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Victory: Stonewall Inn Is Landmarked

MAS Testimony to the Landmarks Preservation Commission regarding the designation of Stonewall Inn, 51-53 Christopher Street, Manhattan as an Individual Landmark Building
June 22, 2015

The Municipal Art Society (MAS) is a private, non-profit membership organization that advocates for intelligent urban planning, design, and preservation through education, dialogue and advocacy.

MAS supports efforts to preserve cultural landmarks that recognize and protect sites with rich social histories unique to New York City. To this end we support Individual Landmark Designation for the Stonewall Inn, at 51-53 Christopher Street, because of the integral role it played in sparking the modern gay rights movement. Continue Reading>>

MAS Reiterates Its Support for Pier55

Re: Civic Group Sues to Halt Hudson River Park Backed by Barry Diller [New York Times, June 12, 2015]

“MAS was proud to testify in support of Pier55 during its extensive public hearing and environmental review process this winter, and we remain strong supporters of the project.

From Brooklyn Bridge Park to the High Line, public/private partnerships have proven to be an indispensable tool for transforming New York’s untapped public spaces. The fact is, Pier 54 is crumbling and neither the State nor the City has the resources or the will to safely repair it.

To oppose this project is to favor inertia over action, caution tape over ribbon-cuttings. Pier55 was conceived in the spirit of cooperation and it deserves the same treatment, even from its detractors.”

-Margaret Newman, Executive Director, Municipal Art Society of New York

Building a Sustainable Civic Commons

Montreal marketLast year MAS, with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, conducted a series of workshops in various cities to Re-Imagine the Civic Commons. We found that a variety of factors have led to disinvestment in the commons. Many existing assets—post offices for example—have lost their usefulness as societal needs have shifted. These trends, combined with stretched city budgets, have resulted in decreased funds to libraries, reduced community center hours, reductions to park maintenance and programming, and sometimes the disposition of public land. Continue Reading>>

In Honor of Memorial Day: A Look at the Admiral Farragut Monument


Cleaning Admiral Farragut

On the morning of April 21, following a heavy spring shower, Wilson Conservation was in Madison Square Park cleaning the magnificent Farragut Monument. Thirteen years earlier, in 2002, the MAS restored the Farragut Monument, one of America’s most acclaimed works of art, through a generous grant to the Adopt-A-Monument program from the Paul and Klara Porzelt Foundation. The 1880 sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the preeminent American sculptor of the 19th century, depicts the revered naval hero, Admiral Glasgow Farragut, whose lasting fame was won by wresting New Orleans from Confederate control during the Civil War. Saint-Gaudens shows the admiral in full regalia but by 2002 the sculpture had lost its original luster as well as its sword after years of neglect. Esteemed architect Stanford White designed the exquisite semi-circular granite exedra on which the monument stands. The base, bedecked with Art Nouveau- inspired allegorical reliefs, had also been marred over time. Both were returned to their former glory with this restoration. Continue Reading>>

A Message from MAS President Vin Cipolla

Dear MAS Members,

MAS President Vin Cipolla

MAS President Vin Cipolla

The first half of 2015 is off to an incredible start. MAS has been driving the advocacy for an even better, more diverse, more affordable, livable, culturally rich and resilient New York, through a bold sweep of initiatives—our most ambitious policy efforts ever. At MAS, we are driven by pursuing excellence in the choices we as New Yorkers make in shaping our city for generations to come. We have a lot to gain in demanding the best for our city’s extraordinarily distinctive and dynamic environment (and a lot to lose if we’re not smart.) Continue Reading>>