Our Story and Mission
The New York Preservation Archive Project is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and celebrating the history of historic preservation in New York City.
Recognizing the instructive and inspirational importance of this history to the continued health, success and growth of preservation in our City, the Archive Project hopes to bring these stories to light through public programs, oral histories, and providing public access to information. The Archive Project is devoted to celebrating neglected narratives of New York historic preservation using the archives that hold these stories.
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Every day, preservationists work to save New York City’s architectural, cultural, and community treasures.
In our City this effort has been going on for well over 100 years. We have a series of laws, a Supreme Court case, and a track record of successes that demonstrate the legitimacy and urgency of preservation. New York City’s preservation movement has served as a model and inspiration for countless other communities striving to preserve their own heritage.
So why is preservation still under attack? Why must preservationists constantly reaffirm and defend their place in the life of our City?
The New York Preservation Archive Project believes that the answer to this question lies partly in the ongoing loss of a sense of preservation’s own past. As preservation pioneers pass away, their irreplaceable knowledge and their personal papers often disappear with them. As a result, preservationists themselves—not to mention the general public—are often unaware of precisely what the movement has accomplished and how those goals were achieved. How can we articulate the importance of preservation if we cannot describe its historic effects and significance?
By documenting and publicizing the history of the preservation movement, we can ensure that preservation’s influence on the architectural, cultural, and economic growth of New York City becomes a vital and intrinsic part of New Yorkers’ everyday understanding of their City.
The Archive Project’s mission is to document, protect, and celebrate the history of the preservation movement in order to ensure that an accurate account of the movement is made available for posterity.
We accomplish our mission by:
- Making reference materials, original research, and primary source documents available on this website
- Conducting oral history interviews with key figures in the movement
- Assisting in properly archiving the papers and documents of preservationists and organizations
- Conducting educational outreach programs with preservation students, professionals, and the general public
- Sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on preservation history news. You can also follow us on Twitter or connect with us on Facebook
- Pledge your support for the Archive Project through a financial contribution or by donating skills, time, or materials
- Ensure that your own preservation papers are professionally archived and made available to researchers
- Be a preservation history advocate by telling other preservationists about the Archive Project’s work and encouraging them to document their own past