Main gate showing Richard J. Koke at Castle Clinton, August 2, 1961; Courtesy of David Hirsch

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-ShareAlike 4.0 International.

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Above: Main gate showing Richard J. Koke at Castle Clinton, August 2, 1961; Courtesy of David Hirsch

The Oral History Collection

Kent Barwick

Former Chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission speaks about landmark and preservation politics during the Koch administration.

Interviewed by Liz McEnaney
2011
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Laurie Beckelman

Former Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Laurie Beckelman, shares her insight into building community relations, raising public awareness of preservation, and several important cases that arose during her tenure.

Interviewed by Liz McEnaney
2011
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Gene Norman

Chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission [LPC] during the 1980s, Gene Norman shares his unique perspective coming to the LPC after working in other government agencies and in working to codify the agency’s policies.

Interviewed by Liz McEnaney
2011
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Sherida Paulsen

New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission chairwoman from 2001 to 2003, Sherida Paulsen speaks about Hearst Tower, The Morgan Library and the issues surrounding cultural landmarks.

Interviewed by Liz McEnaney
2011
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Jennifer Raab

Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission from 1994-2001, Jennifer Raab helped to streamline the landmarking and appeal process, and worked to build bridges between preservationists and developers.

Interviewed by Liz McEnaney
2011
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Beverly Moss Spatt

Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission from 1974-1978, Beverly Moss Spatt speaks about the importance of transparency in government and informing communities for preservation.

Interviewed by Liz McEnaney
2011
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