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Selected Events: Summer 2005-Present

Preservation in New York: The Next Generation Conference

Mar. 6, 2010, St. Francis College
The Historic Districts Council's Annual Preservation Conference featured a panel on "New Landmarks: Modern, Vernacular, and Cultural Sites" with Andrew Dolkart, director, Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University, John Kriskiewicz, architectural historian, and Mariana Mogilevich, Place Matters. 


Second Annual Place Matters Awards

Dec. 3, 2009, Longwood Gallery, Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture
Place Matters honored six places that give the Bronx its richness, its flavor, and its life.  With opening remarks by Carl Capotorto, playwright, screenwriter, actor, and author of Twisted Head, An Italian American Memoir, and music by Trio Los Platinos, the longest established group playing Puerto Rican boleros in New York.  


Place Matters Residency

Oct. 29 & 30, 2009, John Nicholas Brown Center, Brown University, Providence, RI
Two days of formal and informal talks with students at the JNB Center’s Public Humanities Program and the general public about Place Matters and conducting similar efforts in other locales.


SPURA Matters Press Conference

Sept. 17, 2009, Seward Park Library
Historical presentation about the history of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area timed to the release of the report “Community Voices and the Future of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area.” Part of an ongoing Place Matters collaboration with GOLES and the Pratt Center for Community Development.


A Conversation about Place Matters

Sunday, Sept 6, 2009, 4-5pm Coney Island USA —“Ask the Experts” series


Livable Neighborhoods Workshop

May 16, 2009, Hunter College
Place Matters citywide workshop on Historic Preservation and Preserving Cultural Assets for the Municipal Art Society Planning Center's project to create neighborhood sustainability.


SPURA Matters, Public Programs about the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area

October 2008 thru May 2009, Various sites
Forty years ago, New York City took ownership of a piece of the Lower East Side known as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA), bounded by Essex, Delancey, Grand, and Willett Streets. Few renewal projects ran into as much trouble as this one, and as a result, it was never finished. Today SPURA still includes a big plot of land that can be put to productive use. Place Matters joined with Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), Pratt Center for Community Development, and other nonprofits on the Lower East Side to get people talking about a future for SPURA. Programs included an interactive cell phone tour of local history, 6 public sessions with historical presentations and community visioning, an exhibit, and an oral history project. For more information, download a pdf of SPURA Matters:A 40-year Commemorative Map of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area,  or read press from The Villager.


Place Matters Awards & 10th Anniversary Celebration

June 11, 2008, 6-8pm, Municipal Art Society, 457 Madison
To mark our 10th anniversary, a Place Matters selection committee chose 10 great places from the Census of Places that Matter to honor. David Gonzalez, city reporter at The New York Times, delivered opening remarks, the renowned cuatro player Yomo Toro performed, and the 10 honorees were given "place-marking awards" for interior or exterior mounting.


Preserving New York Panel Discussion

June 5, 2008, 6:30-8, Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Anthony Wood's new book Preserving New York was the focus for a discussion about the future of preservation in NYC, with Wood, Simeon Bankoff, HDC, and Marci Reaven, Place Matters. Moderated by Jeffrey Trask.


Livable Neighborhoods Workshop

Mar. 29 & May 10, 2008, 1-3pm; Brooklyn College & Hunter College
Place Matters workshop on protecting cultural assets for the Municipal Art Society Planning Center's project to create a neighborhood sustainability and livability agenda.


Puerto Ricans & African Americans in Postwar New York Panel Discussion

Mar. 5, 2008, 6-8pm, Martin E. Segal Theatre, The Graduate Center
Film screening by Lillian Jimenez on visionary leader Antonia Pantoja, and panel with the historians Craig Steven Wilder, Dartmouth, and Marci Reaven, City Lore/Place Matters.


Your Guide to the Lower East Side: Place Matters installation

Installation, September 2007 - present; pilot installation, May-June 2006
Place Matters installed 28 streetside signs about Lower East Side history, featuring the stories of Lower East Siders, past and present.
Click here to see more on the project. The project is in association with the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the coalition of local organizations and individuals known as the Lower East Side Community Preservation.


Place Matters leads a "Jane's Walk," Free Neighborhood Walking Tours

September 29, 2007, 12noon-1:30pm
To celebrate the legacy of urban activist and writer Jane Jacobs, the Center for the Living City at Purchase College organized free neighborhood strolls that emphasized the walkable and diverse nature of New York City.
  Place Matters' tour explored  an East Village landscape that still exists today because the Cooper Square Committee mobilized in 1959 to save local homes and businesses from a Robert Moses urban renewal plan stretching from E. 9th St. to Delancey, from Bowery to 2nd Avenue. The
activists not only stopped the bulldozers, they created one of the first community-initiated plans to build low-cost housing, improve their neighborhood, and keep it integrated.


Place Matters & the Governors Island Family Festival

Saturday, June 2nd, 12:30-4pm. Opening day for Summer '07
As part of the Family Festival sponsored by the Governors Island Alliance, Place Matters and Hester St. Collaborative ran the "Design Your Dream Park" station for kids.


Place Matters & the Livable Neighborhoods Program Workshops

May 5 & 19, 2007, 8:30am-4:30pm, Hunter College. Sponsored by the Municipal Art Society Planning Center. Day long seminar for New Yorkers who want a voice on how their communities develop and grow. Workshop on historic preservation and protecting cultural assets offered by Marci Reaven of City Lore/Place Matters and Lisa Kersavage of the Municipal Art Society.


NY Trivia Night for Hidden New York  

May 9, 2007, 7-9pm, Lolita Bar, 266 Broome Street
Sponsored by City Lore and the LES Tenement Museum's New York Book Club
Trivia night featuring questions from the Place Matters book, Hidden New York: A Guide to Places that Matter


Tour of the Weeksville Heritage Society and Barthé frieze at the Kingsborough Houses

April 7, 2007, 1pm, Crown Heights, Brooklyn
A Municipal Art Society-sponsored tour organized to feature two of the 32 sites profiled in the Place Matters book Hidden New York: A Guide to Places that Matter. The tour visited Weeksville, a landmarked cluster of 19th-century woodframe houses and artifact from pre-Civil War African American New York, plus the remarkable Richmond Barthe frieze installed on the grounds of a nearby public housing project.


Tour of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen

February 3, 2007, 10am , 20 West 44th St.
A Municipal Art Society-sponsored tour of this landmarked building and historic organization. Tour organized to feature one of the 32 sites profiled in Hidden New York: A Guide to Places that Matter--Place Matters' new publication. The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen has been in continuous operation since it was founded in 1785 by the master craftsmen of the city to provide mutual help and cooperation. By 1820, the Society had established its library for apprentices and a tuition-free school.


Hidden New York: A Guide to Places that Matter Book Party

Nov. 2006, 6-8pm, Municipal Art Society, 457 Madison
Celebration of the release of Place Matters new book, published by Rutgers University Press.


"Does Place Matter on the Lower East Side?" Forum

June 15, 2006, 6:30-8:30pm, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave
Discussion about Lower East Side history as seen through its particular kinds of places.
Sponsored by City Lore, The Gotham Center for New York City History, and the Vernacular Architecture Forum. Speakers: Harriet Cohen, housing activist and Director of Programs for the Lantern Group; Orlando Plaza, community activist, doctoral candidate in history at NYU, and owner of Camaradas Restaurant in El Barrio; John Kuo Wei Tchen, historian and Director of the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program at NYU, co-founder of the Museum of Chinese in the Americas; Suzanne Wasserman, historian, documentary film maker, and Associate Director of the Gotham Center for NYC History. Moderated by Marci Reaven, City Lore/Place Matters.


City Building: Vernacular Architecture Forum conference

June 14-17, 2006
Place Matters co-sponsored the 27th annual conference of the Vernacular Architecture Forum which met in New York for the first time in 2006 to consider how the everyday landscapes of our city have been shaped, reshaped, and sustained over time. Events included a keynote speech by architectural historian Andrew Dolkart, called New York: Vernacular City," at Shephard Hall, CCNY; "Does Place Matter on the Lower East Side?" A Place Matters forum, at the Gotham Center for NYC History; neighborhood tours in lower Manhattan, the Lower East Side, Harlem, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights, and Flushing; and paper sessions at Columbia University. 


New Strategies for Preservation and Planning: Focus on Fulton Steet Mall Forum

Feb., 9, 2006, 8:30am, The Urban Center, 457 Madison Ave
Presentation of a new report on Fulton Street Mall by Vicki Weiner of the Pratt Center for Community Development and Randy Mason of Minerva Partners, asking how the significant past and lively present of this important public space can be incorporated into the redevelopment of some of the most important real estate in Downtown Brooklyn. Panelists responding to the report's findings included Place Matters Director Marci Reaven; Judith Saltzman of Li-Saltzman Architects; Michael J. Burke, Director of the Downtown Brooklyn Council; and Al Laboz, Partner at United American Land, LLC and Chairman of Fulton Street Mall Special Assessment District.
Presented by The Planning Center of the Municipal Art Society.


From Mambo to Hip Hop: Music and Survival in the South Bronx Film Screening

Dance on Camera Film Festival, Lincoln Center, Jan. 2006, 8:30pm, Walter Reade Theater
Directed by Henry Chalfant and produced by City Lore, the film developed out of a three-year initiative by City Lore's Place Matters project (in partnership with The Point CDC) to document and present the musical heritage of the South Bronx. The film tracks the people and places that made the South Bronx a creative crucible for the development of Latin music and hip hop.


Celebration of the Life and Work of Walter Thabit

Dec. 9, 2005, 5:30 PM, The Urban Center, 457 Madison
Walter Thabit (1921-2005) was one of the most significant urban planners of his generation. In a career covering five decades he greatly influenced community and advocacy planning and the civil rights movement. He helped to save New York City neighborhoods from slum clearance bulldozers, fought for and built low cost housing in neighborhoods around the city, and pioneered the partnerships between planners and citizens that gave rise to community-based planning.
Sponsored by the The Cooper Square Committee & Planners Network, with the participation of Place Matters. 


Mott Haven: Incubator of Latin Music

Nov. 16, 2005, 7pm
Bus Tour led by Mike Amadeo along with Elena Martinez and Roberta Singer of Place Matters/City Lore, covering the South Bronx neighborhood surrounding Casa Amadeo where so much Latin music was created and performed. Sponsored by The Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture. 


Promoting and Protecting Places that Matter in New York City

Nov. 11, 2005, 1pm, Wollman Hall, New School, 66 West 12th Street
llustrated talk by Marci Reaven for the Fridays @ One Program, sponsored by the New School Institute for Retired Professionals.


Interpreting Urban Public Space: Interdisciplinary Strategies Panel Discussion  

Wednesday, October 26, 6:30-8pm, The Urban Center, 457 Madison Avenue
This panel considered how interdisciplinary public art, installations, and interpretive projects engage people in the process of neighborhood development and redevelopment. Sponsored by Place in History and the Municipal Art Society. Panelists: Lize Mogel, Artist; Chris Neville, Artist and Historian, past member of REPOhistory; Marci Reaven, Historian and Director, Place Matters Project; Damon Rich, Creative Director, Center for Urban Pedagogy.


Is Eminent Domain Necessary for Neighborhood Redevelopment? 

Manhattanville: A Case Study, Panel Discussion

Oct. 20, 2005, 8:30-10am, The Urban Center, 457 Madison Ave.
Panel discussion about the area of West Harlem called Manhattanville, where Columbia University intends to expand its campus. Community Board 9 and local groups have spent years documenting local history and planning for community improvements. Sponsored by the Municipal Art Society Planning Center; Co-sponsored by Place Matters. Moderator: Jonanthan Bowles, Director, Center for an Urban Future. Panelists: Maritta Dunn, Manhattanville Area Consortium of Businesses; Pat Jones, Manhattan CB 9, 197-A Plan Committee Chair; Ron Shiffman, Professor, Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment; Walter South, Manhattan CB 9, 197-A Plan Committee Vice Chair; Eric K. Washington, Author of "Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem"; Anne Whitman, President, Hudson North American.


Miracle on Second Avenue Walking Tour

Oct. 2, 2005, 11am - 12:30pm
Tour explores an East Village landscape that still exists today because the Cooper Square Committee mobilized in 1959 to save local homes and businesses. Activists not only stopped urban renewal bulldozers, they created one of the first community-initiated plans to improve their neighborhood, then fought to implement it. Leader: Marci Reaven, Director, Place Matters.


Marking Time on the Bowery Panel Discussion

Sept. 7, 2005, 6:30-8pm, Municipal Art Society, 457 Madison Ave.
Speakers addressed the history of the Bowery, how the street is changing, and what should be done to preserve its character. Sponsored by the Municipal Art Society and Place Matters. Moderator: Kent Barwick, Municipal Art Society. Panelists: Andrew Berman, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation; Dan Czitrom, History, Mt. Holyoke; Peter Kwong, Urban Affairs, Hunter College; Shari Siegel, Building Director for The Andrews, Common Ground Community.


Slumming It: Myth and Culture on the Bowery Film Screening and Discussion

Aug. 23, 2005, 6:30 - 8pm, Municipal Art Society, 457 Madison Ave.
Director Scott Elliott's documentary traces the rich, 200-year history of the Bowery, and examines how this renowned street and its denizens helped New York become the archetypal modern metropolis. Post-screening discussion with Elliot and Marc Fields, author of From the Bowery to Broadway: Lew Fields and the Roots of American Popular Theater, (Oxford Univ. Press, 1993).


CBGB: A Place that Matters Exhibit

On view July 18 - Sept 14, 2005, The Urban Center, 457 Madison Ave.
Exhibit photos from the new publication, CBGB and OMFUG: Thirty Years from the Home of Underground Rock (Harry Abrams, 2005). Sponsored by Place Matters and the Municipal Art Society.