Author Archives: FRIENDS

More than 700,000 1940’s Tax Photos Now Available Online

Hundreds of Thousands of 1940’s Tax Photos are Now Available to View Online!

RKO Proctor’s 86th Street Theatre, Designed by Thomas W. Lamb
Source: NYC Municipal Archives

From 1939-1941, every building in New York City’s Five Boroughs was documented in a series of Tax Photos through a joint effort by the Works Progress Administration and the New York City Department of Taxation. The culmination of a long-awaited digitization effort, these images have now been made available online through the Municipal Archive’s digital gallery. This digitization provides unparalleled access to this crucial tool for researching the history of our city’s buildings.
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The image negatives from the 40’s were left untouched until 1980 when they were sent to Denver, Colorado and transferred to microfilm strips that were cataloged and returned to New York City. Viewing the 1940’s tax photo of a property used to mean a trip to the Municipal Archives downtown where they are permanently housed, but now the full collection of more than 700,000 images can be accessed from the comfort of your home or office. Just find the block and lot numbers of the address you wish to view to access the appropriate record within the collection. Happy exploring!
 
READ MORE:
The 1940 Tax Photos-A Well-Traveled Collection.” by Kelli O’Toole, New York Department of Information Services Blog, November 2, 2018.

Now Available! Get Your Copy of Shaped by Immigrants: A History of Yorkville

 

NOW AVAILABLE!

Regular Price: $30
Current FRIENDS Member Price: $20



Shipping fees apply. 

To verify your current membership status, please call 212-535-2526 or email us at info@friends-ues.org.

Purchase your Copy Today!

FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts is proud to present Shaped by Immigrants: A History of Yorkville, an illustrated history of Yorkville’s development and its immigrant roots. This original publication, researched and written by FRIENDS of the Upper East Side, describes the compelling history of the Yorkville neighborhood as it developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a home to Czechoslovakian, German, Hungarian, Irish, and other immigrant groups. The lasting imprint of these groups is still visible in Yorkville’s historic architecture, and the book tells the history against the backdrop of buildings remaining today where immigrants lived, worked, shopped, and prayed. These buildings play an integral role in defining Yorkville’s character, but until now, the comprehensive story of Yorkville has not been told.Shaped by Immigrants: A History of Yorkville blends FRIENDS’ in-depth historic research and writing with an engaging collection of historic images from several institutional archives in New York City, alongside contemporary photographs of the neighborhood commissioned for this project. As a companion to the book, FRIENDS has also produced a 15-minute mini documentary film chronicling Yorkville’s history. The film features interviews with longtime residents and architectural historians, and it showcases the neighborhood’s history and development through their eyes. This project was funded, in part, by Council Member Ben Kallos and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

CLICK BELOW TO WATCH THE STORY OF SHAPED BY IMMIGRANTS: A HISTORY OF YORKVILLE! UNFOLD IN FRIENDS’ NEW DOCUMENTARY!

To view the individual chapters, please click the links below:

Part I – Immigrant Life
Part II – Engines of Developments
Part III –  Buildings and Institutions


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and made possible by the New York State Legislature.

BSA Update: Second Public Hearing for 180 East 88th Street

180 East 88th Street to Have Second 

Board of Standards and Appeals Public Hearing

(Left) L-Shaped building lot pre-construction (Right) Rendering by DDG
FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts and Carnegie Hill Neighbors’ fight against180 East 88th Street continues. Next Tuesday, October 30th, the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) will hold a second public hearing to address our joint community challengeof the Department of Buildings’ (DOB) approval of a 10 foot by 22 foot portion carved out of the property’s lot in order to evade the City’s zoning requirements meant to regulate building’s height and form. Read our statement from the July 17, 2018 public hearing at the BSA  HERE.
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If this reckless tactic is upheld by the BSA, the very standards of contextual zoning could come under threat by developers hoping to  abandon predictable forms in pursuit of higher profits -all at the cost of the livability and architectural integrity of residential neighborhoods. Such a departure from the standards of the Zoning Resolution would yield innumerable consequences for pedestrians, residents, and neighbors, and would undermine the zoning regulations that have been in place for decades.
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180 East 88th Street has utilized numerous other tactics, including excessive floor to ceiling heights and an unnecessary intra-building void, that undermine the predictability of development in New York, nullify zoning provisions that were designed to promote livability and thoughtful urban design, and similarly threaten our residential neighborhoods.FRIENDS, along with other advocacy groups and elected officials, continue to fight for common-sense zoning reform and amendments to the zoning resolution to curtail the use of loopholes.
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YOUR PRESENCE MATTERS!
 
Show your support of FRIENDS and Carnegie Hill Neighbors’ challenge through attendance at the Board of Standards and Appeals.
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Tuesday, October 30th
Beginning at 10:00 a.m.
22 Reade Street, Spector Hall
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Agenda available HERE.

FRIENDS in the News!

FRIENDS Executive Director Talks 

Zoning Loopholes at 249 East 62nd Street

NBC New York Channel 4 News Report: “Upper East Side High Rise Derided as Condo on Stilts.” October 9, 2018
Click HERE or on the image above to view the clip from NBC New York Channel 4 News.
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This past Tuesday, FRIENDS’ Executive Director Rachel Levy was interviewed along with longtime zoning consultant George Janes about the impending development at 249 East 62nd Street. The proposed Rafael Viñoly designed tower– which has been referred to as “Jetsons-esque“– includes a 150-foot height-boosting void in its core, meant to lift residential units higher into the sky. In the interview, she explains that the proposed design deviates from the “relatively predictable forms” produced by tower-on-base zoning “seen up and down our (Upper East Side) avenues.” This void is an example of a notorious zoning loophole now so frequently abused by developers wishing to reap profits from artificially boosted apartments, at the expense of New Yorkers living in residential neighborhoods.
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FRIENDS of the Upper East Side has filed a Community Appeal to challenge the DOB’s insistence that this tower does not violate New York City’s Zoning Resolution. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and the Manhattan Delegation of the City Council have also called for the City Planning Commission to seek immediate solutions for these zoning loopholes that threaten livability of our city’s residential neighborhoods in a joint letter which can be found HERE. For updates on the appeal and for more information on this development, please visit our website HERE.

A New Chair for the Landmarks Preservation Commission

Mayor de Blasio Appoints A New LPC Chair

Sarah Carrol_ pictured far right. Image by Nathan Haselby
Sarah Carroll, right, has been appointed as Chair of the LPC. (Photo by Nathan Haselby for Bklyner.)
Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio nominated Sarah Carroll as the new Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), a position that has been vacant since June. Ms. Carroll has served as the Executive Director of the LPC since 2014, and she has been at the agency for 24 years, including serving as LPC’s Director of Preservation from 2005 until 2014. She holds an MFA in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design.
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At a City Council confirmation hearing last week, Ms. Carroll emphasized her plan to continue to increase agency transparency and outreach to both designated and un-designated neighborhoods to educate about the work of the LPC. She also spoke about promoting and maintaining productive communication with community groups, and the need to identify properties for designation early, particularly those with outstanding cultural value. This nomination was met with widespread support and Ms. Carroll’s appointment was approved unanimously at a City Council Stated Meeting this past Wednesday, September 26th. FRIENDS looks forward forward to continuing to work toward our City’s preservation together with Ms. Carroll during her tenure as LPC Chair.

Join FRIENDS on November 7th for our Book Launch!

Join FRIENDS of the Upper East Side for our book Launch Event!

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On November 7th, FRIENDS of the Upper East Side is proud to launch Shaped by Immigrants: A History of Yorkville, an illustrated history of Yorkville’s development and its immigrant roots. This original publication, researched and written by FRIENDS of the Upper East Side, uncovers the compelling story of Yorkville’s immigrant past and patterns of development, and places that history against the backdrop of representative buildings remaining today where immigrants lived, worked, shopped, and prayed. These buildings play an integral role in defining Yorkville’s character, but until now the comprehensive story of Yorkville has not been told.
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We are thrilled to finally share Shaped by Immigrants: A History of Yorkville with you! Prepare for a night of celebration, discussion, and the screening of an original documentary mini-series produced by FRIENDS of the Upper East Side. Be one of the first to enjoy the finished product for yourself, or as a gift for one of the Yorkville fans in your life.
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Books will be for sale for the very first time at the event, and online to follow. Active FRIENDS members will receive a special discount on all book purchases. JOIN or RENEW your membership today!
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Wednesday, November 7th
6:30 p.m.
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Location: National Society of the Colonial Dames of America
215 East 71st Street
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Free to the public. Advance registration required.x

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and made possible by the New York State Legislature.

RESCHEDULED: Sights, Sounds, and Tastes of Yorkville

Sights, Sounds, and Tastes of Yorkville

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN rESCHEDULED DUE TO INCLEMENT wEATHER!

see new date below:

 
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Who lives in Yorkville? What makes a neighborhood come to life? Join noted hospitality professional Angela Christensen for an early evening walk as we uncover what makes Yorkville tick. Cultural centers and old-world family businesses have shaped Yorkville into a diverse enclave within a residential neighborhood. We will experience the flavor and charm of this neighborhood with treats along the way including the surprising location of an Andy Warhol studio. On our stroll we pass places of interest that will include: Budapest Café, Czech Consulate, Orwashers Bakery, Schaller & Weber, Suburban Hook & Ladder Company No. 13, and the Hungarian Cultural Center.
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NEW DATE:

Wednesday, October 3rd
5:30 p.m.
Meeting point will be provided upon registration.
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Rain or shine.
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$15 FRIENDS members, $25 non-members
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To verify your current membership status, please call 212-535-2526 or email us at info@friends-ues.org.

You’re Invited to the 15th Annual Ambassador to the Upper East Side Award Dinner!

Please join us as

FRIENDS OF THE UPPER EAST SIDE
HISTORIC DISTRICTS

proudly presents

THE FIFTEENTH ANNUAL
AMBASSADOR TO THE UPPER EAST SIDE AWARD

to

Arete warren

Photo by Malcom Brown Photography

Monday, October 1st
6:30 p.m. Cocktails
7:30 p.m. Dinner
Festive dress

The Metropolitan Club
1 East 60th Street
New York City

Click HERE to purchase tickets or make a contribution.


Carol and Richard J. Miller, Jr., Chairs
Ann Ziff, Vice Chair
Judith-Ann Corrente and Willem Kooyker, Vice Chairs
Carole and John French III, Vice Chairs
Patricia Begley and George Beane, Vice Chairs
Sanford W. Morhouse, Vice Chair
Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, Vice Chairs
Dotty and Lionel Goldfrank III, Vice Chairs
Barbara and James Reibel, Vice Chairs


Arete Warren came to preservation when the National Trust asked her in 1974 to establish the Royal Oak Foundation in New York to help preserve historic English houses and open spaces. Still in her 20s, she was already a seasoned art and architectural historian, having studied art history at Northwestern and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum under John Pope-Hennessy, and then at the Cooper-Hewitt. “I never studied preservation,” she says, “But I love history and I learned how to look and understand what I see.”

Since then, we have all benefited from Arete’s passion and trained eye. She is a scholar of decorative arts and architecture and a garden-design expert. She is co-author of Glasshouses: An Architectural History of Greenhouses, Conservatories, and Orangeries (Rizzoli International, 1988) and author of Gardening by the Book, published in 2013 to accompany the major Grolier Club exhibition she curated.

There is hardly an aspect of civic life in New York that Arete hasn’t touched. Her commitment to protecting what makes New York livable is demonstrated by her leadership roles on the New York State Board for Historic Preservation, the Empire State Plaza Art Commission, the Preservation League of New York State, the Metropolitan Opera and The Garden Club of America.

Arete has made the Upper East Side her home since she arrived in 1973. She still lives in the Charles A. Platt building she moved to in 1985 with her late husband William B. Warren.

Arete is a firm believer in grassroots preservation and a long-time friend and supporter of the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. We are delighted to salute her with the 2018 Ambassador to the Upper East Side Award.

Join FRIENDS for our Fall 2018 Events!

Mostly Clubs: A Morning Stroll

 
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As the 19th century came to a close, many exclusive Manhattan clubs moved northward to the Upper East Side within walking distance of members’ homes. This walking tour led by architectural historian Matt Postal will consider this trend through various distinguished examples, viewing grand and elegant purpose-built clubhouses that were designed by McKim Mead & White, Delano & Aldrich, and Thomas Harlan Ellett, as well as handsome residences that were converted to club use in the mid-20th century. Highlights will include the Cosmopolitan, Grolier, Knickerbocker, and Union Clubs, among others.

Saturday, September 15th
10:30 a.m.
Meeting point will be provided upon registration.
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Rain or shine.
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$15 FRIENDS members, $25 non-members
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To verify your current membership status, please call 212-535-2526 or email us at  info@friends-ues.org.
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Sights, Sounds, and Tastes of Yorkville

 
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Who lives in Yorkville? What makes a neighborhood come to life? Join noted hospitality professional Angela Christensen for an early evening walk as we uncover what makes Yorkville tick. Cultural centers and old-world family businesses have shaped Yorkville into a diverse enclave within a residential neighborhood. We will experience the flavor and charm of this neighborhood with treats along the way including the surprising location of an Andy Warhol studio. On our stroll we pass places of interest that will include: Budapest Café, Czech Consulate, Orwashers Bakery, Schaller & Weber, Suburban Hook & Ladder Company No. 13, and the Hungarian Cultural Center.

Wednesday, September 26th
5:30 p.m.
Meeting point will be provided upon registration.
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Rain or shine.
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$15 FRIENDS members, $25 non-members
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To verify your current membership status, please call 212-535-2526 or email us at info@friends-ues.org.

Photo by Malcom Brown Photography

FRIENDS OF THE UPPER EAST SIDE HISTORIC DISTRICTS

will proudly present

THE FIFTEENTH ANNUAL
AMBASSADOR TO THE UPPER EAST SIDE AWARD

to

ARETE WARREN

Monday, October 1st
6:30 p.m. Cocktails
7:30 p.m. Dinner

The Metropolitan Club
1 East 60th Street
New York City

Click HERE to purchase tickets or make a contribution.


Carol and Richard J. Miller, Jr., Chairs
Ann Ziff, Vice Chair
Judith-Ann Corrente and Willem Kooyker, Vice Chairs
Carole and John French III, Vice Chairs
Patricia Begley and George Beane, Vice Chairs
Sanford W. Morhouse, Vice Chair
Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, Vice Chairs
Dotty and Lionel Goldfrank III, Vice Chairs
Barbara and James Reibel, Vice Chairs


Arete Warren came to preservation when the National Trust asked her in 1974 to establish the Royal Oak Foundation in New York to help preserve historic English houses and open spaces. Still in her 20s, she was already a seasoned art and architectural historian, having studied art history at Northwestern and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum under John Pope-Hennessy, and then at the Cooper-Hewitt. “I never studied preservation,” she says, “But I love history and I learned how to look and understand what I see.”

Since then, we have all benefited from Arete’s passion and trained eye. She is a scholar of decorative arts and architecture and a garden-design expert. She is co-author of Glasshouses: An Architectural History of Greenhouses, Conservatories, and Orangeries (Rizzoli International, 1988) and author of Gardening by the Book, published in 2013 to accompany the major Grolier Club exhibition she curated.

There is hardly an aspect of civic life in New York that Arete hasn’t touched. Her commitment to protecting what makes New York livable is demonstrated by her leadership roles on the New York State Board for Historic Preservation, the Empire State Plaza Art Commission, the Preservation League of New York State, the Metropolitan Opera and The Garden Club of America.

Arete has made the Upper East Side her home since she arrived in 1973. She still lives in the Charles A. Platt building she moved to in 1985 with her late husband William B. Warren.

Arete is a firm believer in grassroots preservation and a long-time friend and supporter of the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. We are delighted to salute her with the 2018 Ambassador to the Upper East Side Award.


Behind the Scenes at Peter Pennoyer Architects

Credit: Peter Pennoyer Architects, 151 East 78th street. Photography by Eric Piasecki.

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Peter Pennoyer Architects
 is an award-winning 50-person firm of architects, interior designers, and related professionals. Founded in 1990, PPA has been recognized as a leading design firm for its substantial and varied body of work for residential, institutional and commercial commissions across the country and abroad. On October 11th, founder and principal Peter Pennoyer will lead a behind the scenes tour of PPA’s office and studios exclusively for members of FRIENDS of the Upper East Side. Join us for a chance to explore the environment in which the PPA team creates the designs for sophisticated details and craftsmanship that strike a balance between comfort, luxury, beauty, and continuity with the past.
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With special thanks to Peter Pennoyer Architects
 
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Thursday, October 11th
6:00 p.m.
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Location: Peter Pennoyer Architects
136 Madison Avenue
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Free for current members of FRIENDS of the Upper East Side.
Advance registration is required.
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To verify your current membership status, please call 212-535-2526 or email us at info@friends-ues.org.
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Kleindeutschland in the East Village: A Walking Tour

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Prior to the massive influx of Eastern European Jews after 1880, the Lower East Side, often referred to as “Kleindeutschland” or “Little Germany”, comprised the largest German-speaking community outside of Germany. This population tragically diminished with the noted General Slocum Disaster in the East River, when over a thousand German immigrants perished on a steamship hired for a Sunday School picnic for St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Within a year, most of the German community had left the neighborhood – many who moved north to Yorkville, which became the “new” home of St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Join noted tour leader Justin Ferate to discover the remnants of the German roots of the Lower East Side including the Astor Library, the German-American Shooting Club, the Ottendorfer Library, an original Turnverein, Tompkins Square and the haunting memorial to the children who died in the General Slocum Disaster. The tour will also include a private visit to the former St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.
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Sunday, October 14th
1:00 p.m.
East Village meeting point will be provided upon registration
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Rain or Shine.
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$15 members , $25 non-members
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To verify your current membership status, please call 212-535-2526 or email us at info@friends-ues.org.
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FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Book Launch!

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On November 7th, FRIENDS of the Upper East Side is proud to launch Shaped by Immigrants: A History of Yorkville, an illustrated history of Yorkville’s development and its immigrant roots. This original publication, researched and written by FRIENDS of the Upper East Side, uncovers the compelling story of Yorkville’s immigrant past and patterns of development, and places that history against the backdrop of representative buildings remaining today where immigrants lived, worked, shopped, and prayed. These buildings play an integral role in defining Yorkville’s character, but until now the comprehensive story of Yorkville has not been told.
x
We are thrilled to finally share Shaped by Immigrants: A History of Yorkville with you! Prepare for a night of celebration, discussion, and the screening of an original documentary mini-series produced by FRIENDS of the Upper East Side. Be one of the first to enjoy the finished product for yourself, or as a gift for one of the Yorkville fans in your life.
x
Books will be for sale for the very first time at the event, and online to follow. Active FRIENDS members will receive a special discount on all book purchases. JOIN or RENEW your membership today!
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Wednesday, November 7th
6:30 p.m.
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Location: National Society of the Colonial Dames of America
215 East 71st Street
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Free to the public. Advance registration required.
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To verify your current membership status, please call 212-535-2526 or email us at info@friends-ues.org.
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Click HERE to register


After Postmodernism: From Laughed-At to Landmarked

  
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The Postmodern style, the defining look of the 1980s, is not commonly associated with the architecture of the Upper East Side. However, amidst a sea of bricks, brownstone, and Beaux-Arts Classicism, glimpses of Postmodern design sensibility can be found both within the streetscape and in a number of notable interiors in the neighborhood. Buildings that were originally mocked are now respected, and even landmarked, as they are reevaluated decades later. Join Judith Gura, author of Postmodern Design Complete and Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York for a discussion about the origins of this sometimes-controversial style, its influence on architecture, objects, interiors, and graphics, and the indelible marks it has left on the Upper East Side in particular, both inside and out.
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Thursday, November 29th
6:00 p.m.
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New York School of Interior Design,
170 East 70th Street
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$15 FRIENDS members, $25 non-members
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To verify your current membership status, please call 212-535-2526 
or email us at info@friends-ues.org.
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Click HERE to register


These programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


Click to view our PAST EVENTS.

“Fix our zoning rules,” say Manhattan Borough President and City Council Speaker

“Fix our zoning rules,” say Manhattan Borough President and City Council Speaker

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (center) speaking at a July 2018 press conference held by Council Member Ben Kallos (left) regarding the doctored zoning lot at 180 East 88th Street

Last week, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Speaker Corey Johnson wrote a letter, supported by the entire Manhattan delegation of the City Council, to Department of City Planning Chair Marisa Lago to encourage the agency to address and prevent the suite of loopholes being exploited by developers.

From their letter:
We are writing to follow up on some tremendous work done by our community stakeholders and advocacy groups in the effort to curb excessive, illogical development. All across our borough, developers have found numerous novel workarounds to circumvent the limitations we commonly understood to apply to them under zoning. The resulting out-of-context buildings have spurred community organizing like never before, as everyday residents have committed significant time and resources to highlighting arcane but deeply impactful issues in our zoning rules.” To read the full text of the letter, click here.

They go on to acknowledge the huge need for clarity on the loophole issues like excessive void spaces, mechanical space, floor-to-floor heights, and basic principles such as the definition of a zoning lot that are all being exploited to build out-of-scale megatowers that defy predictability, do nothing to alleviate our city’s housing pressures, and flout the regulations laid out in New York City’s Zoning Resolution.

FRIENDS of the Upper East Side is a leader in this battle as we continually challenge out-of-scale developments in our neighborhood that do not adhere to zoning laws, and fight for the livability of the Upper East Side and all residential neighborhoods. This letter shows that our advocacy is working!

We thank Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Speaker Corey Johnson for taking up the mantle on these pressing issues and the entire Manhattan delegation of the City Council, especially our East Side representatives Ben Kallos and Keith Powers, for their support. This progress would not occur without the continual partnership of our elected officials, colleagues across the city, and of course our supporters.

With continued advocacy, education, and thoughtful collaboration with our elected officials, common sense zoning reform can be achieved now, before it’s too late.