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About Friends of the Lower East Side

Friends of the Lower East Side is a grass roots organization founded in 2011 by Linda Jones, Mitchell Grubler, and Joyce Mendelsohn. We are dedicated to preserving the architectural and cultural heritage of this historic center of immigrant life in lower Manhattan. The area, located between East Houston and Water Street, stretching from the East River to the Bowery, contains a number of significant buildings reflecting its history as the first home in America for immigrants from throughout the world.

For our first project to attain landmark designation for the Bialystoker Home, we brought together 16 Sponsoring Organizations and gathered support from City Council Member Margaret Chin, Community Board 3, local residents and groups, preservation organizations citywide, nationally prominent scholars and concerned individuals. Hundreds of letters, postcards and signatures on our on-line petition were sent to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. On December 11, 2012, the Commission calendared the Bialystoker Home. A public hearing was held Tuesday, February 12, 2013, and on May 21, 2013 The Commission voted unanimously to designate the Bialystoker Home and Center an official NYC Landmark. Friends of the Lower East Side will continue to advocate for landmark designation of other significant buildings and streetscapes to protect the historic character of this unique neighborhood.