historic preservation

332 petitions

Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Corey Johnson, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, Corey Johnson, City Council Member Laurie Cumbo, Meenakshi Srinivasan

Protect Poet Walt Whitman's New York City Home

Walt Whitman, America's most famous poet, lived at 99 Ryerson Street in Brooklyn, New York when his world famous book Leaves of Grass was first published in 1855.  While Whitman lived in over 30 places in what is today New York City during this lifetime, the house at 99 Ryerson Street is the ONLY ONE still standing.  Accordingly, 99 Ryerson Street is of great cultural and historical significance.  It tells not only the story of a key moment in American poetry and literature, but also the story of a towering figure in global culture. We are seeking official city landmark designation from New York City to protect the building from demolition, especially because development is encroaching on the neighborhood.  While the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission initially rejected our request, the Commission is currently reviewing additional information and research that we provided on the significance of the site and Walt Whitman's association with the site.  We need your help convincing the Commission to landmark this critically important building. The house at 99 Ryerson Street is one of only two buildings directly associated with Walt Whitman that are still standing in New York City.  It would be an unforgivable tragedy to lose this crucially important building to history.  Join us in protecting this important cultural resource for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations. Quotes from supporters: "To protect a house like this one, it seems to me, is a form of cultural stewardship.For this house to disappear would be something like an extinction: such a place cannot be got back, not ever, once it is lost."  - George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo and winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize “During my time as Poet Laureate of the United States, my travels in our country and abroad gave me a renewed sense of Walt Whitman’s ongoing, central importance. Poets writing in other languages, on every continent have looked to Whitman’s work for an epitome of what is most liberating in the culture of the United States. Please let me add my voice to those hoping that you will recognize his house in Brooklyn as a true landmark.”  - Robert Pinsky, former U.S. Poet Laureate "I feel a particular relationship to Whitman and, maybe more to the point, a strong sense of just how much impact not only his work but his physical presence had on the New York City of his day. I do hope you’ll revisit the question of the house on Ryerson as a historic landmark."  - Michael Cunningham, award winning author  “2019 marks the bicentennial of Walt Whitman’s birth. We hope to celebrate Whitman’s groundbreaking contributions to literature by landmarking the site most associated with his seminal work by the time that key milestone arrives. I hope the Commission understands this is not about the architectural merit of 99 Ryerson Street but rather its incredibly significant cultural value.” - Professor Karen Karbiener, founder of the Walt Whitman Initiative “The city needs more landmarks like this one to help narrate the histories of LGBT Americans – and it needs to consider cultural landmarks seriously rather than aesthetic landmarks alone.” - Jay Shockley, co-founder of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project “If Whitman’s Leaves of Grass gave birth to American poetry, then Brooklyn is thebirthplace of our art, and 99 Ryerson Street is the last remaining cradle. The Commission needs to reconsider its initial rejection.” - Jason Koo, executive director and founder of Brooklyn Poets

Brad Vogel
6,922 supporters
This petition won 3 days ago

Petition to National Register of Historic Places, Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, Historic Preservation Commission of Bloomington, City of Bloomington, State Farm Insurance Cos.

Save the Historic State Farm Building

State Farm Insurance Company has announced that it will be demolishing its original 1920's Headquarters.  The downtown headquarters is a Central Illinois landmark, a dominant feature on the Bloomington Normal skyline, and a symbol of the community and its history. The building is one of the defining contributors to the Downtown Bloomington area, a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. This building is a symbol of our community, the same community that State Farm helped build. This is now a Central Illinois Landmark and a major contributor to the visual identity of our region, one that State Farm now wants to destroy. The Art Deco landmark is one of the tallest buildings between Chicago and St. Louis and dominates the landscape, and is visible from miles away. G.J. Mecherle located his office at the top so he could see his farmland and Central Illinois home. This building is important to our collective history and represents the growth of our town. It has served to represent progress for our community throughout the last 90 years. In fact, if you do a Google image search of 'Bloomington, IL" this building is the first image result. There are business and community friendly ways to save and reuse this building. Bloomington is desperately trying to bring interest back to the downtown community, and destroying this building is not the way to do so. Lets show State Farm that this is our community as well and that our history is worth more than a quick sale of a property for a multi-billion dollar company.  Please see these links for more great information on this building: 

William Lyons
2,234 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Mayor Jim Kenney, Councilmember Mark Squilla, Parks Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, Ilene Wilder

Save the Columbus Square Fleisher Pavilion

The Mid-Century Modern pavilion in South Philadelphia's Columbus Square Park is slated for demolition as part of a major redesign and renovation of the park. Designed by* Elizabeth Hirsh Fleisher, Philadelphia's first licensed female architect, the delightfully quirky round pavilion with its crown-like roof was built in 1960, originally as a senior center, but later served other functions before falling into disuse. The fascinating story of the pavilion was written up by Inquirer Architecture Critic Inga Saffron in her 'Good Eye' column earlier this year: there ostensibly was a multi-year public input process leading to the development of the new master plan for Columbus Square Park, it has come to light that very many residents of the area near the park feel they were entirely excluded or ignored and that the decision making was dominated by a very few vocal advocates. The Columbus Square Fleisher Pavilion is clearly a much-loved and familiar landmark in the Passyunk Square neighborhood of South Philadelphia and there is a strong desire among local residents to see it preserved and adaptively reused.Though the pavilion is not listed by the Philadelphia Historical Commission on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places — which would block demolition — the upside is that it can be freely modified for a new use, ideally without too much compromising the overall design. To demolish it would be to squander a unique opportunity for adaptive reuse of a charming neighborhood icon which, despite its diminutive physical size, contributes mightily to the Passyunk Square neighborhood's sense of place. We urge Mayor Jim Kenney, Parks Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell and Councilmember Mark Squilla to put the planned demolition on hold and re-explore the potential uses of the Fleisher Pavilion. * UPDATE 10/10/2019: A 'Round House' plot twist… Photo credit: Inga Saffron, Philadelphia Inquirer

Jay Farrell
2,597 supporters