SMARTPHONES MAKE SMART FRIENDS!! On May 9th, over 125 Yorkville enthusiasts joined us for an awesome adventure, using an interactive web application to explore the history of our neighborhood. Players raced around Yorkville accomplishing photo challenges to identify architectural details, replicate historic photos, and imitate ornamental building features. They made stops at local haunts like Glaser’s Bakery, Schaller & Weber, and Heidelberg Restaurant. They were prompted to write a sidewalk poem about their love for Yorkville.
Facing a groundswell of opposition to a proposed renovation that would have eliminated a gated garden to make way for a six-story addition, the museum – long admired for its intimate scale – has decided to abandon those plans and start over from scratch.
You will remember that the Department of City Planning held a scoping hearing on the proposed Zoning for Quality and Affordability Text Amendment earlier this spring.
Nearly a year to the date of the denial of the hardship application, on May 21, 2015, the Federal court dismissed the owner’s lawsuit for “failure to state a cause of action for a substantive due process violation.” However, we still await a decision from the State Supreme Court and have no real indication of when that might come.
This year, New York City is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Landmarks Law and all the benefits it has provided to our city. Our law, and the advocacy community that supports it, has served as a model for municipalities around the country, and indeed around the world.
In partnership with the Go Game, FRIENDS is offering a high-tech urban adventure, sending teams on a mission to discover the remnants of Yorkville’s history!
It’s been home to many New York City mayors, boasts one of Manhattan’s most scenic parks, and retains remnants of its past as one of the city’s largest German enclaves. It’s Yorkville, and historic preservation expert Ronda Wist, President of Wist Preservation Associates and Board Member of FRIENDS of the Upper East Side, is hosting a Jane’s Walk through the neighborhood on Saturday.
As any good preservationist would, I will start with a bit of history. In 1985, our founding president, Halina Rosenthal, wrote to our members:
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of New York’s landmark legislation, this exhibition at the New York School of Interior Design will feature more than a dozen public spaces that have been designated as interior landmarks. Using both contemporary and archival photography, it will highlight the importance of public interiors as the spaces in which we conduct our daily lives. Private tour for FRIENDS Thursday, March 19th 6:30 p.m. 170 East 70th Street Free for members, $10 for