“West End Avenue” - the very words conjure an image of charm and character in New York City. They reflect not just an architectural style but a sense of place and neighborhood, an address with its own special cachet, recognized famously in the Rodgers & Hart song, “Way out West (on West End Avenue).” Even today, with some irresponsible development marring certain corners, West End Avenue still retains the feel of that 1937 song and, in fact, remains the longest virtually unbroken spine of pre-war architecture and ambience in Manhattan.
But nothing that is unprotected is long left in peace. In July of 2007, upon learning that four brownstones on West End Ave - 508 & 510 WEA (between 84th and 85th Streets) and 732 & 734 WEA (between 95th & 96th Streets) - were threatened with demolition, a small group of concerned neighbors joined forces and the West End Preservation Society was born. With our small band growing exponentially in the first few months, our grassroots movement transformed into a non-profit organization and began accepting contributions to the cause of protecting and preserving our neighborhood.
Since then, WEPS has met and worked with every elected official representing our districts, as well as Manhattan Community Board 7, and have received their wholehearted support (see letter to the Mayor from the Electeds elsewhere on this site).
WEPS has received the support of long established activist and preservationist groups such as Landmark West!, the Coalition for a Livable Westside, West Siders for Responsible Development, and The New York Landmarks Conservancy. WEPS is a member of the umbrella group The Historic Districts Council.
In order to further our goals of preservation, WEPS initiated a movement to declare the entire length of WEA a Historic District. WEPS retained Professor Andrew S. Dolkart of Columbia University, universally recognized as the premier preservation specialist for New York City, to conduct a study of West End. Completed in Spring 2009, this phenomenal work includes a history of development on West End Avenue, an analysis of the character of West End Avenue and its buildings, an investigation of each individual building on the avenue (including basic information about its architect, developers, date, materials, etc.), and photographs of the buildings.
This report was submitted in March 2009 to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, for the purpose of calendaring West End Ave. Our mission is obtaining historic district designation for the length of the corridor from 70th –107th St.
WEPS has also retained an expert legal team comprised of Darryl Vernon and Stuart Klein.
Stuart Klein, an expert in zoning law, has been retained to create oversight of potential plans to build.
West End Preservation Society is a growing organization filled with people just like you, people who are passionate about the vitality and vibrancy of life on the Upper West Side.
Whether we chose West End or West End chose us, we are proud to call this avenue home.