UBC Graduate Research

Historic Preservation in New York City: Confronting the Challenges & Imagining the Future Chernaya, Mariya


In New York City, community effort is often a necessary component in ensuring the successful designation of a historic district. This project explores the challenges of establishing a historic district in New York City by drawing on the experiences of the individuals directly involved in this initiative. Six historic districts, from three boroughs of New York City, were selected to serve as case studies. Expert interviews were conducted with eleven participants. Each of the participants interviewed is or was significantly involved with a community organization dedicated to establishing a historic district in their respective neighborhoods. In addition, one interview was conducted with a staff member from the Historic Districts Council. Building on the experiences of the participants, this project begins to consider the pressing issues confronting the future of preservation, and the opportunities to strengthen the field, and move it beyond its current limitations. The recommendations offered reflect the ideas of the participants, as gleaned from the information gathered in the research findings. The hope is that this project could provide a stepping-stone to reignite the conversation concerning the future possibilities and goals of preservation in New York City.

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