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Preservation by Design and Chance
April 14, 2015 @ 12:00 pm - April 26, 2015 @ 6:00 pm
Join the Ukrainian Institute of America as we celebrate the Landmarks Law as part of the commemoration of its 50th Anniversary. Presented in Partnership with the NYC Landmarks 50 Alliance the Ukrainian Institute has prepared an exhibit entitled Preservation by Design and Chance, which attempts to show why this building is one of the finest and preeminent examples of preservation in ever changing New York City. Following a basic timeline of history, this exhibition describes the key moments that situate 2 East 79th Street so uniquely in the eyes of architectural conservation.
Since 1955, the mansion at 2 East 79th Street and Fifth Avenue has been home to the Ukrainian Institute of America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the art, music and literature of Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora. The Institute serves both a center for the Ukrainian-American community and as America’s “Window on Ukraine” hosting art exhibits, concerts, film screenings, poetry readings, literary evenings, children’s programs, lectures, symposia and full educational programs, all open to the public. In 1897 the banker, broker and railroad investor Isaac D. Fletcher (1844-1917) commissioned the architect Charles P.H. Gilbert to design a new house. Gilbert designed over 100 large houses in New York City during a career that spanned from the 1880s to the 1920s. As a C.P.H. Gilbert house, the mansion was given a second life as home to the Ukrainian Institute of America. The Fletcher-Sinclair mansion is protected as a contributing element of the Metropolitan Museum Historic District and in 1977 was designated as a National Historic Landmark.