Events & News

Diversity Project Expanding!

October 25, 2016
Article from the Fall 2016 Newsletter

The New York Preservation Archive Project is pleased to announce the expansion of the oral history project Saving Preservation Stories: Diversity & the Outer Boroughs. Made possible through a grant from the New York Community Trust, this expansion will allow the Archive Project to record additional oral histories that work to capture key memories of preservation campaigns significant to minority communities as well as those in the boroughs outside of Manhattan.

The first phase of Saving Preservation Stories was launched in 2015 as an effort to strengthen the comprehensiveness of the Archive Project’s oral history collection so that it reflects a more complete and diverse narrative of preservation in New York City. Over the past year interviewers visited every borough in the City to interview community members who have worked tirelessly to preserve the history and architecture of sites and neighborhoods important to them and their community. These interviews were recorded in high quality audio and video, transcribed, and are now available to the public on this website.

By expanding Saving Preservation Stories the Archive Project will continue to create a more inclusive public record of the preservation movement, one that deepens public appreciation and understanding of minority involvement in preservation. The Archive Project is also working to plan a series of programs within these underrepresented communities to raise awareness of the availability of the records created through this project, highlight the project’s success, instill in these diverse communities the power and importance of their own history, and inspire a drive to document that history. The planning process for these programs is sponsored by a Vision Grant from Humanities New York. 

While the Archive Project has begun to achieve significant advances capturing this relatively undocumented piece of preservation history in New York City, we are eager to continue capturing these inspiring stories. Like all of the oral histories the organization captures, the final transcripts and audio recordings will be made public through the website. If you have any suggestions for potential interviewees or other resources that can help make this oral history project a success, please contact Matthew Coody at or 212-988-8379.

Above: Denise Brown-Puryear and Deborah Young, interviewees in the first phase of "Saving Preservation Stories;" Courtesy of Liz Strong