The Historic Districts Council (HDC) is the advocate for all of New York City’s historic neighborhoods.
Our mission is to ensure the preservation of significant historic neighborhoods, buildings and public spaces in New York City, uphold the integrity of New York City’s Landmarks Law, and further the preservation ethic.
We work directly with people who care about our city’s historic neighborhoods and buildings, and represent a constituency of over 500 local community organizations across all five boroughs.
How do we help?
First and foremost, HDC, a registered §501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides technical and strategic support to groups and individuals to help save historic buildings.
Since 1970, HDC has been a vital force helping to preserve historic neighborhoods and buildings throughout the five boroughs. HDC has been involved in the creation of almost all of the over 100 officially designated historic districts in New York, which encompass almost 30,000 individual buildings.
We have organized residents, secured funding for studies, given public testimony, worked with city agencies, and held people’s hands for over 40 years. We also launched our “Six to Celebrate” program, the only citywide initiative coming directly from the communities that spotlights preservation concerns.
Each year, HDC offers over two-dozen public programs, conferences, workshops, and talks related to New York City history, preservation practices like restoration, and community organizing.
We also offer walking and bicycle tours of distinct neighborhoods that embody the city’s history, vibrancy and cultural backbone, and host frequent and low-cost events and parties to build enthusiasm around historic preservation.
We speak out for preservation.
HDC is the only group that reviews every single public proposal affecting historic buildings and historic districts in New York. When needed, we provide public testimony on them.
We monitor the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and work with elected officials on historic preservation and development issues. We have negotiated agreements between developers and community residents on projects affecting historic neighborhoods.
Our Signature Programs
Six to Celebrate is New York’s only targeted citywide list of preservation priorities. Six selected groups receive HDC’s hands-on help in all aspects of their efforts over the course of the year and continued support in the years to come. The program helps community activists learn to use tools such as documentation, research, zoning, landmarking, publicity, and public outreach to advance local preservation campaigns.
Preservation School is a series of classes that illuminate the essentials of historic preservation. Eight classes are offered annually, and many past lectures are available to view on our YouTube channel.
HDC@LPC is our testimony before the Landmarks Preservation Commission. It is produced by our Public Review committee, which meets weekly to review every public proposal affecting a historic district or individual landmark.