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Series I. Journals

Scope and Contents note

This series is composed of 27 volumes of daily summaries created by Harmon Goldstone while he served as Chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) and for some months afterward. Goldstone, an architect and author, helped form the LPC during the early 1960s. The journals, in his handwriting and dated October 21, 1968 through June 25, 1974, detail day-to-day issues encountered during the early years of the organization's professional formation and structured existence through its rise to authority and serious influence. (The volumes are numbered consecutively. Numbers 14, 16 and 17, however, are not included.)

The detailed entries are more extensive than a typical desk calendar, and Goldstone apparently designed his entries to facilitate subsequent referral. According to an entry in 1969, his diaries were being used as the basis of information disseminated at his Monday staff briefings. There are also references to his using previous entries to validate recollections and to provide information for subsequent analyses. It appears from the breadth and variety of Goldstone's entries that these diaries contain all that transpired in the LPC office on any given day. As such, information regarding landmark designations for this period, as well as policy, staffing, legal and political issues, are interspersed with more mundane concerns like meetings, lunches, signing appeal letters, dealing with graffiti and stolen plaques, and typing of reports.

During the years covered by the journals, Goldstone appears to have taken little time off, and as the Commission gains in significance, the journals are completed in shorter periods of time, indicative of the intense pace of the work. In addition to tracing the passage of historic district designations and individual building and monument designations, the journals offer accounts of the fights concerning erection of a tower over Grand Central Station (1968-1969), and describe meetings such as one held at a private home on Park Avenue on February 25, 1971, with many notable people in attendance, to discuss an idea that will apparently become the Central Park Conservancy.

The journals are arranged in chronological order in Boxes 1 and 2.

Journals (Volumes 1-15), 1968-1971, inclusive

Box: 1 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Journals (Volumes 18-30), 1972-1974, inclusive

Box: 2 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)
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