Many of the posts in this New York History Blog report on new exhibits, public programs, outreach to schools, and other initiatives. This variety of initiatives reflects the fact that here in New York we have some of the most progressive, innovative programs in the nation.
But are there really any new ideas out there – new ways of looking at and carrying out our mission as historical societies, history museums, and other public history programs? Continue reading
“It is the sense of the council that the standing of this city as a worldwide tourist center and world capital of business, culture and government cannot be maintained or enhanced by disregarding the historical and architectural heritage of the city and by countenancing the destruction of such cultural assets.” – New York City Council, April 6, 1965 Continue reading
Historic preservation is a very important element of local history. There is a good deal of literature on the topic. But every now and then there is a new book which advances fresh ideas and puts the issue in a new light.
One such new book is Stephanie Meeks’ The Past and Future City: How Historic Preservation is Reviving America’s Communities (Washington: Island Press, 2016). Meeks is President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She has made a number of presentations about the book where you can see the book’s major points. Continue reading
The Historical Society of Rockland County will host the annual Rockland County Executive’s Historic Preservation Merit Awards, now in their 27th year.
These awards, presented during National Historic Preservation Month in May, recognize outstanding historic preservation efforts in Rockland County. Continue reading
On a summer day in 1998, I stood on Grand Street, waiting. First Lady Hillary Clinton’s press bus had broken down on I-87 and she was now several hours late.
When she finally arrived, she gave an impressive speech and pledged funds ($128,205) through the Save America’s Treasures program to stabilize the upper gallery of an A.J. Davis designed masterpiece, the Dutch Reformed Church.
At 14 years old, I was just beginning to take an interest in historic preservation. I was already aware that Newburgh possessed a vast array of historic structures, but Clinton’s visit was an inspiring notion that the ruins I had grown up around in the post-urban renewal era were finally getting the attention they needed and deserved. The work done with the grant stabilized the building and prevented what would have been an imminent collapse. Things were looking up for Newburgh’s historic district. Continue reading
The NYS Canal System has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
The designation places New York’s operating canals among the premier historic sites in the United States. The Adirondack Park was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1963, and is the largest NHL. Continue reading
Not-for-profit groups and municipalities have been invited to attend one of three free information session on Preserve New York and Technical Assistance Grants (TAG), the signature grant programs of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League. At each meeting, Erin Tobin, the League’s Director of Preservation, will explain the requirements of the grants, the process of applying, and discuss some successful previous applicants. Continue reading
As the National Park Service enters its second century of service, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the designation of 24 new National Historic Landmarks.
The National Historic Landmarks Program recognizes historic properties of exceptional value to the nation and promotes the preservation efforts of federal, state, and local agencies and Native American tribes, as well as those of private organizations and individuals. The program is one of more than a dozen administered by the National Park Service that provide states and local communities technical assistance, recognition and funding to help preserve our nation’s shared history, and create close-to-home recreation opportunities. Continue reading
The Preservation League of New York State is seeking nominations for its 2017 Excellence in Historic Preservation Awards, which recognize significant achievements in historic preservation throughout New York State.
The nominations must be submitted digitally by February 10, 2017. The awards will be presented in May, 2017. Continue reading
On a bitterly cold January morning in 1917, the painters John Sloan and Marcel Duchamps, along with friends, climbed to the top of Washington Square Arch to proclaim the secession of Greenwich Village from the United States. Thenceforth the neighborhood that stood as America’s repository of avant-garde art, literature and social enlightenment would be known as the Free and Independent Republic of Washington Square. The stunt defined the character of the Village, as it is popularly known to New Yorkers, for the ensuing half century. Continue reading