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Original Date: October 24, 2023, 6.60pm


  • Christopher Marte - Council Member (D1 NYC)

  • Françoise Bollack - Architect, Historian

  • Rick Cook - Architect, Preservation Expert

  • Alison Greenberg - Attorney, Preservationist

MODERATED BY Layla Law-Gisiko, President, The City Club of New York

Watch our thought-provoking free webinar originally held on Monday, October 23, 2023 at 6:30 pm (EST) as we delve into the dramatic demolitions of iconic New York City buildings and their profound impact on our city's cultural identity, environment, and economy. This is a compelling discussion you won't want to miss.


Historic preservation is universally considered as a beneficial policy to protect our shared heritage, preserve our economic vibrancy and enhance our urban fabric. Yet, in the past decade, New York City has seen the pace of demolition dramatically increase. Our upcoming webinar, provocatively titled "Where is the Hotel Pennsylvania? What are we losing? Is it good for New York City? What to do about it?" will explore the impact of demolition challenges and the legislative responses they prompt.



  1. Embodied Carbon: Concerns raised about the carbon emissions associated with the entire life cycle of building, including construction, maintenance, and demolition.

  2. LEED Certification Critique: Discussion on the need for reform in the LEED certification system to consider environmental impact from demolition.

  3. Historical and Cultural Value: Emphasis on the value of preserving old buildings for historical and architectural heritage.

  4. Economic and Fiscal Implications: Highlighting the fiscal impact of issuing demolition permits and potential loss of tax revenue.

  5. Community Involvement: Importance of advocacy groups, community boards, and residents in influencing city planning.

  6. Bridge Between Preservation and Environment: Acknowledgment of the intersection of historic preservation and environmental concerns.

  7. Regulatory Framework Strengthening: Discussion on evaluating and enhancing regulatory frameworks for preservation.

  8. Coalition Building: The need for building coalitions and uniting preservationists, environmentalists, and urban activists for a shared narrative and advocacy.





Chrisopher Marte

Christopher Marte is the NYC City Council Member representing District 1.  Elected to the City Council in 2021, he has worked with communities, experts, and all levels of government to advocate for resiliency plans that protect our shorelines and existing environment. He has invested in the long-term environmental health of Lower Manhattan by working with non-profit partners and funding infrastructure from tree guards and compost drop-off sites to opening new parks and revitalizing existing ones.

Françoise Bollack

Françoise Astorg-Bollack is an architect, architectural historian and an educator. A practicing
architect, she founded Françoise Bollack Architects which focuses on the design opportunities of working with existing buildings. She has authored several books on architecture and on designing with old buildings, including Old Buildings – New Forms: New Directions in Architectural Transformations, which won the Preservation Book Award from Mary Washington University. She also teaches a course in historic preservation in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University.

Rick CookRick Cook, a Founding Partner of COOKFOX Architects, has been a visionary in architectural design for over three decades, emphasizing the fusion of exquisite aesthetics with stringent sustainability standards. His innovative and award-winning work spans a wide spectrum, encompassing master planning, commercial, and residential projects.

Rick Cook has built a deep expertise in design and architecture for historic districts. His work includes the award-winning neighborhood redevelopment in the South Street Seaport Historic District, which preserved and repurposed eleven 19th-Century warehouses for residential use, a biophilic workplace building at 300 Lafayette, and most recently, two restorations of New York's historic West Side industrial infrastructure at St. John's Terminal and Terminal Warehouse. 

COOKFOX Architects boasts a remarkable portfolio, including the creation of four LEED Platinum projects in New York City: the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, Skanska USA's office within the Empire State Building, and the interior designs for both COOKFOX's former and current offices.

Alison Greenberg

Alison Greenberg, an attorney and passionate advocate for preservation, plays an active role in addressing environmental concerns in New York. She served as the President of  the Historic Districts Council. In this capacity, Alison Greenberg has advocated for the safeguarding the preservation of significant historic neighborhoods, buildings, and public spaces in New York City, upholding the integrity of the city's Landmarks Law.

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