Every year, the Historic Districts Council honors and celebrates the activists and groups who work to preserve New York City’s valuable historic neighborhoods.“These advocates are the foundation of the preservation movement and their efforts benefit everyone who lives, works or visits New York City,” said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of HDC. “It’s an honor and pleasure to be able to shine the spotlight on these neighborhood leaders.”HDC is the citywide advocate for New York’s designated historic districts and for neighborhoods meriting preservation.
This year’s Grassroots awardees are:
Alice and Agate Courts Historic District
A quiet enclave of 36 intact Queen Anne style row houses on two cul-de-sac blocks — Alice and Agate Courts Historic District is honored for their effectiveness in fighting demolition threats and for their success in achieving landmark designation for their blocks in 2009.
John Antonides, Hubbard House
Proud owner of one the few remaining Dutch farmhouses in Brooklyn, John Antonides began campaigning for landmark designation for this 1830’s era Gravesend, Brooklyn house in 1990. Through his work gathering support from a diverse group of individuals and organizations including, citywide preservation groups, local elected officials, noted architectural historians, neighborhood residents, and Dutch-American historical groups, the house was designated by the LPC in 2009.
Coalition to Save West-Park Presbyterian Church
A group of dedicated individuals and organizations, including Landmark West!, Friends of West-Park, Manhattan Community Board 7’s Landmarks Committee, and Councilmember Gale Brewer, who have advocated for the preservation of West-Park Presbyterian Church, one of the most significant religious complexes on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts
In 2001, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts began advocating for an extension of 74 buildings to complete and compliment the original Upper East Side Historic District. Their campaign included an interactive website documenting each property to be included in the proposed district, listing the extension on the National Register of Historic Places, and holding lectures, walking tours and community meetings to raise awareness. The district was designated in March 2010.
Two Bridges Neighborhood Council
Since the 1950’s, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council has served a distinct community in lower Manhattan between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. One of its recent major campaigns was the successful listing of the Chinatown and Little Italy Historic District on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, which provides a host of benefits including financial incentives for building restoration, boosting tourism of the area, and documenting the important history of these unique communities.
Friend in High Places – Council Member Rosie Mendez 2nd District, Manhattan
Council Member Rosie Mendez receives the Friends in High Places Award for her steadfast support of preservation efforts throughout her district and across the city. Mendez was elected to City Council in 2006 and represents the Lower East Side, East Village, Gramercy, Kips Bay and parts of Murray Hill.
Friend from the Media – Nicholas Hirshon, New York Daily News
Nicholas Hirshon is a reporter with the New York Daily News, covering community-based stories in Queens. Born and raised in Queens, he has made a priority of covering neighborhood preservation issues including a series entitled “History in Peril,” that highlighted significant neighborhoods and buildings threatened with demolition.
Mickey Murphy Award for Lifetime Achievement – Joyce Mendelsohn
An ardent and dedicated advocate for the preservation of many neighborhoods and buildings across New York City, Joyce Mendelsohn was an early and consistent promoter for the preservation of the historic Lower East Side. She is honored for her tireless work as a writer, lecturer and tour guide, working to preserve New York City’s historic neighborhoods.
The event is open to the public at a cost of $25, $15 for Friends of HDC. Community sponsorships for the event are also available. To purchase sponsorships or program book ads, please call (212) 614-9107 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Individual tickets will be sold at the door. Doors open at 6pm, and the award ceremony will begin at 6:30pm. For more information, go to
The Historic Districts Council is New York’s only citywide grassroots advocate for historic buildings and neighborhoods. Since 1971 we have been committed to preserving New York’s rich architectural and historical heritage, working with communities to landmark and protect significant neighborhoods and buildings, as well as helping already-designated historic communities to understand and uphold the Landmarks Law.