Historic Districts Council announces 6 NYC areas meriting preservation

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The Bayley Seton Campus in Staten Island was recognized by the Historic Districts Council as one of six NYC sites.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia

The Historic Districts Council (HDC), New York’s citywide advocate for historic buildings and neighborhoods, is pleased to announce the 2022 Six to Celebrate, its annual program honoring historic New York City neighborhoods and cultural sites, and the local community groups working to preserve and enhance them.

This year, HDC has selected the following community partners and areas for the Six to Celebrate program:

  •  Parkchester Project – Parkchester, The Bronx
  •  caribBEING – Little Caribbean, Brooklyn
  •  Crown Heights North Association – Crow Hill, Brooklyn
  • East Bronx History Forum – Van Nest, The Bronx
  • Save Chelsea – Penn Development Area, Manhattan
  • Preservation League of Staten Island – Bayley Seton Campus, Staten Island

Located in the East section of the Bronx, Van Nest started developing as a family community by the 1890s. Much of its architecture is in the Queen Anne, Italianate and Art Deco styles and includes brick construction from the 1950s, and a few tenements. Richard Vitacco, leader of the East Bronx History Forum, will work with HDC to promote the overlooked, architecturally significant buildings of the neighborhood.

Since 2011, Six to Celebrate has been helping to shape preservation activities in New York City. The program has been instrumental in the creation of 14 New York City Historic Districts and 50 Individual Landmarks. In addition, five districts and three individual properties have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The program has spurred 19 neighborhood surveys, encompassing thousands of buildings. It has also leveraged more than $130,000 in private and public grants for these community driven efforts.

“This year saw an exceptionally high number of applicants, underscoring how important this initiative is to local community groups,” said Lorna Nowvé, HDC’s interim executive director. “We are inspired by their dedication and commitment to their neighborhoods, and look forward to honoring their mission by sharing their stories and highlighting why they are, indeed, worthy of celebrating.”

Applications for Six to Celebrate were submitted by neighborhood groups around the city. The winners were chosen on the basis of architectural, cultural and historic merit, the presence and level of threats to the area, and the commitment shown by local advocates to promote their work. Another important element was an assessment of where HDC’s citywide preservation perspective and assistance could be the most meaningful.

Throughout 2022, HDC will work with and focus on these neighborhood partners to set and reach preservation goals through strategic planning, advocacy, outreach, programs and building public awareness. This work is in addition to HDC’s ongoing support and advocacy for numerous neighborhood preservation efforts throughout the city.

Founded in 1970 as a coalition of community groups from the city’s designated historic districts, HDC has grown to become one of the foremost citywide voices for historic preservation. Serving a network of more than 500 neighborhood-based community groups in all five boroughs, HDC strives to protect, preserve and enhance New York City’s historic buildings and neighborhoods through ongoing advocacy, community development and education programs.

The Six to Celebrate is generously supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state Legislature. Additional FY22 support is provided by New York City Council members Margaret Chin, Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Stephen Levin, Mark Levine and Keith Powers.

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