HDC remembers Jeffrey Kroessler (1952-2023)

Remembering Jeffrey Kroessler (1952-2023)

The Historic Districts Council mourns the untimely and tremendous loss of Jeffrey Kroessler, a longtime board member, preservationist, author, and historian, who passed away on Sunday, February 5th at the age of 71. Jeff served on HDC’s boards of directors and advisers for 36 years, helping to craft the organization’s advocacy strategies and educational programs on preservation across the city. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Laura Heim, and family. 
Jeff was a champion of preservation in New York, and his brilliant op-ed pieces, articles and writings were always on target. He is the author of Sunnyside Gardens: Planning and Preservation in a Historic Garden Suburb (2021), which received critical acclaim in The New York Review of Books. He also authored The Greater New York Sports Chronology (2009) and New York, Year by Year (2002). He contributed to The Encyclopedia of New York City, The Encyclopedia of New York State, and Robert Moses and the Modern City: the Transformation of New York, and published in Journal of Planning History, New York History, and Long Island History Journal
He was a passionate advocate for the borough of Queens, including co-founding the Queensborough Preservation League, involvement in the effort to landmark Long Island City’s New York Architectural Terra Cotta Works Office Building, and helping lead the successful campaign to designate the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District. He also served on the Municipal Art Society Preservation Committee and recently as president of the City Club of New York. 
There will be a memorial service to celebrate Jeff’s life and work this Saturday, February 11th, from 2-5 PM at Lynch Funeral Home, 43-07 Queens Boulevard, Sunnyside, NY 11104. Anyone who knew Jeff is welcome to attend. Memorial donations may be made to Historic Districts Council and John Jay College Library (Please contact Maria: [email protected]).
Photo ©2004 JFA Associates.
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  1. This is a tremendous loss for those who love New York City history. Jeff had the ability to speak to and write for multiple audiences, thereby communicating not only the importance of New York City history but also his genuine enthusiasm and love for the subject. He will be missed by all who knew him.

  2. Jeffrey was a scholar and a rare companion who was committed to the city and its life as a preservationist and a participant in its culture. As he grew older his personality grèw more accepting of the depth of human experience and the broader social ideals of community and importance of the place of the rights of people in all their diversity. He kept working harder and harder and as he did his views grew in complexity. Of all the friends I had, Jeffrey grew more as he learned. It was a pleasure to meet once a or so month and discuss politics and Lewis Mumford and how to curate a playlist on Spotify. Jeffrey exuded confidence and enthusiasm. It was a real pleasure. Conolences to Laura — perhaps the real origin of his trajectory.

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