Events & News

In Memoriam

January 16, 2020

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The late Thom Bess and the late Eric Allison at the 2006 Golden Jubilee of the passage of the Bard Act. | Courtesy of the Archive Project

Dr. Eric Allison, a preservationist and one of the initial incorporators of the Archive Project, died on June 15, 2019 in Idaho. An educator, author, and leader in the historic preservation field, Allison developed the graduate historic preservation program at Pratt Institute. He served as president of the Historic Districts Council from 1990- 2000, chaired the National Council for Preservation Education, and served on the board of the Archive Project. He believed that preservation is about more than the building as an object or work of art and encouraged students to look beyond the familiar to understand both the past and the future and to study both great buildings and overlooked structures. The Archive Projects looks forward to writing more about our colleague, Eric, in a future issue. His oral history can be found here: Oral History Of Eric Allison


Instrumental in organizing his neighbors to campaign for the designation of the Longwood Historic District in the Bronx (designated 1980), Thom Bess passed away March 26, 2019. He helped create the Longwood Historic District Association to provide preservation assistance to residents ofthedistrict.Besslaterbecameinvolvedin preservation in Harlem and served as a board member of the Historic Districts Council. His oral history with the Archive Project can be found here: Oral History of Thom Bess 


Whitney North Seymour, Jr. died on June 29, 2019 at the age of 95. While his obituary in The New York Times focuses on his lengthy career in politics and as a prosecutor, it barely touches on the fact that “Mike” (as he was known to friends) was a preservationist and a director of the Municipal Art Society of New York. Seymour, Jr. became actively involved in preservation through the New York Bar Association Committee for the Preservation of Historic Courthouses. He was an active community member, serving on the Greenwich Village Association and as president of the Park Association of New York City; he was active in efforts to save Washington Square Park. After being elected to the New York State Senate in 1966 he advocated for many preservation projects, including the establishment of a museum at South Street Seaport.

Seymour, Jr. was also an accomplished amateur artist who painted watercolors and oils of historic courthouses. Listen to Seymour’s oral history with the Archive Project here: Oral History of Whitney North Seymour