Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Must-Attend Free Event on 12/7: Coffee Talk with Karen Ansis, NY Landmarks Conservancy's Funding Programs

Monday Morning Coffee Talk with Karen Ansis
New York Landmarks Conservancy Neighborhood Preservation Programs

When: Monday, December 7, 2009 at 8:30 AM

Where: Neighborhood Preservation Center
232 East 11th Street, Manhattan

Maintaining and restoring historic buildings is crucial to preserving our neighborhoods for the future. Come to HDC’s December Coffee Talk and learn about the various financial and project management assistance programs available through The New York Landmarks Conservancy to assist individuals, businesses and non-profits in this effort.

Karen Ansis, who manages the Conservancy’s revolving loan fund for restoration work on all types of buildings, as well as grant programs for non-profit organizations, will explain her organization’s neighborhood preservation initiatives. Karen will discuss the guidelines for each program, application procedures, how low-interest loans work, and other types of assistance available. She will also highlight some of the successful projects they have recently completed. Come join us and learn if you might qualify for assistance to restore your historic property!

This event is FREE to the public. Reservations are required, as space is limited. For more information, please contact Lauren Belfer, HDC’s community coordinator, at (212) 614-9107 or

Also, please contact Rego-Forest Preservation Council Chairman Michael Perlman if you are interested in attending &/or learning more about preservation funding programs for property owners:  After gathering parties of interest, information will be communicated to the appropriate parties.

The Neighborhood Partners Program is sponsored, in part, by Deutsche Bank, Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Assembly Members Jonathan L. Bing, Deborah J. Glick, Richard N. Gottfried and Daniel J. O’Donnell, and State Senators Thomas K. Duane, Liz Krueger & Diane J. Savino.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Volunteer Opportunity: Restore Green Space To Historic Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 92-14 63 Dr, Sat, Nov 21, 10 AM - 12 PM

The Rego Park Green Alliance is a soon-to-be non-profit that Rego-Forest Preservation Council highly recognizes! Part of the RFPC mission statement is to preserve and commemorate our architectural and cultural history, but many of us take for granted that it also ties into preserving our mature trees and bushes, and maintaining and restoring our green spaces, to frame our architectural landmarks, and most of all, to initiate beauty and respect our environment.

The Rego Park Green Alliance is working with the Our Savior Lutheran Church, 92-14 63 Dr (on Wetherole St off Queens Blvd), Rego Park to create a much-needed park on the side of their property for use by all generations of the community. They have a vision, and both the RPGA and Our Saviour Lutheran Church should be greatly commended!

This is how YOU can help.....

On November 21st from 10 AM - 12 PM, you can start the transformation. If you are available, please come and help create a park for our entire community to use and cherish for years to come. For more information:

This is the RPGA blog:  Founder & Chair Yvonne Shortt, explains the following:

How did the idea come about? While sitting at a jazz concert on Our Saviour's property several months ago, I saw a 400 square foot space sandwiched between Our Saviour Church and another building. In an area with no green space anything green is an opportunity. I spoke with Pastor Neil and asked if the Rego Park Green Alliance could create a park that could be used by the community. Pastor Neil and the congregation agreed.

What is the design? If you look at the design, you'll see that with Colta Ives help we have created a quiet space for people to go to read and talk. Right outside of the garden is Honey Suckle that will evetually climb the fence. When you enter on the left will be some trumpet vines. On the right will be two raised beds, Further back, a clumping birch tree. At the rear, three kinds of evergreens. For ground cover, bark mulch. However, in some areas will have have a little rock to give the park some texture.


Recent & vintage photos of historic Our Saviour Lutheran Church and its grounds, courtesy of Rego-Forest Preservation Council (unless noted otherwise):

Thursday, November 19, 2009

RSVP: Parks Dept Seeking Volunteers To Help Preserve The NY State Pavilion, A Queens & National Icon!

Volunteer on November 21 & 28, & take part in the introductory stages of preserving a Modernist masterpiece, the NY State Pavilion.... an enduring symbol of the 1964 World's Fair, Queens, and a National icon! Become a part of its history for a more rewarding future. Read on....

1964 postcard courtesy of Michael Perlman Postcard Collection


Designed by famed American architect Philip Johnson for the 1964 World’s Fair, the large-scale terrazzo art pavement was commissioned by Governor Nelson Rockefeller for the New York State Pavilion. Johnson’s Pavilion featured a complex of structures: a Theaterama building, three observation towers, and the “Tent of Tomorrow,” a 12-story open-air elliptical pavilion capped by the world’s largest suspended cable system roof fitted with colored acrylic panels. The “Tent of Tomorrow” became a symbol of the fair, and for its main floor, Johnson designed the largest-known representation of any area of the earth’s surface: a 130-foot by 166-foot terrazzo replica of a Texaco New York State road map.

Although the Fair buildings were intended as temporary, 1965 plans for creating Flushing Meadows-Corona Park identified the Pavilion for preservation and reuse. While the Theaterama was later successfully renovated as a community theater, the remaining complex is closed and derelict. Today the Tent is used for storage, and the Road Map is in an advanced state of deterioration from weathering, vandalism, and past inappropriate recreational uses.

We’re looking for 12-40 volunteers to help out onsite on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21 AND SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28, performing a range of activities from removal of invasive vegetation, to the careful and systematic collection and bagging of map fragments that have been dislodged from the floor of the Pavilion. Instruction would be given to the volunteers on how to go about collecting the fragments before any work would begin. We’re looking for volunteers who are responsible, pay close attention to detail, and can follow instructions. Given the historical nature of the work, a certain degree of sensitivity is required. Everyday more of the famous map disappears, making the proposed conservation work critical.

Volunteers should meet at the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, by 9 AM. All friends, family, co-workers and associates are welcome. There is a lot of work to be done and many volunteers are needed so please feel free to forward to others whom you think might be interested.

Additional details will be sent out closer to the volunteer work days. Please visit to read about previous work done at the site by the University of Pennsylvania and the related exhibition held at the Queens Museum.

If you are interested in volunteering, please RSVP as soon as possible:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You're Invited: A Lecture with Catherine Croft - "How They Save Significant Modern Buildings in Britain" & Learn Tactics To Preserve Your Neighborhood, Nov 23, 2009, 6 PM - 8 PM

Find out how they save significant Modern buildings in Britain (and learn tactics to preserve your neighborhood): A Lecture with Catherine Croft, Director of the Twentieth Century Society (UK)

When: Monday, November 23, 6pm – 8pm
Where: Neighborhood Preservation Center (
232 East 11th Street, Manhattan

It’s hard enough convincing the Powers-That-Be to preserve a historic building, but if that building is from the recent past, the effort required is enormous. In New York City, we’ve recently lost 2 Columbus Circle, the Patterson Silks Building and the Trylon Theater to name but a few and while some modern buildings have been saved (Guardian Life Annex, the Manufacturers Hanover Trust, Chase Manhattan Plaza), we can certainly use all the help we can get to protect our modern landmarks. HDC hopes you can join us for a special talk with our U.K. colleague, Catherine Croft, about preserving modern buildings.

Catherine Croft is the Director of the Twentieth Century Society, the national preservation advocacy organization which campaigns throughout Britain for the protection of significant buildings built after 1914. The Society was formed in 1979, and has been successful in several campaigns, including expanding the British national heritage listings to include modern buildings over thirty years instead of having a cut-off date of 1939.

Ms. Croft will speak about attitudes to 20th-century buildings in the UK, and the campaigns she is currently involved in. These range from public housing projects to the Saarinen-designed U.S. Embassy in London and from buildings which are universally popular to those that are generally reviled. The Society works through public advocacy, directed campaigns, educational programming, awareness building and scholarly research. In addition to her work with the Society, she is the author of Concrete Architecture and writes on conservation and new design issues for many magazines and journals.

This event is FREE to the public. Reservations are required, as space is limited. For more information, please contact the Historic Districts Council ( at (212) 614-9107 or

You're Invited: "Preservation in Context: Communities and Their Landmarked Districts," Nov 18, 2009, 6 PM - 8 PM

Preservation in Context: Communities and Their Landmarked Districts

Community Advocates Discuss Appropriateness

 When: Wednesday, 11/18/2009, 6:00 – 8:00pm 
Where: At The Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets

More than twenty community organizations in New York advocate for the collective best interest of their historically landmarked communities. The composition of each neighborhood uniquely defines the needs of each historic district and directs the local organization’s relationship with the Commission. Representatives from activist groups representing varying community types (residential, commercial, mixed, tourist, etc.) will discuss how their neighborhoods were affected by district designation and the impact of new development.

Simeon Bankoff, Historic Districts Council
Lo van der Valk, Carnegie Hill Neighbors
Julia Schoeck, Douglaston/Little Neck Historical Society
Tom van den Bout, Brooklyn Heights Association
Sean Sweeney, SoHo Alliance
Moderated by Sherida Paulsen, FAIA, 2009 President, AIA New York

Members: Free
Non-members: $10

CES: 1.5 LU, 1.5 HSW

Exhibition and related programs are organized by the AIA New York Chapter, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the Center for Architecture Foundation in partnership with the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation.

Underwritten by: NY Landmarks Preservation Foundation

The programs related to this exhibition were made possible by the generosity of the following 2009 Inaugural Fund donors:

PKSB Architects

Benjamin Moore & Co.
Buro Happold Consulting Engineers
Studio Daniel Libeskind
Syska Hennessy Group

Mancini Duffy

FXFOWLE Architects
Helpern Architects
James McCullar & Associates Architects
Levien & Company
New York Building Congress
Stephan Jaklitsch Architects
Theo. David, Architects

Stay Tuned For Article on "A Forest Hills Gardens Centennial Celebration: Autumn Lights" Performance/Fundraiser

Chair Michael Perlman of Rego-Forest Preservation Council will soon post an article summarizing the well-conceived, multi-talented, historic event, "A Forest Hills Gardens Centennial Celebration: Autumn Lights," which took place on Nov 8, 2009. The article will feature interviews with some of the performers. Stay tuned! Original posting from Nov 3, 2009:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

You're Invited: "Preservation is Sustainability Panel — How To Make Your Historic House More Energy Efficient," November 12 from 6-8 PM

Rego-Forest Preservation Council proudly recognizes the NY Landmarks Conservancy in their preservation mission, which ties into "going green." Some local neighborhoods that may benefit & immediately come to mind are the 72nd Ave/Roman Ave Neo-Renaissance rowhouses between Austin St & Queens Blvd in Forest Hills (dating back to the founding of Forest Hills in 1906), the Rego Park Crescents, the "Real Good" District bounded by 63rd Dr & Eliot Ave in Rego Park, the Forest Hills Gardens, the Cord Meyer section of Forest Hills, the Wolosoff Brothers District east of Yellowstone Blvd & south of Austin St (commonly referred to as Forest Hills South), Van Court section, Forest Close & Arbor Close, and more. For a determination of your home's historic integrity, please ask the Rego-Forest Preservation Council for voluntary assistance, which will put you in touch with field professionals, and ultimately save your home preservation-wise, energy-wise, & on related finances. The following event is a necessity!

From NY Landmarks Conservancy:

Sustainability doesn’t mean starting from scratch. Buzzwords like “greenscape,” “lo-energy” or “LEED” can enthuse and confuse owners of older buildings, leaving them unsure how to maintain their properties, or under the impression that “green” building is only for new construction. Sustainability also triggers a wide range of questions, from the broad policy implications of re-using buildings and re-investing in our communities, to the calculations of embodied energy in existing materials, to practical matters such as whether or not to install new windows, green roofs or solar panels.
To ensure that preservation basics are not lost, the NY Landmarks Conservancy presents “Preservation is Sustainability: How to Make Your Historic House More Energy Efficient.” Please join the NY Landmarks Conservancy to hear from a group of preservationists and architects, who will provide a critical framework and practical advice on sustainability in historic houses. These professionals will discuss their own experiences, highlighting what is successful and what should be re-thought, and will answer questions from the audience.

When: Thursday, Nov. 12 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Where: Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, 85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn


Walter Sedovic, AIA LEED, Principal & CEO, Walter Sedovic Architects, moderator
William Neeley, Deputy Director, Preservation, Landmarks Preservation Commission
Rebecca Williams, Program Officer, Northeast Regional Office, National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Tickets: $5.00. Registration Required. Contact Meral Agish at or call (212)995-5260 to register.

For over 35 years, the NY Landmarks Conservancy has promoted the benefits of historic preservation, and has become a trusted advocate for preservation policy. In addition, their unique financial assistance and expert technical advice have won national recognition. Since 1973, the Conservancy has provided more than $30 million in low-interest loans and grants, accompanied by countless hours of pro-bono technical assistance to countless property owners, non-profits, and caretakers of religious buildings for the maintenance and restoration of historic properties. For more information:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You're Invited to A Forest Hills Gardens Centennial Celebration: "Autumn Lights," Sun, Nov 8, 2009, 4 PM - 6:30 PM

2009 marks the 100th anniversary since the establishment of the Forest Hills Gardens, one of the earliest planned communities countrywide, and a master of urban planning, great property values, and a preservation success model. It is a prominent example of Ebenezer Howard's Garden City Movement, and is modeled after a traditional English village. It was voted the "Best Cottage Community" countrywide in 2007 by Cottage Living Magazine. Dominant styles are Tudor, brick Tudor, & Georgian. Its mansions, schools, religious institutions, few apartment houses, winding streets, lush gardens, private parks, Station Square including the Forest Hills Inn, and the Gardens' monuments are meticulously preserved, thanks to Restrictive Covenants that date back to the community's founding, and are renewed every two decades.

 One of the superb events and fundraisers that will commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime Forest Hills Gardens occasion is.........

 "Autumn Lights" - A Forest Hills Gardens Centennial Celebration
Capturing 100 years of Music in the Gardens

When: Sunday, November 8, 2009 from 4 PM - 6:30 PM
Where: Community House, 15 Borage Place


Emmy Award-winning & Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist, Chieli Minucci
Broadway performer, Ann Kittredge
Perry Serpa and the Sharp Things, a symphonic rock band
Belle Arti's internationally acclaimed concert artists
Other local artists including Betina Hershey, William Ryden, and Paul Beaudry

Reserve your tickets now by calling (347) 545-0515 or visiting
Admission: $75 per person - wine, hors d'oeuvres, desserts

Proceeds will benefit The School in the Gardens and a portion to be donated to the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation.
Event Sponsored by 5 Burro Cafe, Fox Funeral Home, Restoration Medical Supply, and S&M Klein Company, Inc.

Forest Hills Gardens History Links:

1. 100 years of FHG history:,_Queens
2. A Garden City For The Man of Moderate Means, The Craftsman, Feb 1911:
3. Station Square History:
4. A Success In Community Planning by Historian Francis Morrone:
5. The State & National Register of Historic Places' effect on the Church-In-The-Gardens:
6. Gardens Vision Lives 100 Years Later, Queens Chronicle, Oct 22, 2009:

Forest Hills Gardens Photos:

1. FHG Flickr slideshow (nearly 900 photos):
2. Historian Jeff Gottlieb's FHG walking tour, Photos by Rego-Forest Preservation Council:

A Memoir of Historian Nancy Cataldi: A Community Leader We Can All Take Inspiration From

October 29, 2009 marked the one year passing of Historian Nancy Lucia Cataldi, who was a friend, a community leader, dedicated preservationist, curator, author, and professional photographer. I learned about her passing while checking my e-mail the following morning, and was additionally shocked since no ailments were known, and she was only 55. Despite her relatively young age, her name is attributed with many great achievements.

Nancy Cataldi was the President of the Richmond Hill Historical Society since 1999, and on behalf of neighborhoods residents and borough-wide preservationists, she heroically advocated for the creation of a Richmond Hill Historic District, which first began in 1997 with her role as a founding member. The Richmond Hill Historic District is essential to commemorate, preserve, and revitalize one of the most significant meccas of Victorian homes countrywide. However, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission had their own agenda, and repeatedly rejected calendaring the District for a public hearing, without quoting any provisions of the Landmarks Law. She related to all generations by organizing educational programs for children, community events, and parties.

I first befriended Nancy in 2002, while working on a Trylon Theater feature story for my journalism class. I interviewed her, admired her heartfelt responses, and how she dedicated her time to neighborhood causes beyond her immediate vicinity. She submitted my paper into the archives of the Richmond Hill Historical Society, and in Oct 2005, she participated in my rally/press conference to preserve the 1939 World's Fair-inspired Trylon Theater in Forest Hills. In May 2006, we participated a rally to preserve the 1847 St. Saviour's Church and its historic land in Maspeth, and in April 2007, we participated in the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District LPC Hearing, which was successfully designated. We were also board members of the Queens Preservation Council. I recall participating in her March 2006 Richmond Hill rally/press conference, to call for Historic District status. It was well-attended by not only locals, but by borough-wide preservationists. Speakers included Nancy, other organizational leaders, and elected officials. What a close-knit feeling of community!

In 1994, Nancy purchased a 1905 Victorian, which she lovingly restored, and her home received one of the first Queensmark awards. Some of her other profound achievements include writing "Images of America: Richmond Hill," which was co-authored by Historian Carl Ballenas, and one of her two books where history was showcased in a creative manner. In conjunction with the Richmond Hill Historical Society, she achieved Individual Landmark status for the Richmond Hill Republican Club on December 17, 2002. That same year, she achieved State & National Register (of Historic Places) status for the Church of The Resurrection, Richmond Hill's first church, which made it eligible for grants to restore its architectural features. She also created the Richmond Hill Museum. On June 20, 2003, the mostly intact RKO Keith's Richmond Hill Theatre became part of the State Register of Historic Places. She was also the historian of Maple Grove Cemetery, which became part of the National Register, thanks to her diligence. In 2005, she was granted a Grassroots Preservation Award by the Historic Districts Council, where she served on the Board of Directors. Practically a month prior to her passing, she announced on NY1 News that she will be the curator for an Italian American exhibit in Little Italy.

I greatly commend the October 24th ceremony which co-named the intersection of 109th St & 86th Ave in Richmond Hill, "Nancy Cataldi Way." The dedication rekindled the devotion and unity of her prior gatherings, and it was touching how her family was presented a NY City Council Proclamation, complemented by performances of Sacred songs and students of P.S. 66 reciting her poetry. It is important for us to remember and continue to fulfill the legacy of Nancy Cataldi, in order for her legacy be fulfilled by future generations. Now it is imperative that the Landmarks Preservation Commission realize the vision of Nancy Cataldi and her followers, and the authenticity of a Victorian neighborhood that's few and far between, by designating a section of Richmond Hill a Historic District.

We lost one of our city's "greats," and an emptiness fills our hearts, but may her spirit live on. Let's continue to be educated by her teachings, take precedence, and honor a devoted community leader and diverse, remarkable individual. For more information on the life of Nancy Cataldi, please visit In addition, to join the Richmond Hill Historical Society, please visit  RIP Nancy Cataldi!

- Michael Perlman
Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Chair
Four Borough Preservation Alliance Corp, Queens VP

Monday, November 2, 2009

Welcome To The Rego-Forest Preservation Council Blog! Join & Learn How To Preserve Our Neighborhood's Unique Past For A Future Of Character!

For Rego Park & Forest Hills historic preservation news items, appeals, events, and important links to city agencies and other preservation organizations, as well as forms to preserve and revitalize our neighborhoods (on the side of this blog), please bookmark and visit our blog: Also, become a follower of our blog with Google Friend Connect.

Our Background:

Rego-Forest Preservation Council was established in late 2006, in response to our shared Rego Park & Forest Hills 100-year Anniversary that was minimally publicized, and in response to the growing number of demolitions and insensitive alterations of historic properties that forever altered our character. We have yet to learn that there are methods of improvement and benefits to property owners, without losing the cornerstones that make our community special. This has been proved in other parts of the city and countrywide. If we act now, it is not too late to save our landmarks and celebrate our history.

Our Mission Statement:

Rego-Forest Preservation Council seeks to preserve and commemorate the architectural and cultural history of Rego Park, Forest Hills, and adjacent neighborhoods of Queens, NY. We work with citizens, affiliate organizations, and property owners on local, city, state, & federal levels. Avenues include Individual Landmarks, Historic Districts, Rezonings, State & National Register properties and districts; to ultimately provide funding assistance for restoration and adaptive reuse, safeguard community character, and convey historic pride for current and future generations.

How You Can Help:

1. We are seeking support from preservationists, historians, organizations, neighborhood residents, property owners, urban planners, architects, and general enthusiasts. Become a friend of Rego-Forest Preservation Council!

2. We are also seeking guest writers for periodic columns, residents and landlords that completed restoration work & sensitive renovations, personal profiles with noteworthy achievements, leads on history-related events, vintage neighborhood photos for our community projects, etc.

3. Become a fan of our new Facebook Page by entering "Rego-Forest Preservation Council" in the search box of or by visiting

4. Become a flickr friend, & view photos of architecturally & culturally diverse neighborhood sites:

Enjoy our photo collections that will be updated on a regular basis:

Forest Hills, Austin St & Queens Blvd vicinity:
Rego Park, Saunders St, 63 Dr, & Queens Blvd vicinity:

Sacred Sites of Forest Hills, Rego Park, & vicinity:

Last but not least, please spread the word to family, friends, and colleagues, and grasp on to the unique architectural and cultural history of Rego Park and Forest Hills for a more distinctive, promising future. If you are if interested in learning more and volunteering, please e-mail  Even a small amount of time can make a large difference!

- Michael Perlman,
Chairman of Rego-Forest Preservation Council