Keeping the Past for the Future

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Since 1995, LANDMARK WEST! has made learning about architecture, neighborhood history and historic preservation come alive with our education program, Keeping the Past for the Future! Using lessons, walking tours, and hands-on design and building projects– free to NYC public schools – LW! is raising the next generation of preservationists and community advocates.

Keeping the Past for the Future’s goal is to produce proud, knowledgable neighborhood leaders and preservation advocates throughout the various populations of the Upper West Side. Keeping the Past for the Future offers several different program options. These are multi-visit, interdisciplinary programs which use the built environment as a lens through which to study history, language, math, and art. LW! works with the classroom teacher to adapt each program to their class’ specific needs. All programs meet the Common Core Learning Standards and are available in Spanish and English. We currently work with elementary grades K through 5, but are developing curricula for the upper grades. We serve a diverse student body reflecting the culturally, racially, and economically diverse population of the Upper West Side.

Keeping the Past for the Future is funded by private contributions and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Legislature.

Neighborhood ExplorersNEIGHBORHOOD EXPLORERS PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:
Explore the buildings in the neighborhood surrounding your school and discover the different components that make up a community. In what types of buildings do people live? Where do people shop and eat? What services do they need? Students design and map their own “ideal” communities, act as official surveyors as they take a walking tour of the neighborhood, and create a three-dimensional streetscape model of the local community. The goals of this workshop are that students will gain knowledge of the architectural structures that form their community; students will consider the layout and design of urban neighborhoods; using a checklist of building types, students will survey the buildings in the blocks surrounding their school and discover why particular neighborhoods have more or less of certain types of buildings; students will use knowledge of local structures and architecture, students will create building façades which, when grouped together, will form a neighborhood mode.

buildingdetectivesBUILDING DETECTIVES PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:
This program has been translated and taught in both Spanish and English. Students will explore the basic elements of buildings and how these parts contribute to the larger structure.  What is the job of a cornice? Why are stoops so special? In the first session, students learn about these building elements and then draw their own imagined buildings.  In the second session, students go outside to identify parts and sketch building facades.  Finally, using both their background knowledge and first-hand experience, students create a three-dimensional brownstone façade, which combine to create a streetscape model.  The goals of this workshop are that the students will gain knowledge of architectural vocabulary, including various building parts and their functions; students will be able to identify these parts on actual buildings; students will use their knowledge of building parts and ornament to create a brownstone facade with a cohesive design; students will display an understanding of the importance of architecture and its preservation. 

PastedGraphic-2NEIGHBORHOOD POETRY PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:
Students explore how buildings in their neighborhood can serve as inspiration for creating poems. In the first session, students explore poems about architecture and their accompanying illustrations and practice visualization. In the second session, students head outside to make observations about an actual building, sketching and writing brief phrases about what they see. In preparation for the final session, the observations are typed up and cut into strips.  Students will, in small groups, cooperate to arrange the observations into poems inspired by one building in the neighborhood. The goals of this workshop are that students will look UP to notice architecture that they had not seen before; students will see buildings in a new way: Not only as places to live, learn, eat, etc. but as works of art themselves and inspiring of other forms of art; and that students will work together to create poems made up of their classmates’ on-site observations.

designdetectivesDESIGN DETECTIVES PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:
Through Design Detectives, students explore both the form and function of buildings. They are introduced to basic architectural concepts, including building parts and their essential contributions to the structure of the building, as well as different styles and their corresponding visual clues. In the first session, My Preservation Journal introduces students to architectural elements and styles. In the second session, students go on a neighborhood walk to see firsthand the buildings in their school’s neighborhood. Looking at façades, students will note the individual parts they see and how these parts come together to create an architectural style. Finally, students incorporate their knowledge of building parts and architectural styles into the creation of a cohesively designed building façade. The goals of this workshop are that students will gain knowledge of architectural vocabulary, including various building parts and their essential functions.; that they will be able to identify these building parts on actual buildings; using visual clues, students will be able to distinguish between different architectural styles which are common to the Upper West Side; using knowledge of building parts and architectural styles, students will create a façade with a cohesive design; and that students will display some understanding of the concept of historic preservation.

Local History DetectivesLOCAL HISTORY DETECTIVES PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:
Students discover how their neighborhood has changed in the last one hundred years. Using My Preservation Journal, students investigate actual sites to determine the differences between “then” and “now.”  What has been added? What can you no longer see?  Students first use historic photographs to learn about a specific site – a building or intersection – then go on a walking tour to the same site and observe it in the present, noting the similarities and differences between yesterday and today.  Finally, using their knowledge of the past and present, they will design and write about their own vision of the future for the particular site. The goals of this workshop are that students will gain knowledge about the history of the Upper West Side and its development; using historic photos and a walking trip, students will see firsthand the change over time for one particular location; that students will use their knowledge of the past and present to create a vision of the future; and that they will consider the importance of landmarks and what they mean for the future.

Contact Information

Rudie E. Hurwitz

Youth Education Director
LANDMARK WEST!
RudieHurwitz@LandmarkWest.org
45 West 67th Street
New York, NY 10023
office: 212-496-8110

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