Last week, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express revealed 40 preservation projects up for grants through their annual Partners in Preservation program. This program seeks to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of historic preservation. This year, the program is focusing on preservation in New York City. From April 26 through May 21, 2012, local residents and people across the country are encouraged to vote for their favorite of 40 historic places throughout the five boroughs of New York City to receive preservation funding. While we encourage you to take a look at all the projects being considered this year, we here at Off The Grid wanted to spotlight the three projects within our neighborhoods.
DMAC/Duo Multicultural Arts Center: Restoration of six interior murals and decorative tin ceiling
The building in which the Duo Multicultural Arts Center is located just recently underwent an extensive restoration on its exterior. For wonderful before and after pictures, see this past Off The Grid post. This theater has been used as a social hall, theater for Yiddish plays, a television studio, and was Andy Warhol’s Fortune Theater. The theater was also used as the set for the Opera scene in Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather II.
Jefferson Market Library: Replacement of entrance doors
In the late 1950s, Villagers banded together to preserve the Jefferson Market Courthouse, the beautiful Victorian Gothic style building by Frederick Clark Withers and Calvert Vaux constructed from 1875-1877. Successfully led by Margot Gayle and Philip Wittenberg, the campaign convinced the Mayor to preserve the building as a library. Architect Giorgio Cavaglieri, who also adapted the Astor Library into the Public Theatre on Lafayette Street, converted the courthouse into its current configuration. Check out Off The Grid’s post on the library’s most recent facelift.
St. Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery: Restoration of Church Portico
St. Mark’s Church stands on the oldest site of continuous worship in New York City and is the city’s second-oldest public building. The site was part of a farm (or “bouwerie”) purchased in 1651 by Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Director-General of the New Netherland colony. On the exact site of the present day church, Stuyvesant built his personal Dutch Reform Chapel and, in 1672, was buried in a vault beneath the church. The Portico was built circa 1858 and attributed to James Bogardus,a noted early proponent and innovator of cast iron construction. You can check out another St. Mark’s renovation project featured on Off The Grid.
To find out more information about the 37 other projects being considered or to vote, visit the Partners in Preservation website. And let us know if you have a favorite.