50th Anniversary Lecture Series

General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen,

20 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

6-8 p.m.

This series is Co-sponsored by the New York Preservation Archive Project

Genesis: How HDC came to be and why we needed to exist

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Join us for a special panel discussion of longtime preservation professionals as they talk about the early days of the Landmarks Preservation Commission when historic district designation was still new and unformed and the preservation community was still coalescing. The Historic Districts Council was formed in 1970 by the Municipal Art Society as a committee of volunteers from the city’s nascent and potential historic districts. Learn from the people who were present at the beginning about how HDC carved out a niche and fulfilled a much-needed citywide advocacy role.


Scheduled speakers:

Laurie Beckelman began her career at the Municipal Art Society (MAS) in the early 1970’s and then served as President of the New York City Landmarks Conservancy in the 1980’s before being appointed as chair of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) in 1990 under Mayor Dinkins. She is currently the Associate Director of the Shed, the premier artspace at Hudson Yards.

Frank Emile Sanchis III was an early staff member at the LPC, serving from 1969 – 1971, before going into private architectural practice. He returned to LPC in 1978, eventually serving as Executive Director until 1986. He subsequently worked at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and MAS before becoming the head of the Americas program for the World Monuments Fund in 2010.

Anthony M. Tung served as a Commissioner on the LPC from 1978 – 1988 under Mayor Edward Koch. He has taught architectural history and international urban preservation at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Metropolitan Museum of Art, MIT and the New School. He has lectured in Amsterdam, Athens, Edinburgh, Havana, Istanbul, Kyoto, Madrid, Mexico City, San Juan, Singapore, Vienna, and across North America—consulting on heritage conservation policy with officials in Toronto, Halifax, New York, New Orleans, and Cuba.

You may also pay at the door

In the Thick of It: Our best war stories, how certain districts/landmarks came to be

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Designation is only the beginning is a common saying amongst preservation advocates; but claiming designation is step one is somewhat of a fallacy. In reality, we know the process of designation has many, many steps. Advocates work for years to have their neighborhood or building Landmarked. In this panel, three leaders of community groups will discuss their experiences obtaining Landmark Designations for their neighborhoods and describe how HDC helped. Jeffrey Kroessler will talk about Sunnyside Gardens, Queens; Lynn Massimo will talk about Sunset Park, Brooklyn; and Ethel Tyus will talk about Crown Heights North, Brooklyn.

Scheduled speakers:

Jeffrey A. Kroessler has a Master of Library Science from Queens College and a Doctorate in American History from the City University of New York Graduate School. Mr. Kroessler is an Associate Professor at John J. College of Criminal Justice and the CUNY Head of circulation. Mr. Kroessler is a preservationist, an advocate and an author. In addition to HDC, he serves on the Boards of the Citizens Emergency Committee to Preserve Preservation; Greater Astoria Historical Society; Queensborough Preservation League; Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance; and the City Club. Dr. Kroessler has been on the HDC Board since 1986.

Lynn Massimo holds a degree in fine art photography from New York University and spent part of her early career as an architectural photographer. Though she has officially left the commercial world of photography, her expertise found a new outlet in 2013, when she co-founded the Sunset Park Landmarks Committee to advocate for the designation of a Historic District in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. As part of this effort, Lynn spearheaded a block-by-block outreach and survey campaign, including the documentation of Sunset Park’s many elegant rowhouses, religious structures, institutional buildings and green spaces. Her photographs proved instrumental in bringing awareness to the cause and bringing the campaign to the attention of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Ethel Tyus who was raised in Crown Heights North, is a life-long Brooklynite. She is a graduate of the City College of New York with a B.S. in Biology, she holds a Masters in Human Resources Management and Development from the New School for Social Research and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. She has been a member of the NYS bar since 1999. As one of Crown Heights North Association’s (CHNA) founding members, she is Board Member, Counsel and Treasurer of CHNA, as well as Chair of the Land Use Committee of Brooklyn Community Board 8, and President of the Sterling Place Civic Association.

Co-sponsored by: The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York

What We Learned: Takeaways from 50 years of advocacy

Thursday, September 24, 2020

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

$10 $25 $50 Other >