This program brings together rare vintage video clips and first-hand accounts to explore and celebrate this catalyzing moment in the history of preservation. Produced in partnership with FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts and the Ukrainian Institute of America as part of the NYC Landmarks50 Alliance celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Landmarks Law. The event took place on February 18, 2015 at the Ukrainia Institute of America.

Fifty years ago, despite the best efforts of preservationists, the lavish Brokaw Mansion met the wrecking ball. Though a major loss, many believe that the public outcry and scathing press coverage surrounding the fall of this residence were some of the key factors that led Mayor Robert F. Wagner to sign landmarks legislation into law.

Special guests included:

Peter Samton is a New York City architect and partner at Gruzen Samton. One of the original founders of AGBANY, the Action Group for Better Architecture in New York, Samton became involved with key preservation battles in the 1960s, including those to save Pennsylvania Station and the Brokaw Mansion.

Joseph M. Cahalan, PhD, grew up in the Brokaw Mansion. His father was the live-in caretaker and superintendent for the building from roughly 1940 until its demolition in 1965. Dr. Cahalan is now the Chief Executive Officer of Concern Worldwide U.S., an organization dedicated to the reduction of suffering and elimination of extreme poverty.

The evening will be convened by Anthony C. Wood, author of Preserving New York: Winning the Right to Protect a City’s Landmarks, and founder of the New York Preservation Archive Project. Other speakers include Benjamin Kallos, New York City Council Member, and Franny Eberhart, president of FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts.

 

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