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Moses Awards Help Lift Our Spirits

April is Poetry Month. I’ve been getting Knopf’s daily poetry emails during April for several years and I am always excited when they appear. They interrupt the daily routine for a few moments that amuse, inspire, or make you think.

April is also when we prepare for our annual Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards. They can be pretty inspiring as well. It’s wonderful to see how many superb projects were completed in the midst of the pandemic. Some were incredibly challenging. Several managed to bring joy to the City in the process.

The 1868 Endale Arch was the first permanent structure in Prospect Park. It frames the view of Long Meadow. The restoration removed layers of green paint revealing alternating bands of Eastern white pine and black walnut lining the arch. Workers installed new bands of the same woods in the historic pattern. It’s a dazzler. Joyful park-goers have made the Arch a social media star.

Moynihan Train Hall stunned New Yorkers with its dramatic skylight, historic steel trusses, and sense of grandeur. It took more than 20 years of politics and delays after the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan first proposed a grand train hall in the landmark Farley Post Office. But the result is a true civic treasure.

Lucy winners come in all sizes. We’re also honoring an 1810 Federal-style building, the Robert and Anne Dickey House. It managed to survive on Greenwich Street in Lower Manhattan, once the Park Avenue of its day. After years of neglect, this hardy survivor will have a new use as a school. The Times featured the building’s history, renewal, and Moses Award this past weekend.

We love honoring homeowners who perform labors of love to restore their buildings. But we’ve never had an 87-year-old who tackled extensive exterior work. The woman was rewarded by uncovering the color and detail on her 1891 Romanesque Revival style facade at 560 Second Street in Brooklyn. The woman and her husband were Park Slope brownstone pioneers. They bought the building in 1967, raised their family there, and did lots of interior work through the years. She is now rightly proud of the exterior transformation. And we are in awe of her energy and determination.

We’ll honor eight other terrific projects, along with preservation leaders Andrew Dolkart and Fred Bland, and the non-profit Save Harlem Now! We never thought we’d be doing the awards virtually for a second time. But we promise a fast-paced half-hour program on May 6 and a chance to greet the winners in a Zoom reception afterwards.

We bet the Lucy’s will lift your spirits as well.

Peg Breen, President
The New York Landmarks Conservancy

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