In recent months, building proposals for two exceptionally important sites on the Upper East Side burst into the news: an enormous addition proposed for the FRICK COLLECTION and a new apartment tower next to the PARK AVENUE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
These two proposals remind us how important landmark protections are to our neighborhood, and how astonishingly insensitive development proposals can be. Despite 50 years of experience since our Landmarks Law was passed, and despite the spectacular success of historic districts like ours, naysayers still challenge the values and even the legitimacy of preservation.
That’s where FRIENDS comes in. From the micro – the examination of alterations to your favorite storefront – to the macro, an owner’s challenge to the constitutionality of the Landmarks Law itself, FRIENDS speaks up and speaks for YOU.
Happily, our work at FRIENDS is not always so defensive. We are also intensely proactive, completing this year a photographic survey of all the buildings between Lexington Avenue and the East River, from 59th Street to 96th Street, nearly 200 blocks and thousands of structures. We undertook the survey in anticipation of the many changes that are likely to come with the completion of the Second Avenue Subway, and in recognition of the threat posed by the outrageous “supertowers” cropping up in Midtown.
And, we have our very popular education program for children, whom our founder, Halina Rosenthal, called “low-rise people.” Indeed! We proudly teach over 1,200 children from East 57th Street to East Harlem every year.
Your financial support is critical to all these efforts, providing about 20% of our modest annual budget. We depend on concerned citizens like YOU so that we can be an effective advocate, and are very grateful for your support.
If you believe in the livability and sense of place of the Upper East Side, please consider making a year-end donation today.
Warmest wishes to all,