Notes from the Board: Bradley J. Vogel
April 17, 2015 | by Bradley J. Vogel, Board Member
Article from the Spring 2015 Newsletter
I cut my teeth in preservation in post-Katrina New Orleans. Granted, a keen interest in history emerged earlier in my life, as I served actively on the board of my hometown historical society in Kiel, Wisconsin while in high school. But it wasn’t until the tail end of law school at Tulane in New Orleans that I threw myself fully into the preservation fray. A massive state and federal construction project targeted 70 acres of a national register historic district in the middle of the city for demolition, and I began heavily documenting the area via a blog (“Inside the Footprint”) after visiting the “blighted” site to see for myself. Documentation of architectural history turned to outright activism as I learned more about what would be lost. Ultimately, I served as an historic preservation fellow with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and my advocacy efforts led to the moving and saving of a number of historic structures from the project footprint. I also worked to influence blight policy in the city at a time when mass demolition was rampant. Ultimately, the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation honored me as co-recipient of its Preservationist of the Year award in 2011.
The author and journalist Roberta Brandes Gratz, whom I had met in New Orleans preservation circles, proved to be a key bridge to New York, introducing me to Tony Wood shortly upon my arrival in the metropolis to work as a transactional attorney. Within a year, I had joined the board of the Archive Project. I’ve enjoyed many aspects of Archive Project membership, but chief among them has been the chance to launch the Archive Project’s new young professionals group, the Columns Club (for more on the Columns Club, see page 6). Our nascent membership, a subset of the Archive Project’s Stewardship Society, particularly enjoys behind-the-scenes and after-hours access to historic buildings or sites, so if you’re able to provide us with an “in”, please let the Archive Project know. If you are under the age of 40 and would like to join the Columns Club, feel free to contact me at [email protected].
Beyond the realm of preservation, I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend, Suresh, and I’m an active member of the Circumnavigators Club, the iMentor program and a rather lively book club. Traveling, drawing, hiking, and roof gardening keep me busy throughout the year, and I’m currently editing a book from the 1880s for republication and pushing a poetry book toward publication. But on any given Sunday, there’s a good chance you might find me wandering somewhere in the city, musing about an interesting Venetian Gothic or Art Deco detail floating far above the sidewalks.