Landmark West, the Upper West Side historic preservation group,¬†started a very cool little project a couple of weeks ago, asking readers to send in their photos of people playing in Central Park through the ages. So far they’ve gotten a nice smattering of snapshots, including this one above shot in 1972, and the shot below from 1938 sent in by a man named Bruce.

Landmark West uses social media better than almost any nonprofit I’ve seen, even though they don’t have the same clout or as many twitter or facebook followers as nonprofits like Lincoln Center.¬†A project like this takes the focus away from discussions of zoning and buildings (snore), and reminds people that landmarking is a way to hold on to things you care about. All the social media stuff helps the group play effectively in the political arena, despite not having the kind of money or connections that some of the real estate developers who face off against them do (though they do have significant connections nonetheless). That said, they still lose some battles, including the recent kerfuffle over a millionaire who wanted to put a swimming pool behind his historic brownstone.

Anyway, if you’re game, send Landmark West a photo from your collection. Check out some more photos here, as well as the organization’s map of Central Park’s playgrounds.

Photos reprinted with permission from Landmark West.

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