Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, founded in 1982, is an independent, not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the architectural legacy, livability, and sense of place of the Upper East Side.
We pursue our mission through rigorous advocacy as well as educational programming for adults and children. Our success can be measured by the neighborhood’s 131 individually designated landmarks and 7 historic districts, encompassing a total of 1,907 protected buildings. We urgently promote the values of common sense zoning and good planning, and believe that the Upper East Side can be a place where architectural beauty, historic resources and new development exist in harmony.
On a day-to-day basis, FRIENDS strives to serve as the eyes and ears of the neighborhood, a source of information for residents and property owners, and an active and reasoned voice in public decisions that affect the historic and cultural resources of the Upper East Side. To that end, FRIENDS testifies on all Landmarks Preservation Commission items affecting the neighborhood, and monitors and testifies before the Community Board, City Planning Commission, Public Design Commission, and City Council, on city government actions likely to impact the Upper East Side.
FRIENDS also works hard to educate the public. We host lectures, sponsor walking tours, and present annual awards to outstanding preservation projects, advocacy efforts, and community service on the Upper East Side. Additionally, we offer educational programming for 1st through 5th graders through our robust Young FRIENDS program. A variety of curricula focus on the appreciation of the built environment and neighborhood history. Our goal is to stimulate an interest in architecture, history, and preservation, while also instilling a sense of community pride and awareness.
FRIENDS of the Upper East Side began as a group of volunteers interested in supporting preservation soon after the designation of the Upper East Side Historic District in 1981.
With the rapidly increasing number of landmarked structures in the city, the Municipal Art Society saw the need for additional local community groups supporting preservation in New York. At the time, there was a growing recognition that designation was only the first step, and that much of the ongoing work of preservation had to do with monitoring and advocating for sensitive change in neighborhood. FRIENDS was one of the many watchdog organizations incubated by MAS. Accordingly, an essential part of our work has been to review every Upper East Side application that appears at a public hearing of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and offer expert testimony.
Board & Staff
Rita C. Chu, Vice President
Lionel Goldfrank III, Vice President
David I. Karabell, Vice President
Patricia F. Sullivan, Vice President
Ronda Wist, Vice President
Andrew P. Steffan, Treasurer
Alice McG. Concagh, Secretary
Christina R. Davis
Alexandra C. Howard
E. William Judson
Rev. John A. Kamas
Marjorie F. MacLachlan
Carol E.R. Miller
Daniel B. Strickler, Jr.
Board of Advisors
Kent L. Barwick
Andrew S. Dolkart
Peter deF. Millard
Robert C. Quinlan
Timothy C. Quinlan
Anthony C. Wood
Historic Districts & Landmarks
The Upper East Side has seven historic districts and over 120 individual landmarks designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
FRIENDS’ Preservation Committee reviews every Upper East Side item that goes to a Landmarks Preservation Commission public hearing and weighs in to encourage appropriate changes to designated buildings in our neighborhood. FRIENDS is also a strong voice for expanding preservation protection to more culturally and architecturally significant buildings in our neighborhood.
Most recently, we have focused on bringing recognition to the immigrant history of Yorkville, on the eastern Upper East Side through projects like our original book, Shaped by Immigrants: A History of Yorkville, and targeted advocacy on behalf of these buildings.
In addition to contributing buildings in historic districts, the Upper East Side boasts 131 individual landmarks that have been designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission — learn more about them here.
For more on types and criteria of landmarks in New York City, there is a wealth of information available on the website of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, including the fantastic Discover NYC Landmarks map. The LPC also maintains helpful and thorough pages about the designation process for new landmarks, the alteration process for designated buildings, and up to date information about current applications. Learn more at the links below.
You can help us be the eyes and ears of the Upper East Side. Get in touch!
Manager of Preservation and Outreach
Founded in 1982, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts is one of New York’s most effective preservation advocacy organizations and a growing influence on issues related to planning and zoning reform. We pursue our mission to preserve and celebrate the architectural legacy, livability, and sense of place of the Upper East Side through a program of rigorous advocacy as well as educational programming for adults and children. Long a champion of common sense zoning and good urban planning, we fervently believe that the Upper East Side can be a place where new development can co- exist in harmony with architectural beauty and historic resources.
AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY
The Manager of Preservation and Outreach (the Manager) reports to the Executive Director and is part of a small, collaborative team and thus involved in almost all aspects of the FRIENDS activities. They support the Executive Director and an activist board with strategy on preservation advocacy, research initiatives, as well as fundraising and program management.
Advocacy and Research: The Manager of Preservation and Outreach liaises with the public, community groups and government agencies on preservation issues and projects. They prepare and present testimony before the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, Community Board 8 and at other public venues. A key responsibility is to lead the organization’s internal review of all Upper East Side alteration applications to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and craft and present advisory testimony on FRIENDS’ behalf at each public hearing. The Manager is responsible for all research initiatives as they arise.
Program Management and Fundraising: The Manager of Preservation and Outreach spearheads the planning and management of all public programs and events with support from the Executive Director, including the Annual Awards Ceremony. In addition, the Manager supports development, fundraising, and membership management activities, leads content creation for the website and e-blasts, manages interns, and helps with general office administration.
Special Projects: The Manager of Preservation and Outreach supports ongoing special projects that consist of advocacy around the historic and cultural resources of Yorkville and reform for common sense zoning on the Upper East Side, including specific legal and administrative challenges to out of scale buildings in our neighborhood.
This position requires a creative, motivated self-starter with experience in historic preservation advocacy in New York City. Qualified candidates will be able to successfully represent the organization in public speaking and in writing, and will be comfortable juggling a variety of priorities.
Qualified candidates will also possess the following skills and qualifications:
- A Bachelor’s Degree or higher in Historic Preservation, Architecture, Public History, or related field (or comparable job experience).
- Demonstrated interest in New York City, familiarity with historic preservation advocacy, the Upper East Side, and non-profit work are highly desirable.
- Must have a clear understanding and appreciation for the mission and objectives of FRIENDS.
- Outstanding organizational and communications skills are essential, including high level of attention to detail.
- Able to work skillfully in Microsoft Office suite. Graphic design skills highly desirable. FRIENDS uses WordPress and EveryAction platforms; ability to learn and use these successfully is essential.
- Some evening and weekend availability as needed.
- Must be able to complete projects in a collaborative yet small work environment.
This is a full-time, paid position within regular business hours. Successful candidates must be able to work in-person in NYC 2-4 days per week, with some flexibility. Salary in range of $60,000 commensurate with experience. Benefits include paid time off (15 days), monthly stipend toward health insurance, access to 401(k) retirement plan.
Applicants should submit a single PDF document containing letter of introduction, resume, and three references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. No phone calls please.