Last November the Landmarks Preservation Commission announced a plan to remove nearly 100 buildings from consideration for designation. When a building passes the Commission’s initial review and is found to meet their basic requirements for designation, it is put on their calendar for a public hearing. At the time a building is “calendared,” it receives provisional protections under the New York City Landmarks Law until approved or denied as a landmark. For various reasons, the Commission has built up a backlog of items that were calendared but never designated, some of which have been languishing in limbo for decades.
While FRIENDS recognized the good intentions behind clearing the backlog, we joined many other preservation groups in questioning the transparency of such a broad action. Shortly after the announcement, and following considerable push-back from the public, the LPC agreed to postpone the de-calendaring vote indefinitely so that they could come up with a more judicious way to handle these items. During this time, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer met with a variety of stakeholders with the goal of formulating a “clear, consistent, and transparent designation process.” The result was the Proposed Backlog Action Plan for the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which was released on April 2nd, 2015, cosigned by FRIENDS. As a result, on June 19th, the Wall Street Journal reported that the LPC would indeed hold public hearings on each of the 95 items in the backlog!
There is only one building on the Upper East Side included in the list of items that have been calendared for over 5 years, and that is 412 East 85th Street. The house was built circa 1860 and is a rare example of a wood clapboard building in Yorkville, a remnant from the area’s agrarian past. It is one of a mere seven wood-frame buildings on the Upper East Side, and the only one that is not protected by the Landmarks Law. FRIENDS has been working hard to get the building designated, and with the support of both the owners and Council Member Ben Kallos, we look forward to a public hearing sometime this fall!
will proudly presentTHE TWELFTH ANNUAL AMBASSADOR TO THE UPPER EAST SIDE AWARD
Tuesday, September 29th 6:30 p.m. Cocktails 7:30 p.m. DinnerThe Union Club 101 East 69th Street New York City Click HERE to purchase tickets or make a contribution.
PETER DUCHIN Peter Duchin is America’s preeminent dance-band leader. Since his debut in 1962 at The Maisonette in the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, he and his orchestra have provided the music for many of the nation’s most notable public and private events: White House state dinners and inaugural balls, the openings of museums and arts centers, movie premieres, charity galas, debutante dances, New Year’s Eve parties, and weddings. He has also embarked on a highly successful recording career, with a total of 26 albums.
Raised with the example of Averell Harriman, Peter Duchin devotes considerable time and energy to public service. For many years he was Vice-Chairman and is now an Honorary Member of the New York State Council on the Arts. He has served on the boards of Carnegie Hall, Spoleto Festival U.S.A. and the American Ballet Theatre. He is presently on the Board of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He is Honorary Chairman of the Board of Glimmerglass Opera of Cooperstown, New York and also serves on the Boards of the Manhattan School of Music, Dreamyard and the Citizens Committee Of New York City.
Peter Duchin lives in New York City and is the author of a best selling personal memoir called Ghost of a Chance.
CHAIRS PHILIP & ALEXANDRA HOWARD Mr. Howard, an author and lawyer, is the Founder and Chair of Common Good, as well as the Chair Emeritus of the Municipal Art Society of New York where he served with Mr. Duchin for many years. Mrs. Howard, an architectural historian, executed the initial survey of the Upper East Side for the nomination to the State and National Register of Historic Places.
SMARTPHONES MAKE SMART FRIENDS!!
On May 9th, over 125 Yorkville enthusiasts joined us for an awesome adventure, using an interactive web application to explore the history of our neighborhood. Players raced around Yorkville accomplishing photo challenges to identify architectural details, replicate historic photos, and imitate ornamental building features. They made stops at local haunts like Glaser’s Bakery, Schaller & Weber, and Heidelberg Restaurant. They were prompted to write a sidewalk poem about their love for Yorkville. And there was even a live actor playing Jacob Ruppert, founder of the Ruppert Brewery and owner of the New York Yankees from 1915 to 1939!
Through trivia and memory questions, the teams discovered how immigrant groups lived, worked, worshiped, and played, as well as how they retained their culture through food, music, and language.
One participant commented:“Fabulous idea to connect historic preservation and new media/technology. Doing so illustrates its approachability and relevance to all audiences … and makes engagement all the more fun! The Go Game was smartly crafted and Friends even smarter for utilizing it as a tool!”
Another said: “It was a cool experience. Well written and researched. I was impressed. I say this as a lifelong resident who is knowledgeable on borough history, as a tour guide and adjunct history professor.”
The hunt ended at the local favorite Ryan’s Daughter Pub, where Council Member Benjamin Kallos announced the winners and participants recounted highlights from the day.
The program was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Member Benjamin Kallos.
DID YOU MISS OUT ON THE FUN???
Not to worry! The Yorkville Urban History Hunt is now available to be played at any time, at your leisure. Just click on the following link http://thegogame.com/yorkville or download the instruction sheet below.The game is live now!
Gather some friends or play by yourself! You can play for as long as you like, but we recommend setting aside an hour for the full experience. All you need is a fully charged iPhone or Android, some comfortable shoes, and a love of strudel (optional, but highly encouraged).Where is the game?
All the site-specific clues lie between 82nd and 90th, York and 3rd Ave. Your phone will guide you where to go! But everything is within walking distance.Is it for all ages?
Yes! We’re experts on programming for kids AND adults. We have special missions for teams with players under the age of 12, as well as more sophisticated missions for the mature set. Whether you are 2 or 92 years young, you will have a blast and learn a lot.
Step 1: Download this instructions sheet:
Step 2: Download this architecture sheet:
Step 3: GAME ON!
Questions? Email email@example.comAbout Yorkville
Yorkville generally covers the area from East 72nd Street to East 96th Street, from Lexington Avenue to the East River. Once an enclave for many immigrant groups in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including German, Hungarian, Czech, and Irish, the area is rich in cultural heritage. Though it has changed now, much evidence of this historic fabric remains in the built environment. Some of these remnants are not obvious to the regular passerby, thus making it the prime location for scavenger hunt participants to find hidden clues to the past.About The Go Game
The Go Game is a San Francisco-based company that designs high-tech urban adventures games for clients worldwide. In addition to producing safety games, creativity training games, circus games, team building games, marketing campaigns, training experiences, tourism games, and games purely for entertainment, The Go Game has worked with industry leaders in tech, fashion, energy, media, and education to create unforgettable custom group experiences and buzz-worthy public spectacle.