historic preservation

339 petitions

Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Chair Sarah Carroll

Save the Frick Collection's Music Room and Reception Hall

1/15/2020 BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: The battle to save the Music Room and Reception Hall has just made the news! Click [here] for a new Gothamist piece by journalist Elizabeth Kim. Click [here] to read a scathing new critique by Catesby Leigh in City Journal. Click [here] for architect John Massengale's piece in Common Edge. ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2020 - THERE IS A CRUCIAL PUBLIC HEARING AT THE NYC BOARD OF STANDARDS AND APPEALS! PLEASE JOIN OUR MAILING LIST AT FOR UPDATES, AND TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN HELP. ----------------- SUPPORT THE DESIGNATION OF THESE INTERIORS AS OFFICIAL NYC LANDMARKS Two beloved rooms at the Frick Collection–the Music Room and Reception Hall–are currently at risk of demolition as the museum undertakes an extensive expansion project helmed by Selldorf Architects. MUSIC ROOM The Music Room has long served as the city’s best performance space for small classical recitals and chamber music. Its architect, John Russell Pope, endowed the circular, top-lit domed room with the same graceful proportions and decorative program used throughout the Frick Collection’s adjacent galleries, seamlessly knitting it within a larger ensemble and situating it just off the Garden Court. The room’s intimacy and acclaimed acoustics prompted the New York Times music critic Anthony Tommasini to deem it “uniquely suited to chamber music” in his June 29 column, and called it “the closest thing to a 19th century music salon this city has to offer.” Click here to read it: As the Frick Expands, New York City Music Suffers. For over 80 years, numerous artists have made their American debut in this beautiful, culturally significant space, and “Concerts from the Frick” has delighted both radio broadcast audiences and recording artists as well. Generations of concertgoers have been charmed by recitals in this intimate room inside the mansion. Under the Frick’s latest proposal, the Music Room would be replaced by galleries devoted to special exhibitions. Unfortunately, these proposed galleries will not only gut Pope's elegant round room and do away with its distinctive dome and skylight, but they lack the careful attention to detail one finds in Pope’s Music Room and fail to harmoniously integrate with the rest of museum. This is particularly ironic, because John Russell Pope designed the Music Room to function as both a gallery and recital hall. The loss of the Music Room will be keenly felt by music and architecture lovers alike. Historic preservation advocate Theodore Grunewald has stated that “destroying the Frick’s Music Room would be an erasure of New York City’s cultural and civic memory.” RECEPTION HALL Equally alarming, the Frick’s latest plan would gut the Reception Hall designed by John Barrington Bayley in 1977. Overlooked by the architectural establishment, and the only surviving work of this architect, Bayley’s Reception Hall represents a radical departure from the modernist precepts of its day. Richly appointed in boiserie, its design seemingly transports a Louis XIV-style pavilion straight from Versailles to the New York City, offering visitors the ideal Classical “picture frame” for viewing the Russell Page garden. It has been identified as an important prefiguration to the Postmodernist movement, and critic Paul Goldberger in his 1979 book The City Observed: New York: A Guide to the Architecture of Manhattan, pointed out that creating a true classical pavilion in the 1970s was “a daring idea.” “It might have seemed ridiculous to some architects at the time, but," as Goldberger notes, “Modern architecture is a fallen angel, and what there is of an architectural vanguard seems more concerned with turning back to history again.” On its opening in 1977, then-New York Times architecture critic Goldberger noted the Reception Hall “was built as seriously as anything by the eclectic architects of the American 1920s...a worthy effort, rich in visual pleasure" and called it "an important milestone in the steady movement away from a world of just-steel-and-glass modernism.” WHAT CAN BE DONE? The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has rejected a 2018 Request For Evaluation (RFE) to designate these spaces as interior landmarks, preserving them for future generations. We believe that the agency should reconsider this RFE and calendar these rooms for a landmark designation hearing without delay. Just as retaining the Russell Page garden has resulted in a more refined plan, preserving these two special rooms would significantly improve an expansion that can still benefit from public input. Alternatives exist. It’s not too late to adjust plans accordingly. Efforts to save the Music Room and incorporate it into the new plan are supported by historic preservation groups including the Historic Districts Council and the Society for the Architecture of the City. On June 29, Vanity Fair architecture critic Paul Goldberger tweeted: "Although I have supported the Frick’s latest renovation plan (and continue to) I have become convinced that it should be revised further to save John Russell Pope’s exquisite music room." Please join us and sign this electronic petition urging the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate these rooms as interior landmarks as soon as possible. If you prefer to write to the NYC Landmarks Commission directly, please send comments to this address below. As a courtesy, please cc: your letter to Kate Lemos McHaleDirector of ResearchNew York City Landmarks Preservation Commissioners1 Centre Street, 9th Floor NorthNew York, NY  

Save The Frick
6,256 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Councilmember Vincent Gray, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Councilmember Mary Cheh, Councilmember Charles allen, Councilmember Jack Evans, DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Councilmember Elissa Silverman, Councilmember Robert White, Councilmember Anita Bonds, Councilmember David Gross

DC Council: Establish & Fund A Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street Program East of the River

Pennsylvania Avenue is often referred to as "America's Main Street" yet, that sentiment is only reflective of the short stretch between the White House & the Capitol Building. Meanwhile, East of the River (EoTR), the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor is lacking a comprehensive revitalization plan that will boost economic growth along the strip, while preserving the historic integrity of the community. As seen in the photo above, the intersection of Pennsylvania & Minnesota Avenues looks relatively identical to the way it did in 1947. This is a petition to DC Councilmember Vincent Gray and the Committee on Business and Economic Development to add funds to the budget to establish and fully fund a Pennsylvania Avenue SE Main Street program (EoTR) that meets the critical four-point transformation strategies of Main Street America, including -  ECONOMIC VITALITY focuses on capital, incentives, and other economic and financial tools to assist new and existing businesses, catalyze property development, and create a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and innovators that drive local economies. DESIGN supports a community’s transformation by enhancing the physical and visual assets that set the commercial district apart. PROMOTION positions the downtown or commercial district as the center of the community and hub of economic activity, while creating a positive image that showcases a community’s unique characteristics. ORGANIZATION involves creating a strong foundation for a sustainable revitalization effort, including cultivating partnerships, community involvement, and resources for the district. Join the movement to create a vibrant and sustainable Ward 7 business corridor! Sign the petition today!

Ayanna Smith
775 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Catalina Island Company, City of Avalon

Please Help! Keep Our Beautiful, Historic Avalon Theatre on Catalina Island Open!

PROMOTE FEES: This petition is not accepting or collecting donations for the theatre. We are not aware of any active, official fundraising campaigns to keep the theatre open, but we will inform everyone who wants to donate if any are established. Please read any prompts to pay a fee to promote this petition very carefully. These fees are used by to promote the petition and are not collected for the theatre.  On November 7, 2019, The Santa Catalina Island Company abruptly announced its plan to close Avalon's beloved theatre because the operating costs are too expensive and hinder their "good business strategy". The Island Company blames online streaming services and royalty payments for a decline in profits, but they did not seriously explore any of the many viable alternative options available, nor did they seek any input or assistance from the community they serve. They simply sent a letter of termination to theatre employees and summarily issued their edict to Avalon.   This iconic theatre is a true historic treasure boasting a host of singular distinctions under its starry, domed ceiling. The Avalon theatre is housed on the ground floor of William Wrigley, Jr.'s stunning architectural vision come-to-life, the Catalina Island Casino. Opened in 1929, the theatre is one of the oldest, continuously operating theatres in existence today. It was the first theatre built for "talkies" or movies with sound, and is considered a vanguard in the field of acoustic engineering. It is home to breathtaking murals by world-renowned artist, John Gabriel Beckman, and to its original, fully operating Page Pipe Organ. The lobby is a perfectly preserved time-capsule of Art Deco splendor with velvet furnishings, dark walnut wood paneling, and Tiffany light fixtures.  Though its historic significance is alone enough to justify its preservation, it is not the only--or even the most important--reason that we must save this theatre. The picturesque, jewel-box town of Avalon on Catalina Island is not just a pretty postcard or a curated vision for visitors. Avalon is a real community made up of real people, working hard and raising their families in a small American town. Though it is truly a gift to be able to raise your children in the most beautiful place in the world, its remote location forecloses many family leisure activities that mainlanders can take for granted. Most residents happily accept the tradeoff, but depend all the more on the precious few social/entertainment options available for their families. The Avalon theatre is the most beloved and cherished of these options. Generations upon generations of Avalon locals have grown up going to the movies here and this planned closure has broken our hearts.  This will also be a devastating loss for visitors, upon whom the economy of the island and the Santa Catalina Island Company, itself, depend. Many of these visitors return year after year and seeing a movie at our beautiful theatre is an experience they look forward to as a highlight of their trip. Please help us to implore the Island Company to keep this treasure open for locals and visitors to enjoy. The Island Company has made many controversial changes to the Island and to Avalon in recent years and most have suffered them in silence. It's time to raise our voices. Your signature here will not only show the Island Company how vital and important this landmark theatre is to so many different people for so many different reasons. Your signature will also demonstrate that being respectful of and accountable to the community that makes your business possible is the "good business strategy" they should employ.

Melinda Benson
18,037 supporters
Started 1 week ago

Petition to Madison County KY Fiscal Court

Stop Madison County, KY Fiscal Court Resolution 19-36 Sale of County Property

As Madison County residents are aware, the proposed 139% Madison County tax increase was petitioned and ultimately placed on the ballot for November 2020.    Now, the Madison County Fiscal Court has decided to sell several properties owned by Madison County, described in brevity, under Resolution 19-36.  The plan to sell county property is vaguely described in the aforementioned Resolution 19-36, absent extensive details, including, but not limited to: . Full and complete transparency. . Supporting rationale for the planned sale of each property. . There is no plan included to communicate with residents directly impacted by the sale(s). No action has been taken to protect those residents from realizing  damage to their own homes - for many, their only investment. The current, and continued reckless and irresponsible behavior of the Madison County Fiscal Court has placed residents at great risk of loss, including, but not limited to the following conditions: . A tremendous loss to their home values and the integrity of their neighborhoods, overall.  For many, their primary investment is "home", supporting their spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, and grandparents to name several. . Life-long equity preserved, and intended to support the quality of life and education of hard-working families is at great risk and likely will be reduced, or eliminated.   . Threatening family peace of mind, a reward of successful family investment, reducing the reward for careful planning that supports children, education, retirement and overall quality of life. Madison County's "Land-Mine" approach to taxation (representing "no taxes due" for over a decade followed by a "surprise accrued 139% tax increase") coupled with the condescending, irresponsible manner of the rushed,  non-transparent sale of Madison County property warrant this Petition.  This initiative is just one of multiple other community actions being taken to stop the path of destruction growing at the hand of Madison County Fiscal Court. There are governing entities that are proactive, those that are reactive.  The plethora of major financial "bombs" being dropped on our fine community is evidence of an inactive government. . Madison County taxpayers want the current Resolution 19-36 ceased at once.  Before considering any kind of sale the impacted Madison County taxpayer must be considered, with full transparency, full disclosure of all details, care, and protection of the taxpayer's home, equity, and neighborhood, and must be in the forefront "in the interest of ALL taxpayers". .Families, investors, homes, and historic properties that are directly impacted by any of the proposed sales must receive disclosures, assistance to each homeowner to fully protect their own investments, as the County proceeds with the sale of property in a responsible and transparent fashion. Madison County Residents, we thank you for your time in reviewing and executing this Petition, the first of several steps in addressing the urgent matter described herein.  We are grateful.

Working Together
311 supporters