2022 Ambassador to the Upper East Side Award Dinner

“For one addicted to New York, working here is endlessly fascinating. How can you imagine playing golf when you could be wrestling with developers and politicians over the future of the most interesting place on the planet?”

Kent Barwick is the quintessential civic agitator, preservationist, public servant, and New Yorker. The impact of his civic work is undeniable – whether saving Grand Central, South Street Seaport, and the lights of Times Square or championing the city’s 141 historic districts and 520 miles of coastline. His advocacy on behalf of parks, trails and waterways, and myriad preservation efforts extends throughout New York State.
Early in his career, Kent led the New York State Council on the Arts and administered the Adopt-A-Station program to improve city subways. Kent also chaired the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission when the Upper East Side Historic District was designated in 1981, and soon after, as president of the Municipal Art Society, was an influential force in the founding of FRIENDS.

While at MAS, a professional relationship that began in 1970, Kent took on countless additional roles as adviser to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Mayor’s Advisory Committee for Governor’s Island, as chair of the State Council on Waterways, and as an early organizer of the South Street Seaport. He has devoted himself to such groups as Historic Hudson Valley, the North River Historic Ship Society, Ostego 2000, the Clark Foundation, Parks & Trails New York, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, Riverside South Planning Corporation, St. Bartholomew’s Conservancy, the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Memorial, and the City Club of New York.

In addition to FRIENDS, Kent led efforts to establish the New York Landmarks Conservancy, Historic Districts Council, Preservation League of New York State, Seventh Regiment Armory Conservancy, and the Waterfront Alliance. He’s received numerous awards including from the American Institute of Architects and the American Planning Association. Today, Kent’s vision and leadership continue to shape the city in significant ways. FRIENDS is thrilled to salute him as our 2022 Ambassador to the Upper East Side.

Joan K. Davidson

Honorary Chair

Laurie Beckelman
Philip and Alexandra Howard
Tony Kiser and Lisa Atkin
Janet C. Ross


Roberta Brandes Gratz
Adele Chatfield-Taylor
Frank Sanchis
Jean Tatge
Anne Van Ingen
Anthony C. Wood



07:30 - DINNER