Monday Bulletin: Philanthropist Richard Gilder Dies; Historical Society’s Art Bonanza; 94th Street Townhouse ‘Repositioning’

Masks of many styles, at 96th Street and Broadway. Photo by Carol Brewer.

May 25, 2020 Weather: Mostly cloudy, with a high of 70 degrees.

Our calendar is full of events you can enjoy from home.

On Tuesday at 5, Councilmember Mark Levine will host a talk on assessing risk in social interactions amid Cobid-19 with Dr. Julia Marcus, a Harvard Infectious Disease Epidemiologist. Pre-Registration Required here or visit

Richard Gilder, the philanthropist who supported some of the Upper West Side’s most treasured institutions, died on May 12th, at the age of 87, from congestive heart failure. Many know of Mr. Gilder through his largesse towards the American Museum of Natural History, or the street sign that reads Richard Gilder Way on West 77th Street, beside the New-York Historical Society. But how many know that Mr. Gilder, together with George Soros, laid the foundation for the Central Park Conservancy? “No Dick Gilder, no Central Park,” said ex-Parks Commissioner Gordon Davis, in an obituary in the New York Times.

The New-York Historical Society recently received the gift of a New York-themed art collection, including works by David Hockney, Marc Chagall, Edward Hopper, and Georgia O’Keeffe, the Wall Street Journal reported. “Almost four decades ago, New York City real-estate executive Elie Hirschfeld came across a painting that…depicted a street scene in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood…(and) that sparked what became a continuing obsession—to collect art that tells the story of New York, past and present, in all its vibrant and quirky glory. Now, Mr. Hirschfeld and his wife, Sarah Hirschfeld, are donating the 130-piece collection to the New-York Historical Society, saying it is time to share it with the city as a whole.”

A historic townhouse at 42 West 94th Street that currently has eight individual units is apparently being expanded and “repositioned” as a one-family home, according to YIMBY. “Given the property’s location within the picturesque Central Park West Historic District, the design team must gain approvals from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission…At this time, it is not clear when the project could break down or which parties are represented by the anonymous entity 42 West 94th, Inc.”

ART, NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 6 comments | permalink
    1. Mary UWS says:

      Wow, thank you Elie and Sarah Hirschfeld for donating what sounds like an amazing collection of NY themed art to the Historical Society. I can’t wait to see it. I hope the Museum exhibits the collection as soon as feasible.

    2. Central Parker says:

      Thank you for mentioning the enormous contributions of Richard Gilder to our city and especially the UWS.

    3. CCL says:

      Look forward to seeing that great art collection at the New York Historical Society. Hope soon.

    4. ST says:

      If an entity is going to inflict construction on a block for three years such as 42 West 94th Inc., the public and the neighbors have a right to now who or what the real owners are.

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