Events & News

Dedication Ceremony for the Albert S. Bard Cultural Medallion

September 23, 2013
3:45 p.m.
Broad Exchange Building

The Archive Project teamed up with the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center to host a dedication ceremony for the Albert S. Bard cultural medallion at the landmark-designated Broad Exchange Building where Bard maintained an office for over 60 years. The medallion, part of the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center’s Cultural Medallion Program, celebrates the work of Bard, whose advocacy of governmental aesthetic regulation was instrumental in preserving our City’s history. He is most noted for the passage of the Bard Act, the piece of legislation that enabled the creation of the New York City Landmarks Law in 1965. Speakers at the ceremony included former Landmarks Preservation Commissioners Beverly Moss Spatt, Gene Norman, Kent Barwick, and Laurie Beckelman, as well as Archive Project founder and chair and Bard historian, Anthony C. Wood. After the medallion unveiling, a brief reception was held inside the Broad Exchange Building, where attendees were regaled with stories of the civic activist’s accomplishments.

The Archive Project is proud to be involved in creating and installing this plaque for Albert S. Bard, which joins an array of cultural medallions that commemorate individuals or occurrences which have made significant contributions to New York City’s rich cultural heritage. The Archive Project gives special thanks to board member Daniel J. Allen for spearheading the effort, LCOR, the owner of 25 Broad Street, and Bobby Van’s Steak House for catering the lovely reception.

In the spirit of this event, below is Arthur Cort Holden’s Sonnet No. 186 entitled “Landmarks Preservation Commission,” from his book, Sonnets for my City:

Here round the church, low brownstone homes are set;
One speculator senses chance for gain;
High rise apartments, a mortgage from the Met;
All protests from the neighbors seem in vain.

This tree lined square’s low buildings make its charm,
Desired frontage, taxed because it’s rare;
Great city’s need for income works the harm,
So business judgment building tiered boxes there.

Must beauty and rare landmarks yield their place?
And economic forces uncontrolled
Destroy fine records of past living’s grace?
Has good taste vanished with the men of old?

Bard framed a sanction, written into law
To make taste vocal; that’s what law is for.

This program was part of the NYC Landmarks50 Alliance celebration of the 50th anniversary of the NYC Landmarks Law.

Broad Exchange Building
25 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004
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Above: Albert S. Bard Cultural Medallion; Courtesy of the New York Preservation Archive Project