HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ARCHIVE
Below, you’ll find some highlights from 35+ years of FRIENDS’ work in the neighborhood.
Since 1982, Friends has been publishing informative, provocative and fun newsletters. Published throughout the year, we report on preservation issues affecting the Upper East Side, neighborhood history, events, and our work advocating for the protection of the Upper East Side’s remarkable built environment. This publication is complimentary with an annual membership subscription.
Modern Architecture on the Upper East Side: Landmarks of the Future, is a catalogue that accompanied the eponymous exhibit curated and organized by FRIENDS in 2001-2002. It was intended to promote a greater appreciation and understanding of modern architecture on the Upper East Side by highlighting distinguished, yet unprotected modern-style buildings.
FRIENDS has been publishing a version of our neighborhood map and guide since 1999. Originally conceived as a way of introducing visitors and residents alike to the wide array of historic architecture on the Upper East Side, the map and guide has evolved through various iterations over its lifetime. The most recent edition, published by FRIENDS in 2019, takes the form of a short booklet and includes a special spotlight on the historic and cultural resources, including those of Yorkville.
Written by Anthony Robins for FRIENDS in 2007, this walking tour guide served as a key instrument in our campaign for expansion of the Upper East Side Historic District to include portions of Lexington Avenue, in recognition of that corridor’s special and unique character. The expansion was designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2010.
An early project of FRIENDS, the Preservation Manual, first published in 1989 with a second edition in 1994, was designed as a simple resource guide to the work and processes of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Though very much of its time, the Preservation Manual was meant to allow anyone working on historic buildings – property and store owners, tenants, architects, preservationists, attorneys, and contractors – to have a better understanding of how decisions are made about designating and maintaining individual landmarks and buildings in historic districts.
FRIENDS has long been dedicated to shining a light on Yorkville and the eastern Upper East Side, which boasts a distinct immigrant history and remains home to significant architectural and cultural resources tied to that narrative. Through projects such as the “Other Upper East Side” exhibit in 1993, a neighborhood-wide survey completed with the help of volunteers, and several collaborative projects undertaken with students in Columbia University’s graduate program in Historic Preservation, FRIENDS began to document the history of these buildings. Earlier research efforts culminated in the publication of an original book and short documentary film series, both titled, Shaped by Immigrants: A History of Yorkville, and these projects form the backbone of our advocacy to bring more recognition and preservation protection to Yorkville’s historic architecture.