In 1879, Edward Clark, the builder of the Dakota Apartments and neighboring West 73rd Street rowhouses, gave a speech on the “city of the future.” Clark spoke about the need for constructing houses and apartment buildings, “some splendidly, many elegantly, and all comfortably; that the architecture should be ornate, solid and permanent, and that the principle of economic combination should be employed to the greatest possible extent.” He then pointed out that the open land on Manhattan’s Upper West Side provided the perfect opportunity for the development of such a community.
Fast forward nearly 150 years later…the Upper West Side is a thriving, architecturally and socially layered neighborhood, firmly rooted in its history and sense of place. But its future was not always a sure thing. Up until the 1980s, many of the buildings and streetscapes that make the West Side the West Side—including the Central Park West skyline, Riverside Drive, and block after brownstone block—lacked the landmark protection that areas such as Greenwich Village, Brooklyn Heights and the Upper East Side had.
LANDMARK WEST! President Kate Wood will tell the story of how the community mobilized to defend its past…and its future. In this era of super-tall towers shadowing Central Park and creeping into even our city’s most historic neighborhoods, preservation is an ongoing saga.
A reception will follow the lecture that will be given in the former Samuel Tilden Mansion, a National Landmark
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