Below you will find instructions for completing the midterm assignment, due on Tuesday, October 21. We will review the assignment in class 10/7 and 10/14.
The midterm assignment is designed to familiarize you with New York City’s historic district and give you practice identifying significant features such as architectural styles, construction periods, and building typologies. Please follow the steps outlined below and pay close attention to content and formatting requirements. Please feel free to contact the instructor with any questions.
1) Go to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Historic District Maps page and select a historic district in any of the five boroughs. It is recommended that you choose a district in the neighborhood where you live or work (if applicable), or one that is easily accessible to you.
2) Prior to your visit, review the map and do some basic research about the historic district. You may read the designation report for the district or look for articles about it online. This will give you a basic understanding of why the buildings in this district were selected for preservation and illuminate the historical architectural, and cultural significance of the area.
To locate the designation report for your selected historic district, enter the district name in the LPC Designation Reports searchable database. Each report will have an introduction with a summary of the area’s history and an description of its architectural significance. Some of the reports are hundreds of pages. It is not necessary to read the entire report.
3) Visit your chosen historic district. Bring a camera to take clear photos during the day (and be mindful of weather conditions)! Pay special attention to features identifying architectural styles, periods of construction, and contiguous, intact blocks. Record your thoughts and observations so you can share them in your presentation, along with your photographs.
During your visit, try to answer the following questions:
- What are the predominant architectural styles and periods in this district?
- What features set this district apart from adjacent, non-landmarked blocks?
- What makes the buildings and blocks in this district worthy of preservation?
4) Put together a PowerPoint presentation about your historic district and post as a PDF document in the comments section of this post. If you prefer, you may send your presentation to the instructor via email. However, all presentations must be in PDF (not PPT) format, due to file size restrictions.
The presentation should be no more than 12 to 15 slides and include the following information:
- A map of the selected historic district;
- One or two historic photographs of the district;
- A brief statement of significance (from the Designation Report);
- Your photographs clearly showing the styles, architectural features, important structures and streetscapes in the district;
In addition to the presentation, students are asked to submit a 400-word narrative on why the buildings and blocks in the district were selected for preservation. The narrative must be submitted along with the presentation, either as a reply to this post or as a PDF via email.
Students will receive extra credit for sharing their presentations in class. Presentations will be approximately 15 minutes in length, and will take place on 10/21, 10/28 and 11/4. Students will be graded on their ability to identify architectural styles and construction periods, their understanding of the district’s significance, and their analysis of its key features and characteristics.