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Guide to the Back to the City collection 1991.036

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Nicholas Pavlik

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 21, 2011
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Back to the City, Inc.
Creator: Brownstone Revival Committee.
Title: Back to the City collection
Dates [inclusive]: 1974-1983
Quantity: 0.42 Linear feet in one manuscript box.
Text [Box]: 1991.036 1 of 1
Call Phrase: 1991.036
Sponsor: This collection was processed and described as part of the project, "Uncovering the Secrets of Brooklyn's 19th Century Past: Creation to Consolidation," funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources, with additional support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

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Historical Note

Back to the City, Inc., commonly referred to simply as Back to the City, was a national organization dedicated to fostering neighborhood restoration and preservation in America's cities. The organization grew out of the Brownstone Revival Committee of New York (later the Brownstone Revival Coalition), which in 1974 held a national conference on urban restoration and preservation called "Back to the City" at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. After this initial formation, Back to the City engaged in a range of urban renewal and community development activities for the next 13 years, including participating in and supporting activism campaigns, holding annual national conferences at cities around the country, and issuing a regular newsletter. Back to the City's headquarters were located at 12 East 41st Street in Manhattan.


  1. Brownstone Revival Coalition. "Home Page." Accessed March 25, 2011.

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Scope and Contents

The Back to the City collection spans the period 1974 to 1983 and is mostly comprised of materials relating to Back to the City's annual national conferences held during the period 1974 to 1978 in the cities of New York, N.Y.; St. Paul, MN; Washington, D.C.; San Antonio, TX; and Hartford, CT; as well as the 1983 annual conference held in Brooklyn, N.Y. Materials relating to each of the above conferences largely focus on urban renewal and restoration efforts in the city in which the conference was held, with the most extensively documented conferences being those in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Items include city maps and brochures, correspondence, conference proceedings, building restoration and preservation guides, handouts, lists of conference participants, newsletters, pamphlets and leaflets, photocopies of news clippings, and brownstone purchasing guides. The collection also includes an additional folder of similar material pertaining to nationwide urban restoration and preservation campaigns, issues, and projects. Several allied organizations are also represented in the collection, particularly the Brownstone Revival Committee of New York.

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Access Points

Document Type

  • Correspondence
  • Manuals (instructional materials)
  • Newsletters
  • Printed ephemera
  • Proceedings

Subject Organizations

  • Back to the City Conference.
  • Back to the City, Inc.
  • Brownstone Revival Committee.

Subject Topics

  • Architecture -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Architecture -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Brownstone buildings -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Brownstone buildings -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Community development corporations -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Community development |v Congresses
  • Community development -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community development -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Historic preservation |v Congresses
  • Historic preservation -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Historic preservation -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Urban renewal |v Congresses
  • Urban renewal -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Urban renewal -- New York (State) -- New York

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Buildings, structures, etc.
  • Hartford (Conn.)
  • New York (N.Y.) |x Buildings, structures, etc.
  • Saint Paul (Minn.)
  • San Antonio (Tex.)
  • Washington (D.C.)

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Back to the City collection, 1991.036, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Related Materials

Related archival collections at the Brooklyn Historical Society:

  1. 1979.021, Downtown Brooklyn Development Association records, 1929-1971
  2. 1987.002, Robert Vadheim Brooklyn neighborhood renewal and development collection, 1962-1987
  3. ARC.060, H. Dickson McKenna collection, 1868-1991
  4. ARC.124, Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Publication and Photograph collection, 1968-2007
  5. ARC.163, Central Brooklyn Coordinating Council publications, 1965-1972
  6. ARC.167, Brooklyn neighborhood associations and civic organizations publications, 1881-2008

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Source and date of acquisition unknown. Formally accessioned in 1991.

Processing Information note

Minimally processed to the collection level.

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