This oral history project seeks out preservation stories that have previously been underrepresented in New York City. Participants are leading members of historic preservation campaigns to save sites significant to minority populations, as well as sites in the four boroughs outside Manhattan.
In 1965, the New York City Landmarks Law was enacted to protect historic sites. Fifty years later, many challenges to the law have been overcome thanks, in part, to the lawyers interviewed in this project.
The new York Preservation Archive Project maintains over 100 oral histories interviews, the earliest dating back to 1984. These oral histories document those who were directly involved in much of the groundbreaking legislation and grassroots activism of the 20th and 21st centuries. In 2015 a redesign of the organization’s website coincided with the first steps of an initiative to make the full transcripts and audio of interviews in its collection.