2022 Annual Preservation Conference

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.


9:22 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

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:

10:00 am – 10:25 am

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. – 11:45 a.m.

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. Moderated by Denish Kinarwala, an HDC Board Adviser.

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.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

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.

Pay at the door or register online
​Students Free
Friends / Seniors $25
General Admission $35


Unpacking the Meatpacking District with Jacquelyn Ottman

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

New York’s Meatpacking District is now known for its trendy boutiques, chi chi restaurants avantgarde art galleries, and the Highline, but for over a hundred years it was the center of the meatpacking industry within the greater Metropolitan area. Jacquie Ottman, a fifth generation member of a family whose storied meat-purveying business traces to NYC’s Fulton Market of 1850, will unpack the history of the Meatpacking District starting from the
vantage point of Gansevoort Plaza, a magical, and most unusual, intersection of five Manhattan blocks with a ‘view’ of over four centuries of NYC transformation.


A Walking Tour of Community Renewal in Melrose

Saturday, June 4, 2022

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Join architect and urban planner Petr Stand on a walking tour of Melrose in The Bronx, as he takes us through the Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Area, a 30-block area in the South Bronx with a formerly large concentration of city-owned property. The renewal development  was originally conceived of as a place in which to create a new middle-income, home-ownership-based community but with the leadership of local community development organization, Nos Quedamos, the typology was diversified to include rental buildings, low, moderate, and middle income, as well as senior housing and housing for formerly homeless families. 

Attendees will be able to appreciate how buildings were designed to resemble the culture and lifestyle of the communities that live there, as well as some of the community anchors that remained such as Casita Rincon Criollo, the oldest community garden in the city.


A Great Day in Harlem: Crossing the Fifth Avenue Divide

Saturday, June 18, 2022

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Take a stroll around East and Central Harlem above 125th Street, straddling Fifth Avenue, the traditional dividing line between East and West. Kathy Benson Haskins of Landmark East Harlem (LEH) will introduce you to the treasures of the second historic district that LEH has proposed for listing on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Featured sites include 19th-century wood frame houses, Victorian-era rowhouses, landmarks associated with James Baldwin and Langston Hughes, former church buildings that have been given new purposes, and the brownstone stoop that served as the site of the iconic 1958 photograph of jazz musicians by Art Kane for Esquire magazine.


Sustaining Public Housing: A Virtual Tour of the Rehabilitation of Harlem River Houses and other PACT Developments

via Zoom 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 

Architect Mark Ginsberg of Curtis & Ginsberg will present the firm’s work at Harlem River Houses and other NYCHA campuses to rehabilitate, restore, and renovate the housing and landscapes to make sure the permanently-affordable housing is preserved for the future. Many of these campuses are being recognized for their significance and being places on the National Register of Historic Places. Rehabilitation of these sites includes new energy efficient infrastructure, landscape improvements, and interior and exterior upgrades to all units.  

A Tour of Washington Heights, and its Vibrant Communities 


Saturday, JULY 9, 2022

Home to one of the largest concentrations of Dominican communities outside of the Dominican Republic, Washington Heights offers a unique experience of Dominican culture that can be appreciated in the buildings and public spaces of the neighborhood. Such culture was depicted in the 2021 movie In The Heights, where historic buildings and public spaces are the centerpieces of all the Dominican cultural expressions. 

In this tour, attendees will be able to appreciate some of the most iconic places from the movie, and they will also hear about the process of finding the places that better represent the cultural identity and heritage of Dominican communities.The tour will be led by Angel Ayon, preservation architect founder of Ayon Studio and member of HDC board of advisers.

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.

Tin Pan Alley American Popular Music Project

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

The Preservation Conference is generously 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 Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Additional FY22 support is provided by New York City Council Members Margaret Chin, Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Stephen Levin, Mark Levine, and Keith Powers.

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