2019 Bard Birthday Breakfast Benefit
December 13, 2019
Join us in honoring an awardee who embodies the preservation and curation of archives. This year we present our 2019 Preservation Award to Otis Pratt Pearsall for decades of archival stewardship of documentation related to the fight to landmark Brooklyn Heights. The benefit will also feature a presentation by Priscilla Hancock Cooper on the use of archives to advance the preservation of sites associated with the Civil Rights movement in the United States. Ms. Cooper serves as the project director for the Alabama African-American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium.
Since its creation in 2014, the Archive Project’s Preservation Award has honored outstanding contributions to the documentation, preservation, and celebration of the history of preservation in New York City. This year we turn our attention to a New Yorker whose exemplary archival stewardship safeguards the history of preservation and New York City’s architectural past. Archives hold our city’s stories, and without our honoree this history would be lost, moldering in dumpsters or forgotten to the public.
Award presentations and introductions will be made by Green-Wood Cemetery President Richard Moylan and Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund – a preservation campaign of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
December 13th, 8:30-10 am, Yale Club of New York, 50 Vanderbilt Ave, New York, NY 10017
The Green-Wood Cemetery
Jan C.K. Anderson
Joan K. Davidson
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Otis Pratt Pearsall is known for his efforts to designate Brooklyn Heights as the first historic district in New York City. He has earned many well-deserved accolades and served on many boards. The Archive Project is recognizing his decades of efforts to preserve, organize, and utilize the records that helped win— and build on—the fight in Brooklyn Heights. Otis stands as a model preservationist in that his records of preservation history are often called back into action in contemporary battles. For the BQE debate, Otis has been able to pull, show, and quote from his own correspondence with officials from 1962 to rebut arguments and set the record straight. It’s a powerful example that preservationists can take to heart: it pays to maintain good records that illuminate and give continued life to preservation history.
Priscilla Hancock Cooper, this year’s featured speaker, guides a consortium of twenty historic places of worship, lodging and civic engagement that played significant roles in the Alabama African-American civil rights struggle. Our understanding of these sites and the people associated with them is brought to life today in part through archives. As Priscilla Cooper will make clear, archives matter. Crucially important stories are at stake, especially for communities whose preservation work has long been overlooked. The work of the consortium has been recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, World Monuments Fund, and The J.M. Kaplan Fund.
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Your support of the 2019 Bard Birthday Breakfast Benefit will enable the Archive Project to continue its efforts to celebrate, preserve, and document the history of the preservation movement in New York City. We are very excited about our honorees and speaker and sincerely hope you will join us on December 13th!