Conservancy Finishes Emergency Repairs at Historic Weeksville

 Weeksville’s historic Hunterfly Road Houses are now watertight thanks to a $24,000 Conservancy emergency grant. Expert carpenters from Fifty Three Restorations Inc. repaired windows, decayed gutters, rotted stair treads and cellar hatch doors that were letting in water and causing serious interior damage. A separate emergency grant in May provided roof tarps for two of the houses. The repairs will keep the houses from incurring further water damage while they wait for a city-funded restoration project.

Weeksville was a thriving, mid-19th century, free Black settlement in what is now Crown Heights. The non-profit Weeksville Heritage Center asked for help this spring to keep this important site open. The Conservancy has worked with Weeksville for almost 30 years and will do all we can to protect the remaining landmark homes.

ADVOCACY | Citywide
City Planning Wants Limited Action on Loopholes

The Department of City Planning (DCP) is sticking to limited action on zoning loopholes despite public concern, and a letter from the Conservancy and colleagues demanding action on all the ways developers game the system. 

In a July 19 response , Director Marisa Lago said the DCP planned to extend recently enacted limits on the size of mechanical voids in residential buildings to Central Business Districts (Lower Manhattan, Hudson Yards, Midtown, Downtown Brooklyn, and Long Island City), but not for commercial buildings. Lago promised that a study on establishing a minimum lot size for nonresidential buildings should be concluded this summer. 

We feel that more should be done to address the concerns of New Yorkers who are frustrated with developers using zoning loopholes to build out-of-scale skyscrapers or "supertalls." Our efforts to close loopholes will continue.

ADVOCACY | Staten Island
Progress at the Landmark Olmsted House

The basement at the Olmsted House on Staten Island was cleared of asbestos and mold this month. Now the Conservancy can send out bids on urgent work to protect the house from more water penetration. This will include putting special lining down in the basement to prevent rising damp from the earthen floor and installing plywood shed covers around the house over the basement openings. Workers will also need to shore up beams in the basement that support the first floor. Our thanks to the Historic House Trust for overseeing the remediation. Our work would have been impossible in a contaminated cellar.

Our goal is to stabilize and protect Frederick Law Olmsted’s former farm in Eltingville so the City can fulfill its 2006 promise to open the landmark building and property to the public. Olmsted, who helped create Central and Prospect Parks, began experimenting with landscape design while living on Staten Island from 1847 to 1855. The earliest part of the landmark home dates to the late 1600s. The grounds are an official City park. Both were seriously neglected until the Conservancy began a campaign to raise help for the house last winter.

STAFF | One Whitehall Street
Meet our Bronx International High School Interns

Summer interns Imane, Madelin, and Aminata with  Snyder , the Conservancy office mascot. These students graduated this spring from Bronx International High School which hosts a Preservation Technology Program (PTP). Bronx International is housed in the landmark Morris High School designed by architect, engineer, and New York City Superintendent of School Buildings C.B.J. Snyder .

The Conservancy has hosted PTP interns for six years. We bring them on field trips to architecturally significant sites, workshops, and professional offices. Our partnership with Bronx International exposes juniors and seniors in the program to the profession of historic preservation and the various career paths in the building conservation and restoration fields.

All three of our current interns are headed to college in the fall. 
NEW! Tourist In Your Own Town
New York City Fire Museum Honors New York's Bravest

The New York City Fire Museum in Manhattan's Hudson Square District (or West SoHo area) is housed in a 1904 Beaux Arts former firehouse. Inside, you will find one of nation's most important collection of fire-related art and artifacts from the late 18th century to today.

There is also a gallery honoring 343 fire department members who lost their lives on September 11th. The exhibition is expanding to honor those who continue to die from 9/11 related illnesses.

The mission is to collect, preserve and present the history and cultural heritage of the fire service of New York and to provide fire prevention and safety education to the public, especially children. The museum regularly hosts school groups and special events.

Plan Your Visit
278 Spring Street between Varick and Hudson Streets.
For hours and directions, visit nycfiremuseum.org
Mystery Landmark
Did You Identify This Mystery Landmark?

It's Saint Paul’s Chapel, at 209 Broadway in Lower Manhattan that was designated a City Landmark in 1966.

Built in 1766, St. Paul’s Chapel is the oldest church building in Manhattan that survived the Great New York City Fire of 1776. During the American Revolutionary War, British generals went there to worship. A decade later, it became the place where George Washington and members of the United States Congress worshipped.

In 2001, St. Paul’s served as a refuge for 9/11 responders working at the nearby site of the former World Trade Center. Since then, thousands have visited every day, drawn by the history and architectural merit of this hallowed site.

The Conservancy honored Saint Paul's with a Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award for the restoration of the structure and the churchyard.

The structure was correctly identified by Todd Hirsch , who learned through genealogy research that he has two ancestors from the early 1800s buried in St. Paul's churchyard. His favorite landmark is the beautiful and historic Green-Wood .

About Us

From the smallest buildings, to the most extraordinary landmarks, to our diverse neighborhoods, The New York Landmarks Conservancy preserves the unique architectural heritage of the City we love.

We are on the frontlines, giving New York’s preservation needs a voice, advocating for sensible development, providing financial assistance and technical expertise—all to ensure that the character of our City continues to enrich the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

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The New York Landmarks Conservancy depends on donations from people like you, who love New York as much as we do.

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This month’s Landmark News is sponsored by   Stribling and Associates
This newsletter is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  
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