After Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council (HDC) in New York City, stepped down after two decades of service in September of 2021, all eyes were on the council to see who his successor would be. Since taking over the reins of the 50-year-old preservation nonprofit in 2000, Bankoff was a regular fixture at Landmarks Preservation Commission hearings to advocate for protecting historic buildings, monuments, and neighborhoods.
Lorna Nowve was named interim executive director by the council’s board of directors, but today a final decision has been reached on Bankoff’s replacement: Frampton Tolbert, currently the Deputy Director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), will lead the organization effective April 11.
“I am thrilled to return to HDC to lead the organization forward as I strongly believe that preservation is crucial to the future success of New York,” said Tolbert in the HDC’s announcement. He previously served as HDC’s deputy director from 2005 to 2014. “I will be an advocate for all communities, working with a diverse coalition of stakeholders to preserve our irreplaceable architectural, historical, and cultural heritage in an equitable and sustainable way. Preservation needs to be part of making the city work for everyone.”
“The Historic Districts Council is elated that after a very competitive search process,” said Alison Greenberg, HDC board president, in the announcement, “Frampton Tolbert will join HDC as Executive Director. He is eminently qualified, prepared and energized to lead HDC during an exciting and important time for preservation in New York City.”
Tolbert has been a staunch preservationist for more than 20 years and is deeply involved in conserving New York’s cultural and architectural history. He has held his position at the nonprofit CUP, which advocates for deeper civic engagement and addressing communal problems through planning, art, zoning, for the last seven years. Tolbert has also previously served as president of the Victorian Society of New York and is the currently the secretary of the New York Tri-State chapter of Docomomo US.