The Great Outside: Preserving Public and Private Open Spaces

  • 02 Mar 2012
  • 6:00 PM
  • New York, NY
The 2012 Historic Districts Council Conference will focus on significant open spaces and land­scapes in New York City, including public parks, plazas, parkways, yards, planned communities and public housing. Partici­pants will examine a variety of issues such as development history, current threats, preservation efforts and future use.

March 2: Keynote Address and Opening Night Reception
This year’s keynote is by one of the leading experts on significant open spaces across the country. Charles A. Birnbaum, founder and president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, will tackle many crucial issues facing the preservation of open space in a talk entitled, “Change, Continuity and Civic Ambition: Cultural Landscapes, Design and Historic Preservation.” The Opening Night Reception will immediate follow the Keynote Address.
Friday, March 2, 6:00pm
New York Law School
185 West Broadway at Leonard Street
Tickets for this event are $35/person, $30 for Friends of HDC, seniors and students. Reservations required. Please call (212) 614-9107 or visit our website.

March 3: “The Great Outside: Preserving Public and Private Open Spaces” Conference
This year’s Conference will consist of speak­ers highlighting both the broad issues that need to be addressed when discussing significant open spaces. The Conference consists of two presentations and panel discussions: "Open Space in the Public Realm" and "Open Space in the Private Realm." Our distinguished participants include Thomas J. Campanella, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who will discuss Moses-era parks; Alexandra Wolfe of the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, who will talk about the effort to preserve the significant WPA-era landscape of Jones Beach; landscape architect Ken Smith, who will examine the theme of urban plazas; curator and architectural historian Thomas Mellins will address the evolving importance of mid-century public-housing landscapes and Evan Mason, senior fellow at Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development, will present her ongoing study of New York City rear yards.
During the Conference, attendees will have the opportunity to hear directly from local advocates who are working on open-space concerns throughout the city. During the registration hour, selected community groups will present relevant projects as part of HDC’s Annual Preservation Fair in the gallery adjoining the Conference auditorium throughout the morning.

Saturday, March 3, 8:30am-1:00pm
Cooper Union 
41 Cooper Square at East 7th Street
Admission is $25/person, $15/person for Friends of HDC and seniors. Fee includes continental breakfast. For reservations, please call (212) 614-9107 or visit our website. Remember that students with valid ID attend the conference for free!

March 4: We conclude the Conference with exciting Walking Tours of neighborhoods throughout New York City. Tours sell out fast, so book now!
  • Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx with Susan Olsen
  • Sunnyside Gardens, Woodside Houses & Phipps Houses, Queens with Jeffrey Kroessler
  • Northshore Waterfront and Greenbelt, Staten Island with Linda Eskenas
  • Midtown Plazas, Manhattan with Matthew Postal
  • Bike the Williamsburg and Greenpoint Waterfront, Brooklyn
Sunday, March 4. Space is limited, so reserve early. Meeting times and locations will be provided upon registration. To register via PayPal, please visit our website or call (212) 614-9107.
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