Landmarks Conservancy Staff
Historic Properties Fund Director Retires

Longtime Conservancy staffer Karen Ansis retired Dec. 21. In two separate stints at the Conservancy, she worked on one of our first projects—the former U.S. Custom House at Bowling Green—and returned to manage our loan program, the Historic Properties Fund, for the last 25 years.

She also worked on several long-term projects: The transformation of Astor Row—a landmark block in Harlem; the reclamation of Prospect Cemetery, the oldest in Queens; and securing City support for restoring and reusing Erasmus Hall Academy, a 1769 school whose initial funders included Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and John Jay.

Along with Sacred Sites Director Ann Friedman, Ansis managed a unique $4 million preservation program funded by the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. Some 32 religious and cultural institutions benefitted from restoration projects funded by grants and no-interest loans. Several other religious institutions received funding for conditions reports on their buildings.

Ansis was honored at a December 14 party where some 70 board members, staff and preservation colleagues gave thanks for her hard work and dedication and wished her well.

In the interim between her Conservancy service, Ansis was Vice President for real estate development at Phipps Houses, a nonprofit affordable housing developer. She also worked for a Connecticut consulting firm specializing in nonprofit affordable and special-needs housing and ran her own real estate firm.

Ansis received a Master’s Degree in Community Planning from the University of Rhode Island and is a licensed New York State real estate broker.