Lectures and Other Events

Lectures at General Society Library in Midtown

The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen
20 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036

The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York was founded in 1785 by the skilled craftsmen of the City. Today, this 231-year old organization continues to serve and improve the quality of life of the people of the City of New York through its educational, philanthropic and cultural programs including its tuition-free Mechanics Institute, The General Society Library and its nearly two-century old Lecture Series.

Advance registration is recommended for all events.
Admission is specially discounted for New York Landmarks Conservancy members at $10.
For more information contact the General Society at 212 840 1840 or visit the General Society website.

On behalf of the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York, The New York Landmarks Conservancy invites you to:

3/20/18 – Prof. Andrew Dolkart, Columbia School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
Creation of New York’s Garment District

Andrew Scott Dolkart, Professor of Historic Preservation, Columbia University School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, will speak about the creation of New York’s Garment District, the subject of a book that he is writing. New York City is closely associated with garment manufacturing. Indeed, in the first six decades of the 20th century almost all of the clothing worn by American women was manufactured in New York and tens of thousands of New Yorkers were employed in the various branches of the industry. Yet little is known about the physical form of the Garment District. This talk will explore how and why the Garment District settled in the Seventh Avenue area north of 34th Street and what characterized the industry and its architecture.

4/17/18 – Lisa Kersavage, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
LPC’s Historic District Data Project

Lisa Kersavage, Director of Special Projects and Strategic Planning, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, will discuss the LPC’s Historic District Data Project and enhanced web mapping. The LPC has compiled detailed information on each of the nearly 34,000 historic buildings located within the City’s 141 historic districts and released the information in an enhanced web map. Lisa will describe the project, demonstrate how the public can use the information in the web map and discuss how this information and other data is incorporated into the agency’s historic resource analysis and strategic planning.

5/15/18 – Joan Berkowitz, Howard L. Zimmerman Architects
Reflections on 35 years of Façade Inspections

Joan Berkowitz, Senior Preservationist and Carolyn Caste, Director of Facade Compliance, Howard L. Zimmerman Architects, will focus on NYC’s “Façade Inspection Safety Program” (FISP). They will illustrate how this law affects New York’s historic building stock and see examples of the deterioration found above NYC’s streets. More than 12,000 buildings are affected by NY’s façade ordinance, previously known as Local Law 10 and 11. Ms. Berkowitz and Ms. Caste will explain: how the FISP Program works; what an inspection includes; describe some of the most interesting conditions found with examples of concealed deterioration and the interventions designed to correct them.

6/19/18 – Meisha Hunter, Li/Saltzman Architects
The 119th Street Croton Aqueduct Gatehouse: Repurposing Small Scale, Historic Infrastructure

Meisha Hunter, Li/Saltzman, will describe how once small scale, historic infrastructure loses its purpose-built use, the challenges of reuse become complex. Issues of balancing the preservation of historic fabric, while accommodating new programmatic uses, code and other requirements must be addressed sensitively. Efforts must be coordinated with municipal agencies, elected officials, community groups, and stewards. Funding for micro-interventions, conditions assessments, treatment recommendations, rehabilitation and new construction must be sought. The 119th Street Gatehouse, a project of the Waterline Team, offers a fascinating lens through which to understand the challenges and opportunities inherent in catalyzing support for and visioning the reuse of an enigmatic building.