January 16, 2020
Programs & Events Celebrate Preservation Stories
Stewardship Society Tour of National 9/11 Museum
On September 25th, the Archive Project’s Stewardship Society toured the National 9/11 Museum. The tour, led by museum staff, including conservationist Lisa Tonte and oral historian Amy Weinstein, as well as independent preservationist Ken Lustbader, focused on preservationists’ critical efforts to ensure that key artifacts from Ground Zero were retained in the aftermath of 9/11. While preservationists engaged in the federal Section 106 consultation process for the site with the intention of assessing impacts on historic buildings around the Ground Zero site, efforts quickly pivoted to the need to save historically significant artifacts in the site itself. The preservationist coalition that formed in the face of this need was called the Lower Manhattan Emergency Preservation Fund. It included the following organizations: National Trust for Historic Preservation, Municipal Art Society, New York Landmarks Conservancy, Preservation League of New York State, and the World Monuments Fund. Large-scale artifacts saved by preservationist and survivor advocacy groups include the slurry wall, the Survivors’ Staircase, and the box column footprints of the Twin Towers, artifacts that remain central to the Museum’s ability to tell the story of the events of 9/11.
Columns Club Tours the Northern Wilds of Central Park
The Archive Project’s Columns Club traipsed across the northern wilds of Central Park at dusk one evening in September, visiting a number of historic sites with a team of Urban Park Rangers. A highlight of the tour was a rare glimpse inside of Blockhouse No. 1, a stone remnant of the War of 1812 and the second oldest structure in the Park after Cleopatra’s Needle. Columns Club members also visited the Andrew Haswell Green Bench (with its five “symbolical” trees commemorating the unification of the five boroughs), the mortar-less Huddlestone Arch, and the sites of several small fortifications.
LGBT Oral History Event
On June 21st, the Archive Project presented on its new oral history series focused on early efforts to identify and preserve historic sites related to LGBT people and history in New York City. Former Oral History Program Manager Liz Strong outlined the oral history effort and shared clips and excerpts from the oral histories conducted thus far. Jay Shockley, a co-founder of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, was on hand to give additional context to some of the oral history aspects. The event took place at the Bureau of General Services: Queer Division at the LGBT Center. Generous support for the effort comes from the New York State Council on the Arts and the law firm of Thompson Hine LLP.