The Seventh Avenue extension alone destroyed over historic buildings in the West Village.
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Trinity Church, which owned the chapel, had wanted to raze it for years in spite of community opposition, and the widening provided a convenient excuse to do so. He supported the Fifth Avenue Association, a business group that advocated for zoning to stabilize land values, and created the committees of the Board of Estimate that would develop the resolution. In , McAneny helped convince the Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, to designate Federal Hall, an s neoclassical building that stood on the site where George Washington had been inaugurated as president in , as a national historic shrine.
It was the first historic building in a major city to be so designated under the Historic Sites Act. McAneny successfully faced down Robert Moses in two related preservation battles. Due to the persistence of McAneny and his colleagues, the federal government refused to allow the bridge and an underwater tunnel was built instead. Meanwhile, drawing on his contacts in the National Park Service, with whom he had worked on Federal Hall, McAneny was able to muster federal support for saving the fort and obtained a commitment of funds from the U.
The Once and Future New York: Historic Preservation and the Modern City
In the city and state finally agreed to transfer the structure to the federal government, and the fort, now known as Castle Clinton, was preserved and restored as a national historic site. During the Castle Clinton campaign, McAneny and his National Park Service contacts began to develop an idea for a new organization that would be able to draw on private resources to preserve historic buildings nationwide.
In the late s, McAneny spoke out against plans to demolish the historic Federal-style townhouses that lined Washington Square North. Phelps Stokes to Joseph H. Hunt, March 17, , I.
Navigation menu. Heritage Areas. Explore the past; look into the future in state heritage areas Discover New York's rich legacy at the State Heritage Areas, special places where we honor history, celebrate the present, and plan the future of our communities.
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