It’s good to look back at a year. To take stock. Especially another year that wasn’t quite back to whatever “normal” was pre-pandemic.
The good news is that our programs have continued to help the owners of historic buildings. We gave out more than $2.1 million in grants and loans, helping 62 different homes and institutions with restoration work.
We celebrated the 40th anniversary of our Historic Properties Fund loan program. Special monthly videos highlighted projects and people involved through the years.
We gave out a record $1.4 million in loans this year to 14 restoration projects. We helped building owners in Jackson Heights and Richmond Hill in Queens, the Upper West Side, Greenwich Village and NoHo in Manhattan, and Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights in Brooklyn. The work restored lots of facades, some roofs, and copper replacement on a church spire.
Emergency Grants totaling $39,462 helped the Museum at Eldridge Street on the Lower East Side replace a boiler; restored an access ramp at the Weeksville Heritage Center in Crown Heights; and helped protect the circa 1636 Wyckoff Farmhouse in Canarsie from flood damage.
We launched our NTAG grant program this year, with help from the Altman and Hearst Foundations, to help non-profits with non-emergency technical issues. It was a hit.
Two of our $54,350 in grants went to Bronx organizations. We’re helping Kingsbridge Heights Community Center restore their ornate copper cornice and the Huntington Free Library and Reading Room get architectural help towards restoring their slate roof.
Three grants went to Brooklyn. We helped Flatland Reformed Church Community Center with stained glass restoration; Weeksville Heritage Center restore their Summer House and Coney Island USA do a conditions report on their building which houses a museum and a performance space. Finally, The New York Studio School in Greenwich Village received a grant towards restoring the wood windows in the Whitney Studio.
Forty-two congregations across the State received $695,450 in Sacred Sites grants, helping them plan and implement more than $7 million in repair and restoration projects.
These congregations served 100,000 community residents beyond their membership with feeding and cultural programs and daycare services.
The First Ukrainian Assembly of God Church on the Lower East Side received $52,000 to assist with a $420,000 exterior façade restoration. The congregation provides transitional housing for Ukrainian refugees and hosts frequent cultural and refugee events. It shares space with Open Doors, a congregation of underhoused community members, and hosts weekly community meals. These activities and events reach about 6,200 people annually.
We also continued our advocacy against Governor Hochul’s plan to use eminent domain to level several blocks around Penn Station and replace them with supertall office towers. Once billed as necessary to fund the modest improvements proposed for Penn Station, it turns out relatively little of any money from the towers would go to the improvements. We also supported the two lawsuits against the plan that were filed this year.
Of course, we would like to see Penn Station upgraded. New York deserves a great station. But that can happen without destroying vibrant neighborhoods that contain homes, businesses, social services, and several historic buildings.
In the “almost normal” category, we’re back in the office at least three days a week…riding subways…testifying in person again on occasion…offering a host of tours to our Professional Circle members…and getting ready for our 50th Anniversary in 2023.
There was no guarantee of this longevity. So we are immensely grateful to our board, funders, and talented staff. And we are very grateful to you. Thank you for supporting our programs, and sharing our love, of this incredible City.