“Marian Sameth, that indispensable mainstay of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, gave me free rein to her organization’s splendid library, a priceless repository of those fugitive unpublished plans and reports that tend to be lodged in wayward corners of institutional libraries or else escape them altogether” – author Louis Winnick, 1990
Since 1937, CHPC has been at the forefront of every debate regarding legislation and policy that has shaped the physical environment of New York City and the housing market for New Yorkers.
Due to this esteemed history, the Marian Sameth and Ruth Dickler Archives and Library offers invaluable, first-hand insight into the policy, legislation, and design decisions that created New York City today. The Archives consists of the extensive records, working files and manuscript materials accumulated by CHPC over the course of its 75 year history. The Library consists of a vast array of print material, much of it rare or hard-to-find, published formally or informally. We are indebted to the work of CHPC staff members Marian Sameth and Ruth Dickler whose devotion to the archival library over decades of their careers ensured its survival.
A guide to the holdings of the Archives is found here. (searchable pdf)
Comprised of the historical records of the Citizens Housing & Planning Council, the Archives includes correspondence, speeches, newsletters, legislation, press releases, reports, memos, proposals, plans, photographs, reports, clippings, and hand-written notes from a wide variety of influential organizations and individuals. With 75 years of working files and reference materials compiled by CHPC staff, this material concerns both specific housing and development projects and topical subjects such as rent control, tax exemptions, and the like.
As an independent organization, CHPC has a long history of working with the City’s community, policy, and legislative leaders. The broad spectrum of unique and influential voices represented in the Archive’s material includes correspondence between CHPC board members and prominent public figures such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Robert Moses, Jane Jacobs, Fiorello LaGuardia, Al Smith, and William O’Dwyer. The records also document the history of CHPC’s organizational activities and public advocacy through committee meeting minutes, newsletters, publications, and internal staff correspondence.
The Library consists of a vast array of print materials, including commercially-published books; publications of Federal, state, and city government departments and agencies; publications of authorities and other quasi-government entities; U.S. Congressional committee and sub-committee reports; national and local serials, such as magazines, journals, and newsletters; corporate proposals, surveys, and the like; and pamphlets, maps and atlases.
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