Check out our Spring 2017 Events!

Check out our Spring 2017 Events!

Attack of the Killer Megatowers:
How to Preserve Quality of Life in a Changing Upper East Side

With the opening of the Second Avenue Subway and the influx of new development on the Upper East Side, zoning and preservation are two critical tools to help guide reasonable growth of our neighborhood. But are you up to speed on the basics? Join FRIENDS and urban planning consultants George Janes and Ethel Sheffer for a crash course on these key factors to our city. Learn about the different types of zoning, how the Landmarks Preservation Commission works, and find out what FAR stands for (and how it should be changed) so that you can become a advocate for our neighborhood. Perfect for those involved in local block associations, aspiring community board members, or anyone interested in helping to plan for the future of New York City.

Saturday, May 13th
10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

St. Jean Baptiste High School
173 East 75th Street

$10 members, $20 non-members
Click HERE to register.


“Modern” Times: A Walking Tour

The Upper East Side boasts Modern and Post-Modern designs by some of the most prominent architects of the mid-twentieth century and beyond. From unique rowhouses by Edward Durell Stone, William Lescaze, Philip Johnson, and Paul Rudolph, to such institutions as the Asia Society and the Fifth Avenue Synagogue – the Upper East Side has it all! Come and see how architects have incorporated these fashionable styles into the eclectic mix of architecture in the area. Veteran tour guide, professor, and architectural historian Matthew Postal  will show us highlights of some of the best designs in the neighborhood.

Saturday, May 20th
2:00 p.m.

Meeting location provided upon registration.

$10 members, $20 non-members
Click HERE to register.


Art Deco on the Upper East Side: A Walking Tour

Straight from the source of the “definitive guide to New York City’s Art Deco architecture,” veteran tour guide Anthony W. Robins will help uncover the somewhat elusive Art Deco architecture of the Upper East Side. Although the more conservative Upper East Side never attracted as much Art Deco flash as other areas in New York City, nestled amongst the townhouses and stately apartment buildings are fine examples by some of the greatest architects of the period. Robins, who has been leading architectural tours for over 25 years, will point out buildings detailed in his latest book, New York Art Deco: A Guide to Gotham’s Jazz Age Architecture (June 2017, Excelsior Editions). Join us as a “Deco Detective” as we visit an apartment house by Raymond Hood (of Rockefeller Center fame); one of Manhattan’s very few Art Deco townhouses; the elegant Carlyle Hotel; and one of the first Art Deco apartment buildings in New York City. Following the tour will be a book sale and signing.

Sunday, June 4th
2:00 p.m.

Meeting location will be provided upon registration.

$10 members, $20 non-members
Click HERE to register.


Also, check out the Historic District Council’s walking tours of Yorkville!

Last year,  we were delighted that Yorkville was one of HDC’s Six to Celebrate neighborhoods! Continue to celebrate this great neighborhood by joining HDC and guide Francis Morrone on a series of walking tours on Yorkville’s immigrant history.

Saturday, April 1st
Saturday, May 6th
Saturday, June 3rd

For tour information and registration, click HERE.

Putting on our Detective Hats at “Building History Detectives: Upper East Side”

Last week, FRIENDS and the Neighborhood Preservation Center co-sponsored “Building History Detectives: Upper East Side,” a talk with architectural historian, Susan De Vries. Held inside the beautiful Jan Hus Presbyterian Church in Yorkville, aspiring researchers gathered to learn about the online tools you can use to research the architectural, cultural, and social history of a building. Using the resources available, Susan picked a case study building, and was even able to find historic advertisements and floor plans!

To embark on your own building research, click HERE for the resource guide handed out at the talk, which lists some of the best resources available.

34th Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony: Monday, March 27th

Photo: Park Avenue Armory Veterans’ Room by James Ewing/OTTO

We are pleased to hold our 34th Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony at The Cosmopolitan Club. The Regency Revival-style building was designed by architect Thomas Harlan Ellett in 1932 and is a fitting setting to recognize the fine restoration, renovation, and advocacy work on the Upper East Side over the past year.

Please join us in celebrating our awardees at this momentous occasion!

Monday, March 27th, 2017
The Cosmopolitan Club
122 East 66th Street
6:30 p.m.

*Proper attire is required (jackets for men and attire of similar formality for women).


Renaissance Award
34 East 68th Street

Exterior Restoration Award
Yorkville Bank Building

Interior Restoration Award

The Veterans’ Room at the Park Avenue Armory

Good Stewardship Award
Environmental Playscape at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House

Restoring Modernism Award
The Met Breuer

Technology Award
The New York Preservation Archive Project

Click here to RSVP

To become a member, visit our membership page.

The Upper East Side Has a New Landmark!

50 Years in the Making…The Wooden House is Now a Landmark!


The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted on Tuesday, December 13th to designate the wooden house at 412 East 85th Street as the newest individual landmark on the Upper East Side. The building was first put on the LPC’s calendar for designation back in 1966, so finally, after 50 years, we can celebrate its long-deserved designation!

Built circa 1860, this house is one of the few remaining wood frame structures on the Upper East Side, and serves as a reminder of a bygone era when Yorkville was primarily farmland. Its owners have carefully restored the house according to the earliest documentation, and their steadfast stewardship has helped this building remain an architectural gem the neighborhood. Often thought of as an “unofficial” landmark in Yorkville, we are happy that its deserving landmark status has now been made official!

During the LPC’s Backlog Initiative, the designation of 412 East 85th Street received much support from elected officials, groups, and individuals. In addition to testimony from FRIENDS, the building also received vocal support from Council Member Ben Kallos, the Historic Districts Council, New York Landmarks Conservancy, Municipal Art Society, Victorian Society New York, Carnegie Hill NeighborsCommunity Board 8, and Historic Park Avenue.

Three cheers for the Upper East Side’s 129th individual landmark!

To read more:

“10 New York Sites Get Landmark Status as Panel Clears Backlog,” by Matt A.V. Chaban, The New York Times, December 13, 2016.

“Upper East Side Wood Framed Home Landmarked After 50 Years on Waiting List,” by Shaye Weaver, DNAinfo, December 14, 2016.

2017 Annual Awards – Call for Entries

The Apple Store, Upper East Side, winner of the 2016 Renaissance Award.

This spring, FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts will celebrate outstanding achievement in preservation, architecture, and advocacy on the Upper East Side during our 34th Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony.

The award categories are flexible and can vary each year. Among other areas of accomplishment, previous winners  have demonstrated excellence in Restoration, Rehabilitation, Design, and Stewardship.  Individuals and advocacy groups who have displayed extraordinary achievement in the field of preservation are also eligible.

FRIENDS seeks nominations for both architecture and advocacy. The awards committee will consider all submissions, large and small, that have furthered the cause of maintaining the special sense of place of the Upper East Side.

Please read our eligibility requirements below and submit nominations by January 6, 2017.


  1. Projects must be located between 59th and 110th Streets, and between 5th Avenue and the East River, including Central Park.
  2. Projects must have been substantially completed between December 1, 2015 and December 1, 2016.
  3. Only the exteriors of architectural projects and/or historically significant interiors will be considered.
  4. Preservation projects should be for restoration, rehabilitation, or adaptive re-use of historic buildings (including Post World War II architecture). The buildings may be located either in or out of the historic districts.
  5. New construction is also eligible.
  6. Individuals or advocacy groups must have contributed to the preservation of the Upper East Side’s built environment.


  1. Data Sheet (click here to download).
  2. Photographs (or color copies of photographs): Any size black and white and/or color images. For historic buildings, include historic photographs and before-and-after images.
  3. Minimum of 4-6 digital images on a CD (may be same images as photographs).
  4. If the project is located within one of the seven historic districts on the Upper East Side or is an individual landmark, include Landmarks Preservation Commission Permit Letter.
  5. Drawings and/or text as necessary to explain project and/or communicate design intention.
  6. Any other information necessary to explain the project.

Contact for more information, or click here to download the nomination form.