Our Approach

What We've Done

We aim to preserve the character that has made living in the West 80s so desirable and distinguishes our neighborhood from the rest of New York City.  Working together we can make a difference!  The list below shows many of our accomplishments.

  • Co-creator and host of the "Love Your Street Tree Day" - NYC community tree care and neighborhood clean-up events.
  • Promoted Mulchfest and Daffodil Bulb Giveaways.
  • Co-created and hosted the Upper Westside Recycling and Zero Waste Forum.
  • Successfully advocated for the inclusion of the side and cross streets into the newly expanded West End Avenue Historic Districts by petitioning, conducting letter writing campaigns, testifying at the NYC Landmark Preservation Commission (“LPC”), and street outreach;
  • Organized and cohosted “Bag It” documentary screening about plastic bag pollution at Goddard Riverside with students from Trevor Day School;
  • Organized and cohosted community seminars on the issue of plastic pollution and plastic single-use waste at The Dorot Center
  • Spoke at the press conference hosted by Congressmembers Nadler, Maloney and Velasquez in front of City Hall regarding the tourist helicopter problem and federal legislation introduced to ban nonessential helicopters over NYC;
  • Interviewed by STEW-Map and profiled at the Queens Museum’s exhibit “Who Takes Care of NY”;
  • Joined as a coalition member of these groups: StoptheChopNY/NJ; Reusable NYC; NY/NJ Plastic Free Waters; NYC Pollinator Working Group; The NY Nature Conservancy’s Urban Forest Task Force; and the Manhattan Rodent Task Force;
  • Contribute to the Broadway Mall Association to illuminate the West 85-86 Street malls during the Winter holiday season;
  • Helped preserve the townhouse at 330 West 86th Street in conjunction with other neighborhood preservation groups, such as WEPS, Landmarks West!, and Coalition for a Livable Westside, and hosted a large town hall session at the Church of St. Paul/ St. Andrew;
  • Helped preserve the historic C.P.H. Gilbert brownstones at 272-278 West 86th Street from potential demolition in conjunction with other neighborhood preservation groups, such as WEPS, Landmarks West!, and Coalition for a Livable Westside;
  • Testified at Community Board 7 and LPC for historically appropriate renovations to the C.P.H. Gilbert brownstones;
  • Successfully advocated for Central Park to be preserved in its’ natural state, rather than allowing the tennis courts to be bubbled over and turned into a winter “tennis club”;
  • Successfully advocated for the designation of West Park Presbyterian Church as an official NYC Landmark;
  • Successfully advocated for the return of the garbage cans at the West 86th Street subway station (the removal of which helped contribute to dirty subway conditions and an increase of rats);
  • Organized neighbors and businesses to help eliminate a dangerous rat infestation and attended a “Rat Academy Training” – in conjunction with Caroline Bragdon of the NYC Department of Health, Penny Ryan of Community Board 7, and Jason Harding of City Council Member Helen Rosenthal’s office;
  • Testified at a town hall meeting on “Eliminating Rats and Garbage” hosted by City Council Member Mark Levine, and joined a Manhattan Rodent Task Force organized by State Senator Bill Perkins;
  • Adopted trees along the Columbus Avenue bike path – keeping the tree beds clean, watered and maintained with seasonal plantings;
  • Co-hosted a District 6 City Council Candidate Debate and Party with West Park Presbyterian Church;
  • Attended numerous meetings regarding Dexter House on West 86th Street, to support residents were experiencing a hostile living environment;
  • Organized bi-annual graffiti clean-ups in our neighborhood in conjunction with the 20th Precinct, Midtown Community Court, and Beacon Paint;
  • Co-hosted a screening of anti-fracking documentary “Triple Divide” and Director Q and A with United for Action and the Beloved Community at Riverside Church;
  • Co-hosted a screening of anti-fracking documentary “Gasland 2” with Mothers for Sustainable Energy at the New York Society for Ethical Culture;
  • Joined with other block associations to co-found the NYC Coalition of Block and Community Leaders (“CBCL”) and won a West Side Spirit “Westy” award for that work;
  • With the NYC CBCL, organized annual symposiums with educational panels and networking at Rutgers Church community center;
  • With the NYC CBCL, co-hosted the NYC premiere of “The Future of Energy” documentary and panel discussion at New York Society for Ethical Culture – a 2014 “People’s Climate March” event.
  • Attended numerous ant-fracking/ clean energy rallies in NYC, Albany, and Washington, DC;
  • Attended and mentored high school students at the Green Schools Alliance “Ban the Plastic Bag” conference;
  • Attended and testified at the NYC City Council Environmental Committee's Hearing on the proposed changes to the NYC Plan 2030 environmental legislation.

Historic Preservation

Proposed West End Historic District

Article about Proposed West End Historic District (West Side Spirit) West End Preservation Society

Maps of Historic Districts:

Historic Gilbert Browstones - No longer at risk of demolition

Thank you neighbors, due to our advocacy the lovely gilbert brownstones have been included in the historic district and are no longer at risk of demolition.  They will be protected and renovated to their full glory.

West-Park Presbyterian Church 

On Wednesday, May 12, 2010, the New York City Council approved the Landmark status of the West-Park Presbyterian Church, by a vote of 47 to-2. The vote brought a 20-year effort by local preservationists to a happy end.

Thank you to everyone in the community who worked so long and hard to preserve the 116-year-old Romanesque Revival church. We believe that our neighborhood will be the better for it.

From HDC and Landmark West!:

The West Park Presbyterian Church is under a big demolition threat. The owners are claiming "hardship" to get the landmarked building demolished, although a non-profit has been using it as theater space and wants to buy it and the costs of renovation are much less than what was announced publicly (according to a preservation architect involved with the building). Many of the preservation organizations are lining up behind LandmarkWest! to find a way to save this beautiful landmark. There are a lot of hard questions to ask about the proper use of the "hardship" exemption and these groups are asking them.  Read coverage of the issue in Gothamist here.  Sign the one-click letter on HDC's website here.

330 West 86th Street

We helped stop the demolition of 330 West 86th Street. Neighbors helping neighbors kept the existing building standing!

Our Story