The Historic Districts Council, the advocate for New York City’s historic neighborhoods, is inaugurating a new advocacy program called “Six to Celebrate.” Every year HDC will solicit submissions from neighborhood groups, large and small, that feel their areas’ architectural significance, special character and historic qualities are worthy of preservation. The purpose of this initiative is to provide strategic help to the chosen neighborhood groups at a critical moment so that they reach their preservation goals. The program will help local residents learn to use the tools at their disposal to put in place a preservation strategy — documentation, research, zoning, landmarking, public awareness campaigns, publications.
In recent years HDC’s concentrated advocacy has resulted in the designation of Sunnyside Gardens, Queens and Midwood Park/Fiske Terrace, Brooklyn, to name just a few. Six to Celebrate builds on this history, formalizing and publicizing this process. For the period of a year the chosen areas will receive HDC’s hands-on help making their case with public officials, strategizing and implementing all aspects of a process leading to statutory protection of their neighborhood. HDC will continue to assist neighborhoods that have not been selected this year (and they may apply next year).
From its long experience helping neighborhoods campaign for landmark status and zoning consistent with their special character, HDC will coach neighborhood leaders on:
* how to establish, for their district, boundaries that recognize its special character
* how to involve other community members
* how to formulate an argument for preservation and present their case convincingly
* how to create goals and make plans to meet them
* how to develop education programming and public outreach, and
* how to secure the support of elected officials and other key players in the equation
A copy of the application form can be found here. The neighborhoods submitted for consideration must be distinct areas – not individual parks or structures. They must be located in New York City, and be architecturally and/or socially and historically significant.