HDC Preservation Conference Press Release

February 23, 2011                                                        Contact: Simeon Bankoff, 212-614-9107 ext. 12



MARCH 4-6, 2011

Weekend activities include Kickoff Reception, Panels, Presentations and Walking Tours


NEW YORK –  The Historic Districts Council, the citywide advocate for New York’s historic neighborhoods, celebrates 40 years of activism this year. Throughout 2011, HDC will be presenting new programs that highlight neighborhood preservation activities throughout the city. One of them will be the 17th Annual Preservation Conference, Looking Forward, Looking Back: Forty Years of Preserving New York City Neighborhoods,” a comprehensive overview of how local residents have campaigned to save their neighborhoods from neglect, deterioration and over-development. The conference will take place on March 4-6, 2011 at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights.

“Looking Forward, Looking Back: Forty Years of Preserving New York City Neighborhoods” will examine the history and changes within the preservation community that have taken place in since 1971, when HDC was founded as a coalition of New Yorkers who wanted to save their neighborhoods. We will discuss successful campaigns, unfortunate losses, the lessons we have learned and how we can use this information to inform future preservation efforts.

  The conference is co-sponsored by more than 200 community-based organizations from across the five boroughs.

The Opening Night Reception, one of the best and liveliest parties in the preservation calendar, is an opportunity to meet activists from across the city and find out what’s really going on in New York. From the top of the Bronx to the bottom of Staten Island, preservationists can connect with colleagues and learn about the latest neighborhood campaigns. Reception will be held on Friday, March 4 from 6pm to 8pm at the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen, 20 West 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

The conference opens on Saturday, March 5 with keynote addresses by historian Francis Morrone; Eric Wm. Allison, head of Pratt Institute’s Historic Preservation Program and past president of HDC; and Dr. Marjorie Pearson, architectural historian and former director of research at the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Afternoon panel discussions will focus on case-studies of community-based grassroots preservation efforts in Greenwich Village, Staten Island, Sunnyside Gardens and the Upper West Side. Speakers will be community leaders from these areas who have successfully fought to preserve their historic neighborhoods.

Walking tours on Sunday, March 6, HDC will host five related walking tours in a diverse group of New York City neighborhoods: Highbridge, Bronx; Ridgewood, Queens; Snug Harbor, Staten Island; Sniffen Court and Turtle Bay Gardens, Manhattan; Wallabout, Brooklyn. Tours will be led by noted historians and local expert and advance reservations are required.

Highbridge, home to stunning Art-Deco apartment houses like the recently landmaked Noonan Plaza.

Ridgewood, a large working-class neighborhood of beautiful brick rowhouses built as affordable housing in the early  20th century.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, the finest collection of Greek Revival architecture in New York State with art galleries, museums and a botanic garden.

Sniffen Court and Turtle Bay Gardens, two of the city’s first historic districts with a wealth of mid-19th century structures that were two of New York’s first historic districts.

Wallabout, the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s neighbor containing a very large number of wood-frame structures in the city.

Fees: March 4 Opening Night Reception: $35, $30 Friends of HDC, Students & Seniors; March 5 Conference: $45, $35 for Friends of HDC & Seniors, Free for students with valid ID; March 6 Walking Tours: $25. Reservations are necessary for all programs.

For more information or to register for the Conference go to www.hdc.org/Conference2011.htm or call (212) 614-9107.

The 17th Annual Preservation Conference is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. HDC also wishes to thank New York City Council Members Daniel Garodnick, Stephen Levin and Rosie Mendez for their support of this program.

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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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