Our Advocacy

HDC Compiles List of Preservation and Advocacy Resources for Community Partners

HDC is the citywide advocate for New York’s architecturally, historically and culturally significant neighborhoods. It is always an honor to work with community partners across all five boroughs to protect the places New Yorkers love. 

We have compiled the following list of Preservation Resources for Community Partners that HDC hopes will help boost their advocacy efforts, including information on available grants, oral history collections, and support for historic businesses. Please feel free to reach out to us at (212) 614-9107 or [email protected] with any questions, or if you know of a resource that should be added to this guide. 

Preservation 101

This presentation, created by HDC, offers an overview of the Landmarks Designation Process, the LPC Regulation Process, and the National Register Process. It answers questions like: What is a New York City Landmark? How does a site get landmarked? How do I get a permit for work on a landmarked building? What is the National Register? How is a National Historic Landmark different from a New York City Landmark?

Offered by preservation consultant Gregory Dietrich as part of HDC’s Preservation School Series, this resource offers both a video and a pdf guide to researching NYC buildings.

HDC’s step-by-step guide to using the New York State Historic Preservation Office CRIS database system.


This brochure, produced by HDC, provides a list and an overview of grant funds available to owners of historic properties who are looking for financial support to maintain their buildings.

CitizensNYC awards micro-grants up to $3,000 to community building projects carried out by resident-led groups to address issues they identify as important to them. Today, the Citizens Committee grantmaking focuses on supporting projects that bring residents together to improve neighborhood life, strengthen local leadership, and scale community partnerships. Grassroots leaders, especially in low-income communities, know and have what it takes to roll up their sleeves and make change to boost civic engagement, neighborhood wealth, and community health.

The New York Preservation Archive Project presents Archival Assistance Initiative grants to assist historic preservation-related not-for-profit organizations in identifying and maintaining their archival resources. Applicants must demonstrate their project or collection’s significance to the story of historic preservation in New York City. Grants typically range from $500 – $2,500 and do not require matching.

Making grants for historic structure reports, building condition reports, cultural landscape reports & cultural resource surveys since 1993. 

Applicants must be a unit of local government or a nonprofit group with tax-exempt status. State agencies and religious institutions are not eligible to apply. The program provides support up to 80% of the project cost. Applicants must provide 20% of the total project cost as a cash match. Grants are likely to range between $5,000 and $14,000, although awards have ranged from as low as $2,000 to as high as $20,000.

The Municipal Art Society seeks applications from community-based organizations interested in learning about new tools and resources that provide important information about land use planning and development in their neighborhoods. This program may be particularly useful for groups that are actively engaged in developing a community plan or whose neighborhoods may be the subject of a City-led initiative, such as a rezoning that will go through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). This program includes a $1,000 stipend and tailored workshops. 

In 2014, the Hispanic Federation (HF), Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF), New York Urban League (NYUL), and Asian American Federation (AAF) formed an alliance to provide capacity-building support to Black, Latino, and Asian-led community-based organizations (CBOs) throughout New York City’s five boroughs. These four organizations, along with the Black Agency Executives, developed this initiative to generate new levels of support for the city’s organizations. As a result, the New York City Council allocated $2.5 million to establish the Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund (CCNSF). 

The first New York City Council fund of its kind, CCNSF aims to build the capacity of New York City nonprofits in recognition of the fact that organizations led by people of the community are best equipped to meet the needs of the community. CCNSF is also intended to promote learning among CBO leaders.

The New York State National Maritime Heritage Grant Program is a new matching subgrant program administered by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation that will support education and historic preservation projects related to maritime heritage in New York State. Local governments, tribal governments, as well as 501(c)(3) and NYS qualified nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply.

Grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund are designed to advance place-based cultural heritage preservation projects for historic places representing African American cultural heritage.

The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF), a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has launched the Conserving Black Modernism grant program through funding from and a partnership with the Getty Foundation’s Keeping it Modern initiative. The Conserving Black Modernism grant program is designed to empower and equip preservationists and stewards with funding and technical support to preserve the material heritage, innovation, and legacy of modern architectural sites designed by Black architects.

Oral Histories and Community Archiving

The Neighborhood Stories Project is a storytelling initiative by the NYC Department of Records & Information Services (DORIS), which aims to gather and permanently preserve the stories of New York City community members—connecting local history with the records of City government maintained in the collections of the Municipal Archives and Library.

The projects endeavors to “put the community in the archive” by empowering local residents to provide their own rich historical narrative, and to encourage them to reflect on how the past connects to their lives, their families and their future.

Queens Memory collects personal histories, photographs and other records of contemporary life in Queens, New York. The program offers free, virtual, lunchtime oral history workshops and resources for scanning photos and other materials. You do not have to be a Queens resident to attend

Queens Memory also works with community groups to create special memory projects such as the Queens Memory Cookbook with Life Story Club: St. Albans & Addisleigh Park

The Five Boro History Project offers intergenerational storytelling workshops and community history events in all 5 boroughs

Historic Businesses

The program is administered by the Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, and highlights businesses that have been in operation for at least 50 years and have contributed to their communities’ history. At a time when many businesses face new and unique challenges, this registry allows us to recognize and honor historic businesses, while providing educational and promotional assistance to ensure their continued viability and success.