The 2021 Grassroots Preservation Awards will take place on Zoom the last three weeks of May. The celebrations have been split up in various ways including virtual walking tours and presentations. Continue reading below for dates and information on the awardees.
Schedule of Grassroots events:
5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
May 12: Green-Wood Cemetery and East 25th Street Historic District Initiative
May 13: Untapped New York and Save the Walentyna & Aleksander Janta-Polczynski House Coalition
May 19: Upper Riverside Residents Alliance
May 26: Judy Stanton and Councilmember Daniel Dromm
With the challenges 2020 presented to New Yorkers, Green-Wood’s landscape became more important than ever as a safe space for visitors to take a walk, commune with nature, and get away from it all—while social distancing. As a benefit to the local community, Green-Wood expanded its hours and made the unprecedented decision to open and staff all four of its entrances to the public until 7pm, seven days a week. Richard J. Moylan, President, Lisa W. Alpert, Vice President of Development and Programming and Gabrielle Gatto, Coordinator of Public Programs will provide a tour of Green-Wood, discuss the changes made to the National Historic Landmark and how the decision to be more accessible effected the community.
East 25th Street Historic District Initiative
From churches to Neo-Renaissance rowhouses, former Six to Celebrate neighborhood the East 25th Street Historic District Initiative is working to celebrate and preserve the structures in their unique community and to oppose the threats of demolition and overdevelopment. Neighborhood leader Julia Charles will give a virtual tour of East 25th Street while discussing how she and her neighbors were able to gain Landmark designation for their beloved block.
Friend From the Media (honoring members of the Fourth Estate who contribute to the public understanding of preservation)
Untapped New York
Untapped New York is an online magazine and experience company that unearths New York City’s secrets and hidden gems. Founded in 2009, Untapped New York is powered by a team of passionate New Yorkers, always exploring the city. Justin Rivers, Untapped New York’s Chief Experience Officer will explain the proposed Empire Station Complex and give a tour of the buildings that are under threat of demolition as a result of the proposed complex.
Walentyna & Aleksander Janta-Polczynski House Coalition
The Walentyna & Aleksander Janta-Polczynski House Coalition is comprised of several groups and that came together for the common goal of Landmarking the Walentyna & Aleksander Janta-Polczynski house and highlighting the brave and honorable work of Walentyna & Aleksander Janta-Polczynski. The organizations are former Six to Celebrate and Grassroots Award winner Elmhurst History and Cemeteries Preservation Society who will be represented by Marialena Giampino; the Polish National Congress represented by Klara Wisniewska; the Polish Falcons of America represented by April Miller; and Inside Elmhurst represented by Alfonso Quiroz. The groups will discuss how Walentyna was pivotal in revealing Nazi atrocities to the world and how Walentyna and Aleksander’s home in Elmhurst, Queens became a safe haven for Polish émigré elite in the United States.
Upper Riverside Residents Alliance
Peter Green will discuss The Upper Riverside Residents Alliance’s campaign to Landmark 857 Riverside Drive. He will provide a history of the endangered two-story wood-frame house at Riverside and West 159th Street, and explain why the house is believed to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Mickey Murphy Lifetime Achievement Award (honoring longtime record of achievement in historic preservation)
Judy Stanton will give a presentation on her 30+ years to being a steward of the Brooklyn Heights Historic Districts. She will talk about several of the advocacy campaigns she worked on throughout her career. As the former Executive Director of the Brooklyn Heights Association and member of Brooklyn’s CB2 Land Use Committee she has faced many preservation battles and has come out the other side victorious.
Friend in High Places (honoring preservation supporters in elected office)
Councilmember Daniel Dromm has been a progressive leader in Queens for 20+ years. Dromm was elected to the New York City Council in 2009 and represents District 25 (Jackson Heights & Elmhurst). He serves as the Chairperson of the Finance Committee. CM Dromm will talk about why he has been an avid supporter of preservation in his district including voicing his support for the Landmarking of the Walentyna & Aleksander Janta-Polczynski House.