On Saturday, April 29, twelve community-based organizations will host a day-long forum titled “Harlem and the Future: Preserving Culture and Sustaining History in a Changing Environment” (“Harlem and the Future”) that will discuss the changes, the best practices, and the imminent challenges that are affecting Harlem’s social fabric, built environment, and cultural heritage. Harlem’s first historic preservation conference comes at a time of change to this iconic neighborhood.
The conference will begin at 9 am at the City College of New York Spitzer School of Architecture (141 Convent Avenue at 135th Street) and will last until 5 pm with a series of events staged throughout the day. Continue reading
Greater Hudson Heritage Network and New York Council on the Arts have announced the portal to apply for the first cycle of the new NYSCA/GHHN Collection Needs Assessment Program (CNAP) – Supplies Grant is now open. Applicants who have consulted with an appropriate professional may request funds to purchase collections management supplies. Supplies may include, but are not limited to: storage boxes, acid-free tissue paper, artifact trays, dividers, UV filtering film, Tyvek sheeting, tape, tags, labels, and environmental monitors, etc. Supply requests for archival or library collections will not be supported. Maximum award is $750. Continue reading
In 1850, after the State of New York took possession of the Hasbrouck House for back taxes. Eli Hasbrouck appeared in various publications directly related to his cultivation of grapes. He grew what he called the Anna Grape in his garden. It was prized as a variety because it was free from rot. Eli was drawn to the grape because of it color. A.J. Downing thought highly of it. It was said about the grape, “the raisins had the sweet rich flavor and aroma of those from the Muscat of Alexandria.”
Eli married again in 1855; the same year his brother Jonathan died. He married Margaret Van Wyck, of Fishkill, on February 13. The same time period he re-married, Eli was listed in the census as being worth $18,000. His occupation recorded as “gentleman.” Eli was in fact a merchant and farmer. Where Eli lived during this time was listed in business directories as 167 Liberty Street in Newburgh. In addition to his large family, his sister Mary also lived with the family until her death in 1856. Continue reading
Of all the world’s cities, perhaps none is so defined by its Art Deco architecture as New York. Anthony W. Robins’ new book New York Art Deco: A Guide to Gotham’s Jazz Age Architecture (SUNY Press, 2017) leads readers step-by-step past the monuments of the 1920s and 30s that recast New York as the world’s modern metropolis.
Robins’ new guide includes an introductory essay describing the Art Deco phenomenon, followed by eleven walking tour itineraries in Manhattan each accompanied by a map designed by New York cartographer John Tauranac and a survey of Deco sites across the four other boroughs. Also included is a photo gallery of sixteen color plates by Art Deco photographer Randy Juster. Continue reading
The site of New York State’s oldest surviving theater, the Hudson Opera House has completed the final phase of a major restoration project begun in April of 2016. The re-opening of the historic theater is accompanied by a name change: the Hudson Opera House will be renamed Henry Hudson Hall. Continue reading
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