Marian Sameth came to the Citizens Housing & Planning Council in April 1946, drawn by its commitment to NYC’s neighborhoods and civic advocacy. An organizational innovator, Marian, along with her long term colleagues Frances Magee and Ruth Dickler, established CHPC’s library and archival collection.
Roger Starr, CHPC’s long-time Executive Director for whom our public service award is named, acknowledged that while he was the public face of the organization and received all the recognition, without Marian there would be no CHPC and that it was she who was really in charge.
Ms. Sameth served as Associate Director of CHPC until she retired in 2000 and assumed a position on CHPC’s Board of Directors. She continues to be an active member of the Board, serving on the fall fundraiser and Annual Luncheon committees. She is an avid reader, theater goer, and music lover. But most notably Ms. Sameth loves the City of New York, its neighborhoods and its people and has dedicated these past six decades to its improvement, preservation, and its future.
Born and raised in New York City, Mrs. Ruth Dickler first joined CHPC as a volunteer in 1962, where she began to build and shape CHPC’s archival library. Recognizing that resources to expand the collection were scarce, she worked with NYC’s publishers to obtain book donations and established and edited CHPC’s BookNews, which provided reviews on books related to NYC housing and planning.
She created the library’s first card catalogue and became an important resource for many of New York’s researchers, academics, and students. Her volunteer work grew into a staff position (the salary for which she donated back to the organization), and upon her “retirement” she became a member of CHPC’s Board of Directors, where she served for decades.
Mrs. Dickler traveled the world while always devoting herself to the improvement, growth, and prosperity of the City where she has spent her life. A talented writer and editor, her research and organizational skills helped to shape CHPC’s work and its effectiveness for nearly five decades. She mentored many young people who have gone on to distinguished careers in the law, planning, and public service.
On December 31st, 2015 our City lost a great lady when Mrs. Dickler passed away at the age of 102.
Her imprint on CHPC’s history, work, and future will remain alongside her autobiography In My Mind’s Eye which sits on the shelf of the archival library she created.