ARE YOU A HISTORY BUFF? A LOVER OF ARCHITECTURE? INTERESTED IN HISTORIC PRESERVATION? If so, and you have an interest in sharing your knowledge with others, apply to become a volunteer walking tour guide! The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association Preservation and Design Committee is seeking volunteer walking tour guides for its award-winning program. Training will be provided. If interested, kindly reply to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo: De Lamar Mansion, 233 Madison Avenue at 37th Street, New York, Drawing by Dean Avery (detail).Read More
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association Preservation & Design Committee sent a letter to Governor Hochul opposing the Penn Station area redevelopment plan that would demolish several blocks surrounding Penn Station. Read the letter.Read More
December 10, 2021 is the opening date for The Girl Puzzle monument on Roosevelt Island, which honors investigative journalist and activist Nellie Bly (1864 - 1922), and pays respect to the women who once suffered in the island’s lunatic asylum. New York City Council Member Ben Kallos allocated $70,000 to make the monument accessible to those in the disability community and more interactive for all. Learn more at The Washington Post's Lily.
Note: The monument by sculptor/designer Amanda Matthews, takes its name from one of Nelly Bly’s first articles, “The Girl Puzzle,” which revealed how divorce affected women and proposed reforms to divorce laws. Learn about the monument at thegirlpuzzle.com.
Learn more about Nellie Bly, and her experience at Bellevue Hospital.Read More
200 Madison Avenue (at 36th Street) has been proposed as an interior landmark. Elaine Silber, co-chair of The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association's Preservation & Design Committee submitted testimony in favor of designating 200 Madison Avenue as an interior landmark. The testimony was sent to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and Community Board 5. Elaine Silber’s Testimony. This item is on the LPC agenda for September 28, 2021. See LPC agenda www1.nyc.gov/assets/lpc/downloads/pdf/calendar/9-28-21.pdf.Read More
The preservation of Murray Hill’s unique residential character goes back to 1847, with the Murray Hill Restriction. Financier J.P. Morgan Jr. took up the fight to preserve this historic residential neighborhood in 1914, when he formed the Murray Hill Association. The current Murray Hill Neighborhood Association (originally called the Murray Hill Committee) was formed in 1960 to oppose Robert Moses’s plan to create the Mid-Manhattan Expressway (unbuilt) by widening East 36th and East 37th Street between 3rd and 11th Avenue. Since then, the MHNA has been working continuously to preserve historic Murray Hill and to advocate for the neighborhood as a historic district and for landmark designation for its significant buildings. The Association also works to protect, preserve and beautify the community with greening and cleaning projects, promotes civic engagement, helps our neighbors in times of need, reaches out to the Murray Hill community through its newsletter, website, eblasts and social media, and is a voice for the neighborhood on issues such as safety, noise, traffic and transportation. We also promote Murray Hill businesses and provide ways for neighborhood business owners to meet and exchange ideas. Our mission is to keep Murray Hill a highly desirable place to live, work and visit.Read More
The Preservation & Design (P&D) Committee of The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association announced that its most recent Cultural Medallion was dedicated in May. This medallion, honoring the life and work of architects William Delano and Chester Aldrich, was installed at 126 East 38th Street, where they had their offices. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, chair of the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center (HLPC) which sponsors the Cultural Medallion Program, presided over the ceremony.Read More
The Architectural Preservation Awards were established in 1993 by the Preservation & Design Committee of The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association. The purpose of the awards is to create public awareness and pride in Murray Hill’s rich architectural history, as well as to honor building owners who have restored the exterior of their buildings to the original design or created a new design that is compatible with the historic streetscape. Since the inception of the program more than ninety awards have been presented to Murray Hill building owners. Photo: The Morgan Library & MuseumRead More
The Art is Work building, located at 207 East 32nd Street, and since 2020 occupied by the New York Review of Books, is now adorned with a Cultural Medallion honoring Milton Glaser, who had his studio and offices there from the 1960s until his death in 2020. This is a 4-story building, originally built in 1920 by the Tammany Society as a Democratic Club for the local ward. When Glaser and Clay Felker launched New York magazine in 1968, its offices occupied the top floor of the building. Ms. Magazine was also created and had its offices here. Thirty-second Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue was recently named “Ms Magazine Way.”Read More
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association Preservation & Design Committee is collecting Murray Hill Neighbors' Stories. This is a place to share your personal memories, anecdotes, surprising encounters, or human interest stories that charm, surprise and build our community. We plan to publish these stories on a regular basis. We want to hear from you!Read More
The MHNA Preservation & Design Committee hosted a live Zoom author talk and discussion with Lorraine Tosiello, author of Only Gossip Prospers. This historical novel, shaped from Louisa May Alcott’s letters and journals, gives a portrait of Louisa May Alcott during the winter of 1875 that she spent in New York City. With a first-rate slideshow of historic photographs to accompany her talk, Tosiello showed us the mansions and homes near Fifth Avenue and Murray Hill.
The Murray Hill Scavenger Hunt, a contest organized by The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association Preservation and Design Committee, was a safe, fun and informative way for residents to explore the neighborhood during the summer. Participants had to find and then photograph 22 items in Murray Hill's historic districts and landmarked buildings, in an area covering 33rd to 38th Streets and Third to Madison Avenues. Congratulations to the two winners Davri Zanoeddin and Melissa Cohen!
This lively and captivating film shows spectacular footage of historic Murray Hill. Vintage photos are interspersed with fascinating historical and architectural commentary. The film features 2 historic districts and 14 landmark buildings.
Purchase the streaming video.
The DVD of the film can be purchased at murrayhillnyc.org/dvd.
And don't forget to visit the MHNA online catalog at murrayhillnyc.org/catalog. Choose from a variety of note cards, prints, books, t-shirts and more.
When she retired in 1948 as the first Director for The Morgan Library & Museum, Belle da Costa Greene had established herself as a prominent cultural leader and trailblazer of her time. She had a reputation for being intelligent, outspoken, dynamic, witty, stylish, ‘fabulous’ (according to her New York Times obituary) and scholarly. During her 43 years at The Morgan, she astutely organized and built the library’s world-class collection of rare books and manuscripts, while also developing the library’s program of public exhibitions, lectures, publications and research services that continues until this time.Read More
There is good news for building owners in the Murray Hill Neighborhood Historic District and in the National Register of Historic Places. The Landmarks Preservation Commission has confirmed that they have a small grant program that provides federally funded grants to low and moderate income eligible homeowners and non-profits for restoration work. In addition, there is a State Historic Preservation Tax credit for homeowners in certain eligible census tracts. The New York Landmarks Conservancy also has a low interest loan program called the Historic Properties Fund for Restoration which provides free project management as part of the program.Read More
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association Preservation & Design Committee was honored by the Guides Association of New York City with an Apple Award for Outstanding Achievement in Support of NYC Preservation. Susan Demmet, Co-Chair of the P&D Committee, received the award on behalf of the committee at the 2020 GANYC Apple Awards event on March 2 held at the SVA Theatre. The P&D Committee has several programs that brought their work to the attention of GANYC. The committee recently produced a new DVD of the Murray Hill walking tour. They also offer monthly walking tours throughout the year. They are working with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to get landmark designation for additional buildings in Murray Hill, and they launched a program in 2018 to install Cultural Medallions on buildings in the neighborhood. Cultural Medallions give a short description of significant people who lived in Murray Hill and are installed on the buildings where they lived. Four buildings now have cultural medallions.
Photo: Susan Demmet receiving the GANYC Apple Award.
Tom Miller, blogger extraordinaire about New York City’s historic buildings and the people who lived in them, entertained and informed his audience on March 2 at the Makor Center for Spiritual Judaism with a talk, McKim, Meade & White on Murray Hill. The talk began with a short history of the Gilded Age architectural firm, McKim, Meade & White, and took a detailed look at four of the buildings they designed, as well as the building’s owners. All of these buildings are now designated as New York City Landmarks. Photo: Speaker Tom Miller (right) with Portrait of Thomas B. Clarke by Charles Frederic Ulrich.Read More
The film premiere of the new Walking Tour of Historic Murray Hill was held on Saturday, November 2nd at the Bowdoin Carriage House, a NYC landmark, now the Henry George School of Social Science. Led by professional tour guide and P & D member Robin Garr (pictured in the photo speaking at the film premiere), with 7 participating tour members, this film shows spectacular footage of our historic neighborhood. Vintage photos are interspersed with historical and architectural commentary that accompany Robin’s talk about each of the landmarked buildings. DVD’s of the film can be purchased at murrayhillnyc.org/dvd.Read More
In mid-September, The Morgan Library & Museum invited officers of the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association to preview plans for the next phase of the ongoing exterior restoration of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library before they were made public.
Much of the exterior restoration is almost complete, including roof replacement, cleaning of the marble exterior, masonry repairs, and sculpture and fence restoration. The next phase involves site improvements to the 36th Street side, with restoration of the gardens and improved lighting as major parts of the project.
Rendering: Detail of Sketch by Landscape Designer Todd Longstaff-Gowan, provided by The Morgan Library & Museum.Read More
On a sunny August morning, Sarah Carroll, the new Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and two senior members of her staff joined several members of the Preservation & Design Committee for a walking tour of Murray Hill. The purpose of the tour was to showcase 29 buildings that the P & D Committee had originally submitted to the LPC in 2016 for New York City landmark designation.Read More
In 2016, The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association submitted 29 Buildings for landmark designation to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Tap Read More to learn the details of each of the 29 buildings.Read More
Minor Lamphier Bishop, age 92, passed away during the early morning hours of 20 June 2019. Minor is best known by those of us who live in Murray Hill for his community service, having served the MHNA for decades with great dedication, from the 1960s until the end of his life, as a trustee and active member of the Preservation & Design Committee. He worked to preserve the historic designation of the Murray Hill district, and researched the history of its landmarks and buildings. He is best remembered for his walking tours, which he gave tirelessly. He will be deeply missed, but not forgotten.
Minor Bishop’s video and book, Sketching on Murray Hill are both available for purchase on the MHNA website.
Photo by Sami Steigmann.Read More
The Makor Center for Spiritual Judaism was the setting for a lively and informative talk and slide show by blogger and author Tom Miller. This event, held on Saturday April 6th, drew a full crowd, eager to absorb Tom’s encyclopedic knowledge about a group of prominent people who once lived in Murray Hill. The talk focused on the rich history of a group of people and buildings on one block in Murray Hill—East 36th Street between Lexington and Park Avenue. This block was once home to a number of distinguished political, business and military figures, including Admirals Benjamin Franklin Isherwood and Daniel G. Farragut of “Damn the Torpedoes” fame. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt moved to this block after their marriage, calling their townhouse at 125 East 36th Street their “14 foot mansion.”
Photo of Tom Miller by Nancy Idaka Sheran.Read More
On February 19, the Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing on some of the proposed changes presented in the New York Public Library’s Master Plan for the building on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Street. This building is one of New York City’s most iconic landmarks. The next phase of the work is narrow in scope; the LPC has designated this permit LPC-19-35199, 476 Fifth Avenue - New York Public Library - Individual and Interior Landmark. The architectural firm Mecanoo Beyer Blinder Belle presented the plans and renderings.
On March 5, 2019, the LPC approved the revised plan.Read More
Take a tour of the Murray Hill Historic District, nestled between two of the world’s most iconic streets, 34th and 42nd Streets, and surrounded by NYC landmarks, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building. This historical residential enclave has 15 individual landmarks and 251 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The tour covers landmark buildings in the historic district as well as the architects who built them and the famous people who lived in them, including Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, JP Morgan and Andy Warhol.
Tour guides focus on the unique architectural qualities of the buildings as well as the historical evolution of the neighborhood and its reputation as a residential oasis in Midtown Manhattan. Tours can be customized.
Contact Susan at 212-689-6730 or email@example.com. Price available upon request.
Photo: (left to right) Tour guides Robin Garr, Barbara Sagan and Paula Thomson.Read More
The Museum of Popular Culture, new owner of a portion of the landmarked B. Altman building, presented proposed changes to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on July 24, 2018, and applied for a Certificate of Appropriateness.
The Certificate of Appropriateness was approved with modifications. The LPC's decision.
Image: Rendering of proposed changesRead More
Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, Charles Dana Gibson, and Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn were honored in April in ceremonies unveiling cultural medallions placed on the façades of each of the brownstones where they once resided in Murray Hill.
To commemorate other illustrious residents who once lived in Murray Hill, the P&D Committee is exploring several names to add to our list of cultural medallion honorees. These include the songwriter, Cole Porter, the architect Marcel Breuer, the playwright Tennessee Williams and the actress Helen Hayes.
Funding for the research, fabrication of the medallions and the videotaping of the ceremonies comes from individual sponsors, honored building owners and private donations. If you would like to sponsor or contribute to the Medallion Program, please visit our website at www.murrayhillnyc.org and click Donate. Email Susan Demmet at firstname.lastname@example.org when you donate so your contribution can be properly acknowledged, or if you know of a significant person who lived in Murray Hill whom you believe should be nominated for a Cultural Medallion.Read More
Every last Sunday of the month, starting March 25, you can become better acquainted with local history, sites and stories in a 90-minute walk compliments of The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association’s Preservation & Design Committee. Four expert guides conduct these tours.
Photo: Left to right, Robin Garr, Barbara Sagan, Paula Thomson, statue of Jan Karski, the Polish Underground hero in front of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York
Thanks to the creation of the Landmark Preservation Commission in 1965, thousands of buildings in New York City have been granted landmark or historic district status, saving them from demolition. The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association’s Preservation & Design Committee is committed to preserving and protecting the historic residential character of our neighborhood, and takes great pride in its work.
As you walk around and enjoy the brownstones, stately mansions, stables and historic buildings in our neighborhood, we hope that you appreciate the efforts of the Preservation & Design Committee to safeguard our historical, cultural and architectural heritage.Read More
The P&D Committee identified 29 buildings worthy of landmarking in Murray Hill and requested landmark status for those building from the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commisison. In October, we received a disappointing response from the LPC. They have chosen only 3 of the 29 buildings for consideration.
We will let you know if these properties come up for a hearing at the LPC, although we think it will not be soon. In the meantime we will continue working to acquire landmark status for more buildings in order to preserve and protect the historic residential core of Murray Hill.
Photo: 38 East 38th StreetRead More
The first woman to run for President was a Murray Hill resident. Nominated by the Equal Rights Party in 1872, her running mate was the former slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglas. It is remarkable that she ran for President before women were granted the right to vote. Victoria California Clafin Woodhull was an advocate for women’s rights, including suffrage, the 8-hour work day, a graduated income tax, social welfare programs, profit sharing, free love and the legalization of sex work. She and her sister Tennessee were also the first women to operate a brokerage firm; they were called “the Queens of Finance” and “Bewitching Brokers.”
Photo of Victoria Woodhull by Matthew Brady c. 1870Read More
At a public meeting on May 10, 2016 the Landmarks Preservation Commission identified twelve buildings that merit landmark designation and contribute to the rich historical and architectural context of Greater East Midtown. The proposal is part of the NYC Administration’s larger effort to plan for the future of one of New York City’s most dynamic neighborhoods.
In each article we will feature a few of Murray Hill’s landmarked buildings. We begin with the buildings that have had landmark status the longest:
1966: The Morgan Library at 29-33 East 36th Street
1967: The set-back Federal house at 152 East 38th Street
1975: The DeLamar Mansion at 233 Madison Avenue
1979: The Church of the Incarnation at 205-207 Madison Avenue
This is the second article to feature a group of four landmark buildings in Murray Hill. The landmark buildings are presented in the order that they became landmarked. This series of articles is part of NYC Landmarks50 Alliance, the multi-year celebration of the 50th anniversary of New York City's Landmarks Law.
1979: Lanier Mansion, 123 East 35th Street
1979: Adelaide Douglas House, 57 Park Avenue
1979: Thomas Clark House, 22 East 35th Street
1997: Bowdoin Carriage House, 149 East 38th Street
This is the third article in a series that features a group of landmark buildings in Murray Hill. The landmark buildings are presented in the order that they became landmarked:
1997: Jonathan W. Allen Stable
1998: J. Hampden Robb Mansion
2002: J.P. Morgan, Jr. Mansion
This series of articles is part of NYC Landmarks50 Alliance, the multi-year celebration of the 50th anniversary of New York City's Landmarks Law.Read More
This is the fourth and last article featuring fourteen individual landmark buildings in historic Murray Hill, presented chronologically by the date that the building was designated as a landmark. The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association’s Preservation & Design Committee has been an active participant with the Landmarks50 Alliance’s two-year celebration to honor landmarks in all five boroughs of the City. The LM50 celebration continues through 2016.
2008: The Allerton 39th Street Hotel, 45 East 39th Street
2010: Beaux Arts Style Mansion, 36 East 38th Street
2011: The Union League Club, 38 East 37th Street