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Guide to the Harry Schwartz Papers
1958-2014
 MS 3011

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jennifer Gargiulo

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on August 15, 2016

Descriptive Summary

 
Title: Harry Schwartz Papers
Dates: 1958-2014
Abstract: This collection contains materials related to the professional career of urban planner Harry Schwartz, including projects in and outside of New York City, addressing housing issues, traffic, the environment, and the elderly. Also included are teaching materials and syllabi from graduate courses Schwartz taught on urban planning, and materials related to his involvement in civic activities promoting economic equality and historic preservation.
Quantity: 2.0 Linear feet (2 record center boxes, 1 volume, 1 oversize folder)
Call Phrase: MS 3011

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Biographical Note

Harry Schwartz was born in March of 1935 in Brooklyn, New York. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in 1956, a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania in 1960, and attended the University of Rome on a Fulbright Fellowship between 1963 and 1964.

Schwartz began his career working on urban poverty, housing and public services for municipal and private agencies, including the Boston Redevelopment Authority (1962-1963), New York City’s Department of City Planning (1965-1965) and the New York City Housing Department (1965-1967).

For the next 15 years, from 1968 to 1983, Schwartz was a partner in Abeles, Schwartz and Associates, a planning consultancy firm that worked on a broad range of planning and development projects and studies in urban settings. Clients included community development organizations in New York City, Buffalo, Yonkers, Atlantic City, Pittsburgh, and other cities; private firms; and government agencies. Among the many services the firm provided were strategic planning, market and real estate studies, economic feasibility evaluations, zoning reviews and environmental impact assessments, mediation, and assistance with financing.

In 1984, Schwartz founded the Garment Industry Development Corporation, which he describes as the nation’s first economic development corporation dedicated to a specific industry. The company provided worker training and education; business assistance aimed at helping firms obtain capital, enhance productivity and introduce new technology; and real-estate assistance to prevent factory space from being converted into residences and to help firms obtain mortgages and government assistance.

In 1988, Schwartz became an independent consultant on economic development, housing, social and health services, and neighborhood planning. In this capacity, he worked with multiple institutions within and outside New York City including the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, the United States Department of Justice, the Harlem Urban Development Corporation; multiple institutions within St. Louis, Missouri; and the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems, among others.

Throughout his career, Schwartz focused on programs to alleviate poverty and narrow economic inequities, promote economic development, build affordable housing, provide relief efforts for natural disasters, protect environmental resources and provide services for elderly residents of city neighborhoods.

In addition to his consultant activities, Schwartz taught urban planning at various institutions, including Hunter College-CUNY, Washington University in St. Louis, and Columbia University. He was also heavily involved in civic activities, especially within New York City. He served on the Board of Directors for Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center and the House for Elder Artists, and has also been involved with the Waterfront Committee for the Parks Council, the Morningside Heights Historic District Committee, and the Friends of St. John the Divine.

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Scope and Contents Note

The Harry Schwartz Papers contains materials relating to Schwartz's professional career as an urban planner and educator, and his civic activism for economic equality and historic preservation in New York. Materials include reports, surveys, and impact studies. Also included are several of Schwartz's publications.

Series I consists of documentation of Schwartz's work as an urban planner, and includes projects relating to the elderly, the environment, civil rights, transportation, and urban redevelopment in and outside of New York.

Series II is made up of teaching materials, and includes syllabi, assignments, and student projects from urban planning courses Schwartz taught at Hunter College in New York City, and Washington University in St. Louis.

Series III includes materials relating to Schwartz's civic activities to promote economic equality and historic preservation in New York City through his involvement with the Friends of St. John the Divine, Morningside Heights Historic District Committee, and the Planners for Equal Opportunity, among others.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged into three series:

  • Series I: Professional Practice in Urban Planning
  • Series II: Urban Planning Course Materials
  • Series III: Civic Activities

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Portions of the collection that have been microfilmed will be brought to the researcher in that format and can be made available by Interlibrary loan. Researchers on site may print out unlimited copies from microfilm reader-printer machines at per-exposure rates. See guidelines in Reading Room for details. Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.)

Use Restrictions

This collection is owned by the New-York Historical Society. The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials. Unpublished materials created before January 1, 1978 cannot be quoted in publication without permission of the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation Note

This collection should be cited as the Harry Schwartz Papers, MS 3011, New-York Historical Society.

Provenance

Gift of Harry Schwartz, 2015

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Container List

Series I: Professional Practice in Urban Planning, 1961-2014

Scope and Contents Note

This series includes materials spanning Schwartz’s professional career as an urban planner, from 1960 to 2014. Materials consist of reports and studies for urban development projects, both in New York and other states; original photographs taken for these studies; and some of Schwartz’s published works. Recurring topics include housing for low income families and the elderly; metropolitan growth, evolution, and area improvements; community studies regarding neighborhood segregation, population change, transportation, and housing developments; and environmental impact studies.

Subseries I.1: Housing Studies

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 New York Renewal Strategy
1965
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Review of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Review of the Metro Denver Fair Housing Center, Inc.
1968
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Housing Program for New York State
1968
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Chelsea: A Decade of Change
1969

Subseries I.2: Effects of Group Housing

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Environmental Impact of the Porter Avenue Residence (homeless shelter, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
1992
Box: 1 Folder : 6-8 Traffic Patterns and Parking at Oxford Houses in the District of Columbia (including original photographs)
1994-1996
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Bryant Woods Inn Statement and Report (Howard County, Maryland)
1995
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Report on a Proposed Group Home at 12550 Conway Road, Creve Coeur, Missouri (includes original photographs)
1996

Subseries I.3: Aging in Place

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Market Study for Commack Senior Citizen Housing/Inventory and Characteristics of Senior Citizen Housing in Nassau and Suffolk Counties
1990
Box: 1 Folder : 11 An Accessory Apartment Program for Woodside, Queens
1990, 1993
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Planning Supportive Services for Elderly Residents of Cooperative Village (Lower East Side, Manhattan)
1993
Box: 1 Folder : 13-14 Growing Older in New York City in the 1990s-A Study of Changing Lifestyles, Quality of Life, and Quality of Care (Volumes 2-5)
1993
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Market Study for Assisted Living Facility in Northwest Queens
1994
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Plan for Community Services for Bay Ridge's Elderly Residents and related materials
2005-2009
Box: 1 Folder : 17-19 Materials on Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities in New York City
1991-2002

Subseries I.4: Community Studies

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Review of the Need for Additional Capacity and Sites for New Elementary Schools in Community School District 6 (Washington Heights/Inwood)
1983
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Background Study of the Manhattanville West Pier Area (Harlem)
1984
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Statement of Opportunities (Harlem)
1986
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Profile of the Heights Neighborhood (Jersey City, NJ)
c. 1990
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Evaluation of Environmental Impact Statement, Brighton-By-the-Sea Project (Brighton Beach, Brooklyn)
1992
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Security and Environmental Conditions in the Port Morris East Industrial Area (South Bronx)
1993
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Population Change and the Relation Between Urban Development Corporation Actions and Residential Segregation in Yonkers, New York 1950-1990
1994
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Reconsidering Gowanus (Brooklyn)
2010

Subseries I.5: New York Regional Studies

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Park, Recreation and Open Space Project of the Tri-State New York Metropolitan Area
1960
Box: 1 Folder : 24 Manhattan Auto Study
1973-1986
Box: 1 Folder : Binder Manhattan Auto Study (Final Report)
1986
Box: 1 Folder : 25-26 The Chinatown Garment Industry Study
1983-1999
Oversize: Small Folder : OS Schwartz 1 The Chinatown Garment Industry Study (Oversize Materials)

Scope and Contents Note

Contains report titled "Cooperation for Survival and Growth: New Designs for Apparel Manufacturing in Chicago"

1987
Box: 1 Folder : 27 Adaptive Re-Use Feasibility Study for the New York State Armory
1995
Box: 2 Folder : 1-2 20/20 Vision-Smart Growth for the New York metropolitan region.
2003
Box: 2 Folder : 3-4 New York Regional Studies: Long Island 2035 (Presentations and Reports)
2008-2009

Subseries I.6: Planning Outside the New York Region

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 5 University of Pennsylvania: Proposed Off-Street Parking Plan
1961
Box: 2 Folder : 6 University of Pennsylvania: Transportation to and from Campus
1964
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Boston Redevelopment Authority: General Plan for the City of Boston and the Regional Core (Reports and Memos)
1961-1963
Volume: BV Schwartz Volume : 1 Boston Redevelopment Authority: General Plan for the City of Boston and the Regional Core (Official Publication)

Separated Materials Note

A map from this publication has been removed and foldered with the 'Reports and Memos) in Box: 1, Folder: 2. The envelope that this map was housed in has been removed and foldered in OS Schwartz 1.

1964
Oversize: Small Folder : OS Schwartz 1 Boston Redevelopment Authority: General Plan for the City of Boston and the Regional Core (Oversize materials)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes February 1963 edition of The Boston Globe, and envelope for map held in Box: 1 Folder: 2.

1963-1964
Box: 2 Folder : 8-9 Little Rock, Arkansas; Dorchester, Massachusetts; St. Louis, Missouri
1998

Subseries I.7: Publications, 1966, 1973

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Articles: "An Approach to the Problems of the American Urban Slum" and "Manhattan Without Cars?"
1966, 1973
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Book: Planning for the Lower East Side
1973

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Series II: Urban Planning Course Materials, 1996-2013

Scope and Contents Note

This series consist of materials related to Schwartz's career in academia. Included are syllabi, and other materials from courses Schwartz taught at Hunter College in New York City and Washington University in St. Louis. Also included are administrative materials and student assignments for the International Honors Program, a multi-cultural study abroad program for which Schwartz was a faculty member.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 12-14 Washington University in St. Louis

Scope and Contents Note

Includes syllabi and course materials from three courses taught by Schwartz: "History and Potential of Urban Living", "Major Themes in U.S. Urban History", and "Public Policy in American Cities"

Undated, 1996-2000
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Hunter College (CUNY)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes syllabi, assignments, and student projects from "Introduction to Urban Planning" course.

2005-2007
Box: 2 Folder : 16 International Honors Program (Teaching Abroad)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes pamphlets, a student handbook, guidelines and contact lists for students and faculty, assignments, and faculty policies for the IHP.

2006, 2013

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Series III: Civic Activities, 1967-2014, undated

Scope and Contents Note

This series documents Schwartz's participation in civic activities relating to economic equality and historic preservation. He was involved with both professional urban planning organizations and community organizations in his Upper West Side neighborhood. Items include meeting minutes, notes, and agendas; bulletins, announcements, and fliers; news articles; and both internal and external correspondence and proposals.

Historical Note

Series III includes materials from the following organizations:

The Planners for Equal Opportunity (PEO) was created in 1964 after meetings regarding rent strikes by blacks and Puerto Ricans in the Lower East Side and Harlem neighborhoods of Manhattan, New York. It was a group made up of urban planners, and was officially a subsidiary of the American Institute of Planners. The goal of the PEO was to increase housing opportunities for minority families, as well as looking at quality, availability, and price of existing housing. The organization disbanded in 1976. As a member of PEO, Schwartz was an editor of their newsletter, Equalop.

The Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Company was established in 1992 as a non-profit industrial developer in North Brooklyn. They focus on repairing and refurbishing manufacturing buildings for occupancy by smaller manufacturing companies in an effort to create new employment opportunities for low-income residents. Schwartz was the Secretary on the Board of Directors.

The Morningside Heights Historic District Committee was created in 1996 in an attempt to preserve the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, through its designation as a historic district.

Friends of St. John the Divine was a splinter group of the Morningside Heights Historic District Committee, and was led by Schwartz. The main focus of this group was to fight against the building of a 15 story luxury apartment building on the property of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which is located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue in New York City. This fight ultimately failed, and the apartment complex was built.

The Committee for a Fair Riverside south raised objections to funding for Donald Trump's luxury urban development project in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The development began construction in 1997.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 17 Planners for Equal Opportunity

Scope and Contents Note

Includes research findings and alternative proposals, a history of the organization, and a reunion program

1967, 1999
Box: 2 Folder : 18-23 Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center

Scope and Contents Note

Includes background on the organization, tenant surveys, board reports and a strategic plan, as well as annual reports for the organization.

1993-2013
Box: 1 Folder : 24-25 Morningside Heights Historic District committee

Scope and Contents Note

Includes fliers; meeting notes, minutes, and agendas; pamphlets; a resident tool kit for corresponding with city officials and organizations; bulletins and announcements; and a copy of one of the MHHDC proposals

2011-2014, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 26-28 Friends of St. John the Divine

Scope and Contents Note

Includes posters and fliers; petitions; meeting minutes and agendas; internal correspondence; and correspondence with church and city officials, and the Landmarks Preservation Committee.

2012-2014, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 29 Committee for a Fair Riverside South

Scope and Contents Note

Includes short reports regarding affordable and market rate apartments; apartment sizes and the issues surrounding zero or one bedroom apartments; cost concerns; and objections to public subsidies.

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