Six to Celebrate is a dynamic program of the Historic Districts Council, and New York’s only targeted citywide list of preservation priorities.
The purpose of the program is to provide strategic resources to neighborhood groups at a critical moment to reach their preservation goals. The six selected groups receive HDC’s hands-on help on all aspects of their efforts over the course of the year and continued support in the years to come. The program helps community activists learn to use tools such as documentation, research, zoning, landmarking, publicity, and public outreach to advance local preservation campaigns.
In just a few years, HDC has been able to help Six to Celebrate groups create two new National Register districts (the Bowery and Far Rockaway Beachside Bungalows) and two New York City historic districts (Bedford Stuyvesant/Expanded Stuyvesant Heights and the East Village/Lower East Side) with many others still in the works in all five boroughs (Bedford and Gowanus in Brooklyn, Harrison Street on Staten Island, Port Morris and Van Cortlandt Village in The Bronx, and Mount Morris Park and Morningside Heights in Manhattan). We have also assisted in leveraging more than $40,000 in private and public grants for these community-driven projects. Each neighborhood is included on our professionally-designed website, including maps, photographs and news and each group receives an illustrated self-guided walking tour brochure, created in collaboration with HDC, to be distributed free of charge.
The six, chosen from applications submitted by community organizations, are selected on the basis of the architectural and historic merit of the area, the level of threat, the strength and willingness of local advocates, and potential for HDC’s preservation support to be meaningful.
As HDC’s Executive Director Simeon Bankoff stated at the beginning of the program, “Neighborhoods throughout New York are fighting an unseen struggle to determine their own futures. By bringing these locally-driven neighborhood preservation efforts into the spotlight, HDC hopes to focus New Yorkers’ attention on the very real threats that historic communities throughout the city are facing from indiscriminate and inappropriate development. As the first list of its kind in New York, the Six to Celebrate helps raise awareness of local efforts to save neighborhoods on a citywide level.