From Free and Up, HDC has a Plethora of Events in all Five Boroughs


May 2014, Volume 11, Number 2

In This Issue:

  • Secret Lives Tour- Roosevelt Island
  • Battle for Brooklyn Film and Atlantic Yards Panel Discussion
  • Continuting Education Program-Terra Cotta Program
  • Six to Celebrate Tours

Secret Lives Tour:

Mid-century Roosevelt Island

Join the Historic Districts Council for an exciting tour of the mid-century built Main Street and residential buildings of Roosevelt Island.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

11:00 AMEmilio

Roosevelt Island, the sliver of land that sits between Manhattan and Queens, once home to prisons, asylums and welfare facilities, was redeveloped in the early 1970s as the most ambitious effort of the New York State Urban Development Corporation. The master plan for the island included a “utopian” vision of a car-free island, with a centralized pneumatic garbage collection system, a commercial corridor, public spaces and a waterfront promenade. The civic, residential and commercial architecture of the island, built largely between 1974 and 1977, reflects the modern urban design aesthetics of the period in a concentrated way, not seen elsewhere in the city. Indeed, the architects responsible for this tableau form a veritable “who’s who” of modern design including Phillip Johnson, John Burgee and Josep Lluis Sert. Join Ashok Bhavnani, who with his partner John Johansen, built many of the residential buildings, for an island tour and a secret peak inside Rivercross, one of his well-loved residential buildings.

$45 for Friends of HDC, $55 for general public

To register, please click here


Battle for Brooklyn Film


Atlantic Yards Panel Discussion


On June 11

Bruce Ratner and Maryanne Gilmartin of Forest City Ratner

will receive the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal

from the Municipal Art Society

to honor their contributions to New York City

To mark this inauspicious occasion, the Historic Districts Councilwishes to continue the important conversations that surround the Atlantic Yards Project.

Join us for a screening of Battle for Brooklyn, the 2011 documentary that follows the struggle of Brooklyn residents fighting for the future of their community and fair development. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion focused on the ongoing impact of the project in and around downtown Brooklyn.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 

6:00 PM

Brooklyn Lyceum 

227 4th Avenue  Brooklyn, NY 11215

RSVP required:

email:, phone: 212-614-9107


Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director, Fifth Avenue Committee

Daniel Goldstein, Co-founder, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn

Norman Oder, Journalist, Atlantic Yards Report

Ronald Shiffman, FAICP, Professor, Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment


Continuing Education Program:

Terra Cotta New York

(Former) Loew's Valencia Theater

The Historic Districts Council is pleased to present the first in a series of continuing education panels which will focus on historic materials. These programs will illuminate the complex histories, manufacturing methods, restoration process and use as a contemporary material.

Terra Cotta New YorkArchitectural terra cotta is one of the most prevalent ornamental features in urban environments, and New York City is filled with remarkable examples. The skyline here is rich in terra cotta figures and intricate decorative  detail. This program will present a thorough consideration of varied aspects of this material.

Topics to be covered will include an in-depth discussion of the use of terra cotta in historic and modern buildings; the manufacturing of terra cotta for restoration and for new construction and case studies of the restoration and maintenance of these historic buildings. The program will feature four speakers, each an expert in this field.

Speakers are:

Susan Tunick– President, Friends of Terra Cotta and author of Terra-Cotta Skyline.

John Krouse– President, Boston Valley Terra Cotta

Dan Allen– Principal, CTA Architects

Harry Kendall– Principal, BKSK Architects


Tuesday June 24, 2014

8:30 AM-Check in

9:00AM- 1:00 PM-Program

at the

Neighborhood Preservation Center

232 East 11 Street New York, NY 10003


Friends of HDC-$100

Includes continental breakfast


3.5 AIA Approved LU/HSW Credits/ 3.5 NY State Licensing Credits


STC_Logo_Web Six to Celebrate Tours 2014

All tours are $5 friends, students and seniors/ $10 for general public

Meeting location will be provided a week before the tour to those who have registered

Click here to purchase tickets

From Yiddish to Chinese and Beyond: A Walking Tour of Historic Libraries in Chinatown

Thursday, July 10, 6:00 PM 


Seward Park Branch, exterior, south façade, c.2007 (HDC) Visit two of the busiest Carnegie libraries in the New York Public Library system as well as other sites of interest between and near them, including one of the oldest graveyards in New York, Al Smith’s childhood home, and Knickerbocker Village, a forerunner of later urban renewal projects. The tour, led by John Bacon, HDC board member and Director of Planned Giving at The New York Public Library, will start at the McKim, Mead and White-designed Chatham Square Library and conclude at the Seward Park Library, which became a New York City landmark in 2013.

Madison Square North, Manhattan

Sunday, September 14, 11:00 AM (WALKING TOUR)

Madison square N crop-web

This architecturally diverse neighborhood includes pre-Civil War rowhouses, late 19th century hotels, early 20th century loft and commercial structures, and the remaining buildings of the famous Tin Pan Alley. To better reflect the neighborhood’s boundaries, local residents and advocates have submitted a Request for Evaluation to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to expand the Madison Square North Historic District. Join us as HDC Board member and Madison Square North expert Marissa Marvelli leads a walking tour of this fascinating neighborhood.

Staten Island’s Historic Cemeteries

Saturday, September 27, 11:00 AM (TROLLEY TOUR)

 Staten Island cemetery-640

Celebrate Halloween early with a visit to Staten Island’s historic places of memory and rest. Led by Lynn Rogers, executive director of the Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries of Staten Island, this trolley tour will explore three cemeteries dating to the early 19th century. Stops will include the Marine Hospital/Quarantine Station Cemetery, where thousands of Irish Famine Immigrants were reinterred in April 2014; the Staten Island/Fountain Cemetery & Native American Burial Ground, a haunted site and the city’s largest abandoned cemetery (8 acres); and Lake Cemetery, a working class cemetery where many Civil War and WWI Veterans were buried.


A Tale of Three Carnegies: A Tour of Historic Libraries in Harlem and the South Bronx
Saturday, October 18, 2:00 PM (WALKING TOUR) 

Principal façade of the Mott Haven Branch Library, 2010, courtesy of HDC

Following the July tour of Carnegie libraries in Chinatown, John Bacon, HDC board member and Director of Planned Giving at The New York Public Library, will return to lead another tour of Carnegie libraries in Harlem and Mott Haven. In Harlem, we will visit the Aguilar and 125th Street Libraries, especially noting new renovations at the latter. Bring your Metrocard, as we will then hop on the subway to the South Bronx to visit the beautiful Mott Haven Library and take in its notable children’s floor.




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