2022 Annual Preservation Conference – May 21

Reframing the Narrative: Equity, Affordable Housing, and Cultural Landmarks

Saturday, May 21, 2022

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

New York Law School, 185 West Broadway, Manhattan

Join the Historic Districts Council at the Annual Preservation Conference, which will examine positive impacts of preservation and how our work is supporting goals around sustaining affordable housing, celebrating cultural heritage, and promoting an increased equity framework in preservation.



9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (Tentative)

Keynote and Discussion with Hon. Christopher Marte, Council Member, District 1

HDC is pleased to announce that Council Member Christopher Marte (District 1, Manhattan), will be this year’s keynote. Council Member Marte will join HDC’s Executive Director, Frampton Tolbert, for a conversation about reframing the narrative around preservation and how the preservation community can help create a New York that works for everyone.

Special presentation:

Rachel Robinson, Director of Preservation at Providence Preservation Society (PPS), will share their 2021 Strategic Plan which was rooted in a broad assessment of PPS’s mission and resulted in new guiding principles that center equity and inclusion.

Rachel Robinson joined Providence Preservation Society as director of preservation in August 2017. She is the former executive director of the Vieux Carré Commission Foundation and Felicity Redevelopment Inc., both located in New Orleans. Rachel holds a master’s degree in urban and environmental planning and a certificate in historic preservation from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in historical and sustainable architecture from New York University—London. She serves on the board of Preservation Action and the New England Chapter Society of Architectural Historians and is a member of the Providence Community Library Facilities Committee.


10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (Tentative)

Panel 1: Affordable Housing and Preservation: Policies, Case Studies, and Lessons Learned

As the affordable housing priorities of the new Mayoral administration are still in development, the time is ripe to explore how preservation can support affordable housing in New York and how land use policies impact what is preserved.

Layla Law-Gisiko, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 5’s Land Use, Housing, and Zoning Committee, will discuss 421A and how the renewal of this policy would impact preservation; Caroline Cheong, PhD, Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida, will share her research on the intersection of preservation and affordability and Rebecca Fitzgerald, Design Program Manager for Real Estate Development, will discuss the work NYCHA has been doing with the NYS Historic Preservation Office and other parties to evaluate and list campuses on the National Register as a way to help preserve them for the future and provide necessary support for rehabilitation and restoration.

Caroline Cheong is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Central Florida. Her research spans historic preservation and economic development, focusing on the relationship between urban heritage conservation, urban regeneration and poverty reduction. She earned both her PhD in City and Regional Planning and MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, Caroline was Director of Research for PlaceEconomics where she worked with economist Donovan Rypkema.

Rebecca Fitzgerald is currently the Design Program Manager for Real Estate Development at the New York City Housing Authority, where she leads the Department’s applied research program. She has practiced architecture and planning in New York, Louisiana, and California, with degrees from Reed College and a Master of Architecture from SCI-Arc. Her design work has received awards from the American Institute of Architects, and has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale of Architecture and the International Architecture Biennale of Buenos Aires. Alongside her design work, Rebecca has written and served as an editor for academic and industry publications, including for the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and has taught at the graduate and undergraduate level at SCI-Arc.

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Tentative)

Panel 2: Cultural Landmarks and Preservation: How do we preserve sites beyond architectural and historical significance?

While the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has designated some sites for their cultural significance, much work needs to be done to research, promote, and preserve these places. How do you think cultural sites should be considered and recognized by LPC?

Panelists include Elena Martinez, Co-Artistic Director of the Bronx Music Heritage Center and a Folklorist at City Lore, who will share her research in the South Bronx on cultural landmarks, Shannon Garrison of Philadelphia’s Department of Planning and Development who will discuss Philadelphia’s new initiative to survey cultural districts and recognize cultural significance; and Jerome Haferd, Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP and co-founder of BRANDT : HAFERD, will present on his research around the sites of black and indigenous erasure in New York City, African burial grounds and his work with the Harlem Historic Landmarks Project.

Shannon Garrison is a Preservation Planner at the Philadelphia Historical Commission where she oversees Section 106 Reviews of federally funded projects. She also co-manages the department’s historic and cultural resources survey, which is launching in Summer of 2021.

COVID19 Restrictions:

Per NY Law School regulations, all attendees will be required to wear masks throughout the day and show proof of vaccination, including booster, upon entering the building. The conference will take place in one room at 50% capacity. We will not be serving any food or drink.

​Students Free
Friends / Seniors $25
General Admission $35


Join us for in-person and virtual walking tours that will further explore these topics throughout May and June.

Preservation Fair:

This year, in order to be respectful of social distancing, HDC will be hosting a virtual Preservation Fair. The Preservation Fair is a great way to learn more about preservation campaigns from across the city directly from the organization or neighborhood group. If you would like to be included in the fair please email your materials to [email protected] by Monday, May 16th. Materials can include up to five pages of information about your group and advocacy campaign formatted as a .pdf, .jpeg, or .doc. Digital packets will be sent to all attendees. Registration is not required to take part in the fair.

Friends / Seniors $25; General Admission $35

Help preserve New York’s architectural history with a contribution to HDC

$10 $25 $50 Other >