Celebrate the Landmarks Law, and Don’t Forget the Frick!

This year, New York City celebrates a major preservation milestone: 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of our City’s Landmarks Law. Established in 1965, the legislation protects thousands of significant sites across the five boroughs – including the landmarked Frick Collection, an Individual Landmark and part of the Upper East Side Historic District. And don’t forget it is also landmarked by New York State, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark – five times a landmark.

The 50th anniversary is an opportunity to revisit the major events which lead to the signing, by Mayor Wagner, of the Landmarks Law on April 19, 1965. The NYC Landmarks50 Alliance is a resource for lectures, conferences and other opportunities to engage in this significant conversation about how we manage and protect our heritage for the benefit of future generations. The first program is next week (see below)!

This panel (see below) is a valuable opportunity to discuss our shared concerns about the fate of the Frick – in the context of this landmark anniversary – with the larger community of preservationists, architects and landscape architects, historians, and others generally concerned with the integrity of our City’s landmarks and the Landmarks Law. Help to ensure the Frick is a part of the conversation by attending and asking questions – don’t forget the Frick!

If an ensemble as significant as the Frick – a landmark at the City State and National levels – is threatened by such plans, what does it mean for our valuing of landmarks, fifty years on?

The Brokaw Mansion:
Catalyst for the Landmarks Law

Wednesday, February 18th, at 6:30PM
The Ukrainian Institute of America
2 East 79th Street, at Fifth Avenue
FREE (advance RSVP required)

The historic Brokaw Mansion (pictured) was demolished in February 1965. Public outcry and scathing press led Mayor Wagner to sign landmarks legislation into law. In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Landmarks Law, this program brings together vintage film clips and first-hand accounts to explore and celebrate this catalyzing moment in the history of preservation.

Special guests include:

Peter Samton is a New York City architect and partner at Gruzen Samton. One of the original founders of AGBANY, the Action Group for Better Architecture in New York, Samton became involved with key preservation battles in the 1960s, including those to save Pennsylvania Station and the Brokaw Mansion.

John Heimann is an investment banker, former New York State Supervisor of Banking and Commissioner of Housing and Community Development, and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to be Comptroller of the Currency. In the fall of 1964 Heimann was running for the New York State Assembly and helped to form the Committee to Save the Brokaw Mansion and get the Landmarks Law passed.

Joseph M. Cahalan, PhD, grew up in the Brokaw Mansion. His father was the live-in caretaker and superintendent for the building from roughly 1940 until its demolition in 1965. Dr. Cahalan is now the Chief Executive Officer of Concern Worldwide U.S., an organization dedicated to the reduction of suffering and elimination of extreme poverty.

Convened by Anthony C. Wood, author of Preserving New York: Winning the Right to Protect a City’s Landmarks, and Chair of the New York Preservation Archive Project, the program will be followed by a light reception.

Hosted by the FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts in partnership with the New York Preservation Archive Project and the NYC Landmarks50 Alliance.

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