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2019 Living Landmarks Celebration

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About the Event

The 26th Living Landmarks Gala was a rousing success last evening, filling the Plaza Ballroom and raising almost $1.3 million.

Honorees Emily Rafferty, Ted Mathas, Carole Bailey French, H. Carl McCall, Mark Morris, and Barbara and Donald Tober drew laughter and applause as they became “Living Landmarks.”

Choreographer Mark Morris said he had earned the title because “I’m sturdy, well built and I’m not going anywhere.”


Several past honorees attended including Liz and Jeff Peek, Patsy and Jeff Tarr, Barbara Taylor Bradford, John Rosenwald, Robert A.M. Stern, Mary McFadden, Louise Kerz Hirschfeld, Marica and Jan Vilcek, and Mayor David Dinkins. Host David Patrick Columbia saluted the honorees by singing “You’re the Top.”

Carole Bailey French, President, St. Bartholomew’s Conservancy;
Ted Mathas, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, New York Life Insurance Company;
H. Carl McCall, Retiring Chair of The State University of New York Board of Trustees, former State Comptroller and former State Senator;
Mark Morris, Founder, Mark Morris Dance Group
Emily K. Rafferty, President Emerita, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and
Barbara & Donald Tober, Chair Emerita, Museum of Arts and Design, Chair, Sugar Foods Corporation respectively.

Living Landmarks alumni Liz & Jeff Peek and Patsy & Jeff Tarr have agreed to serve as Honorary Co-Chairs.

New York Social Diaries’ David Patrick Columbia will be our Master of Ceremonies.

Peter Duchin and his orchestra will provide entertainment.

The Living Landmarks Celebration is the Conservancy’s principal fundraising event and provides vital resources for our programs to preserve and protect the iconic buildings and diverse neighborhoods that define the City we love.

Carole Bailey French, as President of the St. Bartholomew’s Conservancy, previously accepted our Lucy G. Moses Award for the renovation of St. Bart’s elaborate dome. It was her leadership skills that finally achieved this multi-million dollar restoration. Carole’s efforts have expanded the Conservancy membership bringing in leading business people and philanthropists to the cause. In addition, Carole serves on the board of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and is involved with a number of the City’s cultural and other charitable organizations.

As Chairman and CEO of the New York Life, Ted Mathas oversees the nation’s largest mutual life insurer. The company celebrates its 175th anniversary next year. Their headquarters on Madison Square Park is a local and national historic landmark designed by noted architect Cass Gilbert. Ted serves on the board of the American Council of Life Insurers, where he will become its chairman for the second time in October 2020, as well as the boards of the American Museum of Natural History and the Partnership for New York City.

H. Carl McCall has had an illustrious, nearly 50-year career in public service. He recently retired as Chairman of the State University of New York Board of Trustees, where he oversaw expanded scholarship opportunities. He has represented Harlem in the New York State Senate and was elected New York State Comptroller. He has also served as an Ambassador to the United Nations, Port Authority Commissioner, State Human Rights Commissioner, and President of the New York City Board of Education – to name just a few of the posts to which he has lent his leadership, knowledge, and expertise. He is now establishing McCall Scholarships for students wishing to attend a State college.

Mark Morris has been hailed as “the most successful and influential choreographer alive, and indisputably the most musical.” He formed the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) in 1980 and has since created over 150 works for the company. Mark is also an acclaimed ballet choreographer, with 22 works commissioned by ballet companies worldwide. He began conducting performances for MMDG in 2006. Mark also works extensively in opera, directing and choreographing productions for The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, English National Opera, The Royal Opera, and Covent Garden, among others. Mark opened the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn in 2001 to provide a home for his company, subsidized rental space for local artists, outreach programs for children and seniors, and a school offering dance classes to students of all ages and abilities.

Much of Emily K. Rafferty’s illustrious career has been devoted to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, our nation’s largest and most comprehensive art museum. As president, she undertook a number of important restoration and redesign projects, bolstering the Met’s status as one of the world’s great cultural institutions. Following a distinguished tenure, she now serves as President Emerita. A devoted New Yorker, Emily has a long history of philanthropy and volunteerism with many outstanding organizations in our City, from the Federal Reserve to NYC & Company to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum to name but a few.

Barbara and Donald Tober are both devoted New Yorkers, each a success in their respective fields, and generous patrons of the City’s most prized institutions. The Tobers’dedication and service to the City is legendary. They have been recognized by the Museum of Arts and Design (where Barbara served as Chairman for 15 years), the Lighthouse Guild, the Police Athletic League, the American Cancer Society, the UJA Federation, Publicolor, National Dance Institute, and Citymeals-on-Wheels (which Donald helped to found 38 years ago), to name but a handful. Donald has served on the Conservancy Board for more than two decades and is an inveterate explorer of buildings and neighborhoods throughout the City.

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