Simeon Bankoff Stepping Down as Executive Director of HDC

FOR RELEASE: September 21, 2021

CONTACT: Alison Greenberg, HDC Board President;

201-207-1003/[email protected]



Board to Launch National Search and Ensure Smooth Leadership Transition

New York, NY: The Historic Districts Council (HDC), New York City’s advocate for all its historic  neighborhoods, announced today that its Executive Director Simeon Bankoff has stepped down to  pursue new opportunities. Simeon has led the organization, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in  2020, for over twenty years. Simeon’s final day at HDC was September 17th.

Simeon commented, “Over the past 20 years, I have striven to greatly expand the Historic Districts  Council’s reach, mission, and resources to better serve its citywide mandate. I feel honored to have  played an important role in helping create over 70 designated historic districts across all five  boroughs, protect hundreds of individual historic buildings, strengthen the New York City  Landmarks Law, and bring much needed resources to dozens of community organizations. The  preservation of our city depends on active and engaged New Yorkers, and I am proud to have  helped HDC build and strengthen that community.”

Discussing the transition, Alison Greenberg, Board President, said, “We are deeply appreciative of  Simeon’s two decades of passionate preservation advocacy, skillful coalition building, and  grassroots outreach. Working with a dedicated Board of Directors and Advisers, a top-notch staff,  and partners across the field, Simeon has spent two decades building HDC into a preservation  powerhouse. We look forward to finding a new leader for HDC who can build on this strong  foundation and lead the organization into its next fifty years.”

Hal Bromm, a Board Vice President, said, “Simeon came aboard over twenty years ago when I was  President of HDC. Since then, our organization has been an aggressive advocate in many  preservation battles. HDC has documented the important role historic preservation plays, boosting  the quality of life of our citizens while fostering neighborhood pride and stability, refuting the oft repeated claims of real estate developers eager to erase our history. Like many on our Board, I

joined HDC after receiving the group’s important support in the effort to protect the mercantile  buildings of the old Washington Market. Our success in designating Tribeca was really HDC’s  success. As we move forward, HDC will continue to enrich our city by leading the effort to protect  our cultural and historic resources for future generations.”

Chris Cirillo, a Board Vice President, said, “The preservation movement in New York City has grown  and changed profoundly in the fifty years since HDC was founded. The organization has a critical  role to play in advocating for policies that protect and celebrate our historic communities and the  funding necessary to implement them. HDC has always supported grassroots preservationists and  helped to develop the next generation of neighborhood leaders. We look forward to continuing this work under our Interim Executive Director, and to finding a new permanent Executive Director  who will expand HDC’s leadership in the field.”

HDC’s Board is committed to ensuring a smooth transition. The Board’s Executive Committee has selected Lorna Nowvé as HDC’s Interim Executive Director. She will start on October 12th.

Lorna commented, “I am thrilled to be joining the HDC team at so crucial a time in the city’s history.  Its neighborhoods hold the key to its revitalization and the many projects of the HDC play an  important role in helping New Yorkers celebrate and protect all that we love about our city.”

Lorna’s long association with HDC began while it was under the auspices of the Municipal Art  Society. Her work with MAS also included the fight to save Grand Central and the establishment of  the Upper East Side Historic District. As the Associate Director of the Bryant Park Restoration  Corporation, she was part of the team that developed and won approval for the plan to revitalize  the park. She is an acclaimed member of the New York film and television community, producing  films and documentaries and working on the production staffs of countless projects. Her multi faceted career also includes leadership roles in the Asian American Film Lab, the Nantucket Film  Festival, and the New York Preservation Archive Project’s Preservation Film Festival. Lorna is a  native New Yorker who grew up in the Bronx and now resides on the Upper West Side.

HDC’s Board will launch a national search for a new permanent Executive Director this fall.

About HDC: 

The Historic Districts Council (HDC) is the advocate for all of New York City’s historic neighborhoods.  Our mission is to ensure the preservation of significant historic neighborhoods, buildings, and public  spaces in New York City, uphold the integrity of New York City’s Landmarks Law, and further the  preservation ethic. We work directly with people who care about our city’s historic neighborhoods  and buildings, and we represent a constituency of hundreds of local community organizations across  all five boroughs. HDC, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides technical and  strategic support to groups and individuals to help save historic buildings. Since 1970, HDC has been  a vital force helping to preserve historic neighborhoods and buildings throughout the five boroughs.  HDC has been involved in the creation of almost all the over 150 officially designated historic  districts and district extensions in New York City, which encompass over 35,000 individual buildings. 

For more information on HDC, please visit www.hdc.org