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 efagan@friends-ues.org for more information, or click here to download the nomination form.

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Stahl an Appeal


The federal battle is over for Stahl York Ave. Co., LLC, owner of the City & Suburban Homes Company First Avenue Estate, an individual landmark.

The buildings, constructed by the City and Suburban Homes Company in 1915, were designated as individual landmarks by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) for the significance of their design and their pioneering role in social housing reform. Home to longtime tenants of modest income, these buildings continue to be a source of affordable housing on the Upper East Side.

LPC denied Stahl’s hardship application, which claimed that the owner suffered an unconstitutional taking as a result of the City’s decision to designate the First Avenue Estate buildings as an individual landmark. In January, the New York State Supreme Court upheld LPC’s denial of this application.

After years of legal battles, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied Stahl an appeal. In September, FRIENDS wrote to you about Stahl’s attempt to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, and now we can happily report that the federal case is closed! The New York State case is still pending, but experts are confident that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision will have a direct impact on the outcome of the State case.

Last year, FRIENDS filed an amicus curiae brief, gathering the support of our elected officials and other preservation organizations, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This case is precedent-setting for other landmark properties in our city and has implications far beyond the First Avenue Estate.

Thanks to YOU for helping make this happen!

FRIENDS is grateful to our partners who joined us in filing the amicus brief:

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney
State Senator Liz Krueger
State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright
City Coucil Member Benjamin Kallos
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Preservation League of New York State
New York Landmarks Conservancy*
Historic Districts Council
Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
Landmark West!
Friends of the First Avenue Estate

*The Conservancy submitted its own brief.

For more information:

Visit here for updates and a timeline of the case.

“New York City’s Landmarks Commission Wins Important Takings Lawsuit” by Will Cook, National Trust for Historic Preservation, March 29, 2016.

“Responding to Misleading Arguments Against Local Landmark Laws” by David J. Brown, National Trust for Historic Preservation, July 25, 2016.

FRIENDS is Happy to Announce a New Educational Program: Building Fun Basics!


Since 1995, the educational programs at FRIENDS have reached over 1,500 first through fifth grade children annually to teach them about New York City’s built environment. Building Fun has been one of FRIENDS’ Key Programs with the aim of introducing students to the idea that buildings can talk and tell us stories about their use, materials, age, and purpose through classroom lessons, a neighborhood walking tour, and hands-on activities.

After the success of Building Fun, FRIENDS has created Building Fun Basics, geared towards younger students in preschool and kindergarten. This hour-long lesson consists of time in the classroom introducing  young learners to shapes, colors, textures, and materials in architecture, followed by a brief excursion in the neighborhood near the school to find examples of themes learned indoors. Our hope is that this program will reach even more children and awaken young students’ interest in architecture at an early age.

Along with Building Fun Basics, our three original programs are also available: Building Fun, Yorkville Immigration, and Landmarks & Preservation. We are happy to announce that any one program is free for a school trying that program for the first time! 

To learn more about this program and schedule a session, please click here or contact Heidi Carey at hcarey@friends-ues.org.