Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts
Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, founded in 1982, is an independent, not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to preserving the architectural legacy, livability, and sense of place of the Upper East Side. In addition to safeguarding the future of the Upper East Side's seven historic districts and 128 individual landmarks, FRIENDS is a reasoned and educated voice for sound preservation policies in New York City.
In March 2010, FRIENDS spearheaded the first expansion of the Upper East Side Historic District in 29 years, providing landmark protection for an additional 75 buildings on the Upper East Side. The organization is also widely recognized for our efforts that resulted in the rezoning of the area's residential mid-blocks with the"R8B Mid-block" change to the New York City Zoning Resolution. Currently, with the Second Avenue Subway nearing completion, and super-towers rising in midtown, FRIENDS is advocating for the protection of all of our contextual zones as well as other strategies that will ensure the livability and sense of place of the neighborhoods east of Lexington Avenue.
On a monthly basis, FRIENDS attends all Landmarks Preservation Commission hearings and testifies on Upper East Side items. We regularly monitor, attend and testify before the Community Board, City Planning Commission, Public Design Commission and City Council to encourage appropriate development on the Upper East Side. In addition, FRIENDS serves as a neighborhood advocate, educating the community and providing an appreciation of the importance of the built environment. For our young friends, we teach elementary school students about architecture and history. For adults, we hold symposia, sponsor walking tours, lectures and annually give awards for outstanding preservation projects.