PRESERVATION NOW! 19th Annual Preservation Conference March 1-3, 2013
Preservation Now! Today’s Victories, Losses and Ongoing Battles!
To view the Key Note Speech & Panels Presentations click HERE
View Photos from the 19th Annual Preservation Now! Keynote and Opening Reception HERE
2013 Preservation Now! Brochure HERE
2013 Preservation Now! Pre-Conference Panels HERE
The 2013 Preservation Conference was inspired by recent trends in preservation and the relationship between development and preservation in New York City. The keynote, panels and discussions addressed several case studies of how preservation has brought positive change to New York City and made it the city we enjoy today.
The speakers highlighted both broad case studies as well as smaller, neighborhood-based battles.
A distinguished group of preservationists, educators and community advocates from across New York City’s five boroughs and beyond addressed these issues.
Keynote and Opening Reception
Fashion Institute of Technology
Friday, March 1, 2013
Might This Be the Best of Times? A Consideration on the Future of Historic Preservation
Keynote Address by Dr. Clement Alexander Price – Vice Chair, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History and Director; Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience
Historic Preservation efforts over the past generation in the United States have been complicated by the powerful tug of a sturdy tradition of prestige and authority against rapidly changing realities in public sensibilities over the nation’s history and memory. That which was once considered the core narrative in American history, as revealed in words, images and places, is now challenged by a revolutionary change in how America’s past is researched, constructed, written about, and seen. The History Wars of the 1980s and 1990s are over, replaced, interestingly enough, by a broad consensus that the making of American democracy, and its tributaries, has been marked by intense struggle over the meaning and purpose of the nation’s past and the weaving of new voices into the telling of the nation’s story. With the cessation of the History Wars, and the popularization of an unprecedentedly complicated and contentious American historical narrative, there is an opportunity for the historic preservation movement to become an essential part of the New American History. A reception will follow the Keynote Address.
New York Law School
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Preservation Campaigns in the Public Sector
This panel featured several prominent speakers on the topic of past and present preservation campaigns of significance. Jack Goldstein, former director of governance policy for Actors’ Equity Association, discussed the creation and success of the Broadway Theater District, which helped revitalize the Times Square area; Andrew Scott Dolkart, James Marston Fitch Associate Professor of Historic Preservation at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Director of the school’s Historic Preservation Program, highlighted his work documenting the history and evolution of the Garment Center, an area of Manhattan which is rapidly changing; and architectural historian Kerri Culhane examined the recently proposed East Midtown Rezoning, which aims to drastically upzone the area allowing for massive new skyscrapers but may threaten some of the significant undesignated architecture in the area.
Preservation Campaigns and Neighborhoods
In recent years, neighborhoods across the city have faced massive new development while also campaigning to preserve their irreplaceable historic resources. Three panelists will examine three such examples, highlighting the ways each area has been affected. Lacey Tauber, Interim Academic Coordinator for Pratt Institute’s graduate program in Historic Preservation & Planning, assessed the 2005 Greenpoint and Williamsburg Rezoning initiative, examining how it radically changed the neighborhood for better and worse; Donald Brennan of Brennan Real Estate LLC used numbers and statistics to present the changes of several historic Brooklyn neighborhoods to show through financial analysis how preservation has made these communities more desirable; and long-time Harlem resident, architectural preservationist and historian John Reddick presented In Context: Harlem’s Past & Future, focusing on the area’s architectural and cultural uniqueness and the sometimes contentious relationships that thwart their preservation and development.
Sunday, March 3, 2013 – Walking Tours
Grand Central Terminal and Midtown East, Manhattan:
This tour with architectural historian Anthony Robins highlights Grand Central Terminal’s centennial in 2013 and looks at the surrounding neighborhood. More than just a train station, the Terminal was the central monument of an entirely new midtown district—Terminal City—that sprang up over its sunken train yard. Most of Terminal City has disappeared, replaced by post-World War II office buildings, but some pieces still exist on Park, Lexington and especially Vanderbilt Avenues—including hotels and office buildings catering to business travelers. While some of these buildings, notably the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and the Helmsley Building, have been designated as individual landmarks, others, including the Graybar Building and the Shelton Hotel, are threatened by the proposed East Midtown Rezoning which permits much larger buildings.
Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District and Environs, Brooklyn:
The Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District was designated in 2011 to protect a group of significant turn-of-the-century commercial buildings centered around Brooklyn Borough Hall. The area includes several early skyscrapers by prominent firms such as Schwartz & Gross, Parfitt Brothers, George L. Morse, and Helmle, Huberty & Hudswell. For this tour, architectural historian Francis Morrone details the significance of this early commercial area and how it affected the development of Brooklyn.
Further Along the Grand Concourse, The Bronx:
Visit several treasures along the Grand Concourse, the Bronx boulevard modeled on the Champs-Elysees. This tour will include a special focus on the portions of the Concourse around Hostos Community College and further to the south, including such significant structures as the C. B. J. Snyder–designed Public School 31, Estey Piano Factory, and the Mott Haven Historic District. Attendees will learn more about the continuing evolution of the South Bronx with guide William Casari.
New York University and Greenwich Village, Manhattan:
Guide Kyle Johnson AIA highlights recent past architecture in Greenwich Village, focusing especially on the Washington Square Park periphery and the adjoining urban-renewal superblocks. This tour will address the current plan by New York University to build more than two million square feet of new development in the Village, which would seriously compromise significant mid-century complexes like Washington Square Village, with its Sasaki-designed landscape, and the I.M. Pei-designed Silver Towers.
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens:
Architectural historian John Kriskiewicz takes tour goers on a visit to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the second largest park in New York City and the site of many historical artifacts related to the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, including the Unisphere, New York City Pavilion (now Queens Museum), Hall of Science and the New York State Pavilion. The park has been the site of continued issues around privatization of parkland, including the recent proposal for a soccer stadium on the site of the existing Fountain of the Planets, another remnant of the Fairs.
The 19th Annual Preservation Conference was 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 City Councilmembers Margaret Chin, Inez Dickens, Daniel Garodnick, Vincent Gentile, Stephen Levin, and Rosie Mendez.
Production design: Lost In Brooklyn Studio