Congratulations to HDC Board Member Jack Taylor on his Victorian Society NY Lifetime Achievement Award

Forwarded from Presenter Joyce Mendelsohn, past president of VSNY, longtime preservationist and HDC Friend

Victorian Society NY Lifetime Achievement Award, June 11, 2014, to Jack Taylor


Preservation advocate Jack Taylor has been successful in helping to protect hundreds of Victorian-era buildings. With his keen eye and deep knowledge, relentless efforts and strategic skills, he has achieved designation, as individual landmarks and historic districts, for a wide range of buildings that reflect the architectural and cultural history of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century New York.

In the 1980s, after the battle to save Luchow’s on East 14th Street was lost, his determination never weakened. With the Union Square Community Coalition, Jack campaigned for a Union Square Historic District mobilizing enormous community support.  Although rejected by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Coalition later succeeded in attaining landmark status for ten individual buildings around the Square.

Jack was a founder of The Drive to Protect the Ladies’ Mile District – fashionable New York’s post-Civil War collection of elegant department stores lining Broadway, Fifth and Sixth Avenues, and West 23rd Street.  The Drive brought together a consortium of seven groups including our own Metropolitan Chapter – leading to landmark designation of the Ladies’ Mile Historic District, comprising 440 buildings, on May 2, 1989.  Happy 25th Birthday to the Ladies’ Mile Historic District!

Working with the Dvorak American Heritage Association, Jack fought to save the historic house at 327 East 17th Street where the world-famous Czech composer Antonin Dvorak lived from 1892 to 1895 and where he composed his famous “New World Symphony.”  Designation as a landmark in 1991 was overturned by the City Council after intense lobbying by the owner, Beth Israel Medical Center, and the house was soon demolished.

Jack Taylor’s middle name has to be “Perseverance.”  Once he embarks on a crusade, he does not give up.  It took him 14 years to achieve landmark designation, in 1998, for the East 17th Street/Irving Place Historic District, and an astonishing 29 years, in 2013, for the Former Tammany Hall, 44 Union Square East.  We look forward to his future preservation successes and are delighted to present him with our Lifetime Achievement Award.


2 Responses to “Congratulations to HDC Board Member Jack Taylor on his Victorian Society NY Lifetime Achievement Award”
  1. The city of New York owes a debt of gratitude to Jack for his tireless advocacy – he teaches up never to give up. What would Manhattan be without the vibrant Ladies’ Mile HIstoric District, without the landmarks surorunding Union Square, without Tammany hall (the building!).

    As Rick Cook noted at HDC’s 2014 Preservation Conference: if you stand at 23rd street and 6th avenue and look north and then look south – you can see the difference landmark protection makes. Need we say more?

    Thank you Jack!


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