About Us


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The Place Matters mission is to foster the conservation of New York City's historically and culturally significant places. These are places that hold memories and anchor traditions for individuals and communities, and that help tell the history of the city as a whole. We are convinced that such places promote the well being of New York's many communities in ways that too often go unrecognized.

Our process begins with surveying New Yorkers to learn about the places they care about. We follow up with educational programs and advocacy to promote and protect these places and others like them.

* Place Matters conducts a citywide survey called the Census of Places that Matter to discover places that evoke associations with history, memory, and tradition. Hundreds of New Yorkers have nominated places to the Census. Amounting to a new knowledge bank, the Census identifies places of public significance and helps us understand how and why "place" is meaningful to people. Explore the Census.

* Place Matters publishes the Census of Places that Matter to promote the many places that have been discovered through the survey. We also conduct further research on many of the nominated places to enrich the information provided. We aim to provide New Yorkers with a unique repository of information on places that tell our history and anchor our traditions. When a place is threatened; when an artist, activist, architect or scholar needs information; when a student wants to research the roller rink where her parents and most of Brooklyn went to skate; when a developer wants to make an informed decision-the Census will be there for them. Explore the Census.

* Place Matters advocates for places of history and tradition by working in the policy arena on landmarking and other protective strategies. To the extent that our small staff allows, we also provide technical assistance to groups working to protect cultural and historical places. The Place Matters Toolkit is a resource for citizens seeking to take action on behalf of important places.

* Place Matters promotes significant places through publications and public programs, such as Community Focus projects, cultural tours, maps, discussion series, and more.