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Long IslandHistory

Preservationists work to get beloved city buildings landmarked

Known as the

Known as the "Castle on the Concourse", the former location of P.S. 31 is one of the buildings that preservationists are trying to save by having designated as a city landmark is at 425 Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Credit: Charles Eckert

It's no secret: New York City is changing and changing quickly.

To prevent the indiscriminate razing of beloved Big Apple institutions, the city passed the 1965 New York City Landmarks Law.

Preservationists in the five boroughs have made it their mission to protect historic buildings, streets and other structures from developers and decay.





Executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Borough: Manhattan

Big wins: Landmark designation for phases I and II of the South Village Historic District; landmark designation for Westbeth Artists' Housing

Most endangered site: Phase III of the South Village Historic District

Berman, 45, is arguably the face of the historical preservation movement around Greenwich Village. In 10 years, his group has lead the effort to landmark 1,100 buildings in the Village, the East Village and NoHo.

They've now proposed turning one last swatch, Phase III, of the South Village into a historic district.





Executive director of the Preservation League of Staten Island

Borough: Staten Island

Big wins: St. Paul's Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District

Most endangered site: Mount Manresa

Shepherd, 75, moved to New York City in 1972 and settled on Staten Island. He has since written four books on the subject of Staten Island history.





President of the Crown Heights North Association

Borough: Brooklyn

Big wins: Phases I and II of the Crown Heights North Historic District

Most endangered site: Phase III of the Crown Heights North Historic District

Young, 62, along with several other members of the Crown Heights North Association, have acquired landmark designation for two portions of the Crown Heights North Historic District. The group is now working to have Phase 3 designated.





Chairman of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council

Borough: Queens

Big wins: Landmarking of the facade of the Ridgewood Theater

Most endangered sites: Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, the Midway Theater

Perlman, 31, said two Queens sites are greatly endangered if they don't attain landmark status soon: the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium -- at which the Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Jimi Hendrix performed decades ago -- and the Midway Theater, the last movie house designed by architect Thomas Lamb, built in 1942.





Historic Districts Council, board of advisers

Borough: Bronx

Big wins: Bronx Community College's Hall of Fame for Great Americans, Bronx General Post Office

Most endangered site: Public School 31

Yourow, 64, said Public School 31, the "Castle on the Concourse," is among the most endangered sites in the Bronx -- a site that has been so neglected that it may be torn down despite already receiving landmark designation, a potential move that has angered the local community.


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