The Oral History Collection documents the experiences and perspectives of New York City preservationists.
By collecting eyewitness accounts and personal impressions of moments in preservation history, the Archive Project aims to create a verifiable record of the movement and ensure that the work of preservationists is not forgotten. These oral histories document those who were directly involved in much of the groundbreaking legislation and grassroots activism of the 20th and 21st centuries. Whenever possible, transcripts, audio recordings, video recordings, photographs, and other supporting documentation of the resulting interviews are made available on this website. If not uploaded on the website, these materials may be available upon request.
If you are interested in becoming involved with our oral history program by sharing your own preservation experiences, acting as an interviewer, or suggesting a potential figure to interview, please contact us.
The views expressed by contributors to this oral history collection do not necessarily reflect the views of the New York Preservation Archive Project.
Use of Materials: All oral histories made available in this online collection are licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-
This oral history project seeks out preservation stories that have previously been underrepresented in New York City. Participants are leading members of historic preservation campaigns to save sites significant to minority populations, as well as sites in the four boroughs outside Manhattan.
In 1965, the New York City Landmarks Law was enacted to protect historic sites. Over fifty years later, many challenges to the law have been overcome thanks, in part, to the lawyers interviewed in this project.
These oral histories with past Chairs of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission paint a nuanced portrait of the field. Their unique perspectives offer an inside look on the first 50 years of the City's Landmarks Law.
The Oral History Collection
Lifelong community activist on the Lower East Side, Chino Garcia talks about the many forms that his activism in the neighborhood has taken over the years: squatting, creating the first community gardens, experimenting with geodesic domes, and co-founding what would become CHARAS/El Bohio Community Center, a key cultural and organizing center in the once-abandoned P.S. 64.
November 13, 2017
Past presidents of the Addisleigh Park Civic Organization speak about the history of Addisleigh Park and the process of landmarking the neighborhood.
September 16, 2017