Preserving New York: Winning the Right to Protect a City's Landmarks
Preserving New York: Winning the Right to Protect A City’s Landmarks (Routledge, 2007) is the story of the people and places, the buildings and battles, and the policies and politics that, after decades of tragic losses, led New York City to create a legal mechanism to protect the city’s cherished landmarks. The book is the previously untold story of the origins of New York City’s nationally acclaimed landmarks law.
New York’s desire to protect its historic and architectural treasures existed long before the threat to Pennsylvania Station. The decades of struggle behind the landmark law, its intellectual origins, the men and women who fought for it, the forces that shaped it, and the buildings lost and saved on the way to the law’s ultimate passage, span the years 1913 to 1965. Little recognized civic leaders such as Albert S. Bard and lost buildings, including the Brokaw Mansions, are chronicled in a meticulously researched and engaging narrative that highlights one of the most important chapters in the preservation history of New York City.
Preserving New York includes a foreword by Richard Moe, former President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Intended for the interested public as well as for students of New York City history, architecture, and preservation, the book is filled with over 100 period illustrations, which help reveal a rich and complex history extending well beyond the myth that the landmarks law sprang from the wreckage of the great Pennsylvania Station. The book includes photographs by noted photographers such as Berenice Abbott, Samuel H. Gottscho, Eliot Elisofon, Peter Moore, and Beecher Ogden. It also includes photographs from the daily papers chronicling the preservation battles of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
About the Author:
For almost three decades, Anthony C. Wood has been intimately involved in preserving New York City.
A preservation activist, historian, writer, teacher and grant maker, he is currently Executive Director of the Ittleson Foundation. An Adjunct Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University, Mr. Wood is also the founder and chair of the New York Preservation Archive Project.
Formerly on the staff of the J.M. Kaplan Fund and the Municipal Art Society, he has chaired the Preservation League of New York State, Partners for Sacred Places, and Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. He has served on numerous preservation boards, including the Historic House Trust, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, and Landmark West! He presently sits on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Drayton Hall Site Council. Mr. Wood is Chairman Emeritus of the Historic Districts Council and New York State Advisor Emeritus to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He served as the Chairman of the Selection Panel for the World Monuments Fund Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites, 2002.
Mr. Wood is the recipient of the Historic District Council’s Landmarks Lion Award and the Fine Art Federation’s Bronze Medal.