The Historic House Trust of New York City in partnership with NYC Parks, advocates for, promotes, and provides expertise to preserve 23 publicly owned historic sites located throughout the city’s five boroughs.
Twenty nine years ago, Mayor Edward I. Koch and Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern gathered at Gracie Mansion with preservationists, historians, architects, and others to announce the creation of the Historic House Trust of New York City. Mary Ellen Hern became the Trust’s first Executive Director and 18 prominent and committed citizens joined the Trust’s Board of Directors, 11 of whom are still on the board today.
At that time, the 15 historic houses in the City’s collection suffered from decay, improper maintenance, or inappropriate restoration treatments. One by one, the Trust worked with the individual nonprofit organizations that operate the properties to address these structural needs. Over time we have expanded the services we provide to the houses, offering guidance on restoration, curatorial, and education projects. Today, the Trust’s collection has grown to 23 historic sites across the five boroughs, ranging from modest farmers’ cottages to grand mansions. The sites now thrive as cultural institutions that represent New York City’s colorful history and attract more than 700,000 visitors annually, some 480,000 of whom are New York City schoolchildren.
The 29th Anniversary is both an opportunity to celebrate our past achievements and a reminder that there is still much to do to ensure that these houses will continue to enrich the city’s cultural life well into the future. We hope you will join us as we celebrate this year and experience our City’s historic treasures!