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In Memoriam: Joyce Matz

In Memoriam: Joyce Matz

June 1, 2018 | NYPAP

Joyce Matz, publicist and activist whom The New York Times called a “fervid preservationist” in its obituary in fall 2017, represented civic groups seeking to preserve iconic New York City landmarks such as St. Bartholomew’s Church and the modernist Lever House, enlisting the help of Jacqueline Onassis.

But Matz also took on more local concerns, such as campaigns to grant landmark status to the interior of the Town Hall (a Theater District auditorium), and to grant landmark status to City & Suburban Homes, complex of model tenements on the Upper East Side. Matz also sought a long-term preservation solution for Our Lady Queen of Angels Church on East 113th Street.

Inspired initially to swim in preservation waters by a National Geographic piece on a sinking Venice, Matz was chairwoman of the Landmarks Committee of Community Board 5, and, by her own admission, “loved a good fight.” One of her fights in the early 1990s involved efforts to thwart proposed developments by Donald Trump.

The Archive Project was happy to assist in arranging for Matz’s papers to be donated in 2017 to the New-York Historical Society.

Above: ArchivePreservationist Joyce Matz with Anthony C. Wood and Jeffrey Kroessler | Courtesy of Steven Tucker