some would consider the ideal community; based on the philosophies of communal living and designed with the ideas of a bucolic setting in mind, the Coops were a “dream home” to many.  The residents wanted a design aesthetic that was uncommon in New York at the time; bright, airy and spacious, which was representative of the change that was sought to promote public health, safety and a sense of community.  The residents of the Coops were also politically active as advocates for racial equality during a time of severe distress, violence and social injustice.  Join us for this special screening and panel discussion of “At Home in Utopia”, where several of the former residents will to discuss their lives in the Bronx during a time when the nation was in financial crises, there was a shortage of housing for the working poor and when there was an outcry for affordable urban housing for low income families that featured trees, greenery and parks and how these issues are parallel with those seen today.

Directed by Michal Goldman, 2008, 133 minutes.



Thursday Novmber 8, 2012 6pm


Join Florent Morellet and the Historic Districts Council for an intimate viewing of the documentary “Florent: Queen of the Meat Market” directed by David Sigal. For over 20 years,  Florent, a 24-hour diner located in the Meatpacking District, was the place to be.  This legendary spot attracted people from all walks of life, artists, club-kids and meat-packers,  seeking simple fare at all times of night or day. They would come for the food and convenience but stay for the owner, Florent Morellet, who created an ambiance and energy unlike anywhere else. Florent was a pioneer in a dark corner of Manhattan and a leader of the preservation movement which landmarked the neighborhood landmarked in 2003. The restaurant closed in 2008 due to rent increases driven, in part, by the success of the area.

Following the screening, Florent, will talk about his time in the meat market, the changes he was witness to and how he has remained an activist and leader within his community and beyond.

Directed by David Sigal, 2009, 1 hour 29 minutes. This film is not rated.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012 6pm


Coney Island, is a award-winning documentary that delves into the extensive history of this seaside community, from its discovery in the 17th century to its ongoing and sometimes heartbreaking evolution.  The film illustrates the affinity the public had for Coney Island as summer getaway spot that once attracted up to 250,000 people on a summer weekend. Also covered in the film is the development of the three major amusement parks, (Steeplechase Park, Luna Park and Dreamland) that once inhabited Coney Island along with the sometimes bizarre and fascinating stories that go with them. Following the screening, filmmaker Ric Burns will talk about the film and the area.

Directed by Ric Burns, 1991, 1 hour. 

$5 per program for Friends of HDC, Seniors and Students, $10 for the general public. To purchase tickets click HERE! Space is limited.

This series is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by Council members Margaret Chin, Inez Dickens, Daniel Garodnick, Vincent Gentile, Stephen Levin and Rosie Mendez.


HDC Responds to Proposed Landmarks Reforms

As readers may remember, in May the City Council heard 11 bills aimed at “reforming” the Landmarks process.  Recently, HDC Executive Director Simeon Bankoff was invited by the news journal CityLand to discuss these reforms.

“Since its adoption in 1965, the New York City Landmarks Law has been amended several times. In 1973, the Landmarks Preservation Commission was allowed to designate landmarks as part of its regular schedule rather than having to wait three years between designation hearings, as had previously been the case, and also gained the ability to designate publicly owned parks and publicly accessible interiors as landmarks. In 1997, the agency gained the ability to enforce the law with civil fines, and in 2005, this ability was extended to cases of demolition by neglect. All these amendments extended the powers of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and strengthened the agency. The same cannot be said of the many reforms proposed by the City Council earlier this year.

On May 2, 2012, the City Council held a joint meeting of the Housing and Land Use Committees to deliberate on eleven previously introduced and brand new bills, ranging from the benign to the emasculating, all related to the workings of Landmarks. The hearing lasted almost five hours and over 50 people from neighborhoods across New York testified on the bills, almost unanimously in opposition. The only people testifying in favor of the bills were representatives of the Real Estate Board of New York, who had recently organized the “Responsible Landmarks Coalition,” a gathering of real estate and development interests whose “Proactive Policy Agenda” closely mirrors the most damaging of the reform proposals. For the purposes of summation, I have divided the eleven bills into three sets.”

For the full article: http://www.citylandnyc.org/hdc-proposed-legislation-would-undermine-landmarks-preservation-commission/

For more information about this issue: http://hdc.org/featured/help-save-the-landmarks-law


Support for preservation keeps coming in from real workers in the field!

“We are a Union Contracting firm employing over 150 Tradespeople in the field and 20 office personnel. For anyone or any organization to imply that the preservation of historic buildings detracts from jobs in New York couldn’t be further than the truth.”Nicholson & Galloway

“Both buyers and renters are drawn to historical and charming neighborhoods that are not just a mass of cookie cutter buildings”Welcome Home Real Estate

“Thanks greatly to the passing of the Landmarks Law, we have had successful growth and are continually hiring and training individuals in our craft, providing them with skills and career opportunitiesEssex Works

“Working on both historic and new construction projects, we find landmark requirements do not detract from jobs in New York, in fact they generate jobs”, Boston Valley Terra Cotta

“In my over eight years in real estate in Jackson Heights, I have had far more customers request that the house or apartment they are seeking to buy be (in) the historic district, regulations and all, than outside it with no Landmarks protection”, Beaudoin Realty Group

“From a business perspective, preservation creates and preserves jobs which would be lost without a strong preservation sector, a sector made possible by the Landmarks Law and its enforcement.”, A. Ottavino Corp.

See more testimonials at: http://hdc.org/landmarks-law/help-save-the-landmarks-law-testimonials


Help Us Celebrate the Neighborhood Preservation Center’s Birthday!

Since The Neighborhood Preservation Center’s founding in 1999, the Historic Districts Council has been the citywide partner in residence. The Center provides invaluable space for the HDC offices, meetings, educational programs and special events. Come help us celebrate the NPC’s 13 years of success!

Tickets are now available for the Birthday Party at Webster Hall on November 1st. Buy them now if you don’t want to miss out on the festivities! This fundraiser benefits the Neighborhood Preservation Center’s programs which support the work of groups that use its resources to improve and protect neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs.

Individual tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door.

Each ticket includes two complimentary beverage tickets. Click to purchase tickets.


Do You Have a Preservation Project That HDC Can Help With?

Apply now to Six To Celebrate 2013!

HDC has begun the search for its 2013 Six to Celebrate neighborhoods! You can now apply to be one of the six by going online to http://hdc.org/program-events/six-to-celebrate/2013-application . You may also download the PDF of the application here: Six To Celebrate 2013 application form, or give us a call at 212-614-9107 if you would like one sent to you. To read more information about the Six To Celebrate program view our website http://hdc.org/program-events/six-to-celebrate.  We look forward to your submissions.

Among the many benefits of being chosen for the Six to Celebrate, a custom-written walking tour brochure and neighborhood guide will be provided to each area participating.  See here for sample neighborhood guides – would you like one of these for your district?



~Donate to HDC~

If you’re receiving this, than you know that HDC is working hard throughout the city to protect and preserve the neighborhoods which make New York great.  Please consider contributing and becoming part of the movement to preserve our city’s irreplaceable architecture and history. There’s a lot of buildings to cover, and we can only do it with a lot of people



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The Advocate for New York City’s Historic Neighborhoods

232 East 11th Street New York NY 10003

tel: 212-614-9107 fax: 212-614-9127 email: hdc@hdc.org


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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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