For over 25 years, the three project directors have been national pioneers in issues related to LGBT history, documentation, and historic preservation.
Andrew S. Dolkart
Andrew S. Dolkart is a noted New York City architectural historian and a Professor of Historic Preservation in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University. From 2008 to 2016, he served as Director of the Historic Preservation program. He is the author of several award-winning books, including The Row House Reborn: Architecture and Neighborhoods in New York City, 1908-1929; Biography of a Tenement House in New York City: An Architectural History of 97 Orchard Street; and Morningside Heights: A History of Its Architecture and Development. He was also the author of the first edition of the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Guide to New York City Landmarks.
Andrew co-authored the Stonewall nomination, which resulted in the first-ever National Register of Historic Places (1999) and National Historic Landmark (2000) listings for an LGBT site. He served as a panelist for “Beyond Stonewall: Recognizing Significant Historic Sites of the LGBT Community” at the 2011 National Trust for Historic Preservation conference in Buffalo, New York and was also a participant in the 1994 map project, “A Guide to Lesbian & Gay New York Historical Landmarks,” created by the Organization of Lesbian and Gay Architects + Designers (OLGAD). In addition to writing scores of other National Register nominations, he authored the nomination for Julius’ bar in Greenwich Village and amended the nomination for the Alice Austen House on Staten Island for their significance to LGBT history.
Ken Lustbader is a historic preservation consultant based in New York City. Between 2007 and 2015, he served as Historic Preservation Program Director at the J.M. Kaplan Fund where he was responsible for developing and implementing US and international grant initiatives. Prior to that he was lead consultant for the Lower Manhattan Emergency Preservation Fund, a coalition of five preservation organizations that was formed in response to the September 11 attacks. In that capacity he developed and implemented a comprehensive preservation strategy that included the conservation of in situ elements of the World Trade Center that are now integral components of the National 9/11 Memorial Museum. Between 1994 and 2002, he was the Director of the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Program.
In graduate school he authored “Landscape of Liberation: Preserving Lesbian and Gay History in Greenwich Village,” for which he received the 1993 Outstanding M.S. Historic Preservation Thesis award at Columbia University. In 1994, he helped create the map “A Guide to Lesbian & Gay New York Historical Landmarks” and, in 2011, served as a panelist in “Beyond Stonewall: Recognizing Significant Historic Sites of the LGBT Community” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation conference in Buffalo, New York.
Jay retired in 2015 as senior historian at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission where since 1979 he researched and wrote over 100 designation reports covering all aspects of the city’s architectural, social, and cultural history. In 1993, he helped pioneer the concept of recognizing LGBT place-based history by incorporating it into the Commission’s reports. This effort culminated in the full essay, “The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community’s Presence in the South Village” in the South Village Historic District Designation Report (2013). That year, he also co-initiated an online landmarks guide that reinterpreted already designated Landmarks to highlight their LGBT history.
Separately, Jay was the author of the chapter “Preservation of LGBTQ Historic & Cultural Sites – A New York City Perspective” in the National Park Service’s LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer History (2016). He also co-authored the Stonewall nomination, which resulted in the first-ever National Register of Historic Places (1999) and National Historic Landmark (2000) listings for an LGBT site. He was the creator and leader of the panel program, “Beyond Stonewall: Recognizing Significant Historic Sites of the LGBT Community” at the 2011 National Trust for Historic Preservation conference in Buffalo, New York. As part of the Organization of Lesbian and Gay Architects + Designers (OLGAD), Jay also co-created the 1994 map, “A Guide to Lesbian & Gay New York Historical Landmarks.” He has co-authored (with artist and historian Susan Tunick) a series of articles on the early 1850s development of American terra cotta, and has also lectured and written on various other cultural heritage topics.
Amanda Davis is an architectural historian who has been with the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project since its founding in August 2015. She previously served as the Director of Preservation and Research at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and gained extensive experience conducting cultural resource surveys while working for Architectural Resources Group in Los Angeles and the Landmarks Preservation Commission in New York. As a monuments conservation intern at the Central Park Conservancy, she assisted in the restoration of the Minton tile ceiling at Bethesda Terrace. She holds a BA in Architectural History from the University of Virginia and an MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University.
Amanda’s passion for researching New York City’s diverse cultural heritage comes in part from documenting her own family’s history. Her Jewish ancestors on her father’s side first settled on the Lower East Side in the 1880s before moving to Brooklyn some 40 years later. In the 1960s, her mother’s family immigrated to Queens from Colombia. Amanda sews in her spare time and loves that her “abuelita” once worked as a seamstress in the Garment District.
The project team would like to thank the following group of historic preservationists, authors, and historians who form our advisory committee. Their support of the project and their in-depth knowledge of LGBT and NYC history have been invaluable.