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Linda Gillies

The former director of the Astor Foundation speaks about the work of Brooke Astor and the Foundation during the 1980s and 90s.

Interviewed by Ryan Mulcock
March 30, 2012
People: Brooke Astor, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers
Places: Carver Houses, Central Park, Coney Island, Jefferson Market Garden, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, South Street Seaport
Policy: Central Park Conservancy, Preservation League of New York State, The Vincent Astor Foundation
Above: Central Park, New York City, bird's-eye view, 1929; Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division

Linda Gillies was director of the Astor Foundation from 1974 until its closure in 1997. She speaks about Brooke Astor’s philanthropic interests and the Foundation’s supported projects including South Street Seaport, the Jefferson Market Garden, and the Bronx Zoo. Brooke Astor had a strong interest in churches and religious buildings and provided essential funding through the Foundation to the effort to save St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church and the Eldridge Street Synagogue. The Foundation also helped to fund the Central Park Conservancy, which changed the way Central Park was managed. From 1988-2007 she also served on the board of the Preservation League of New York State.

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