Restoration and Revival

The dinner scene at New York Restoration Project's 12th Annual Spring Picnic.
New York Restoration Project (NYRP), founded by award-winning singer, entertainer, actress, and green activist Bette Midler, celebrated 18 years of turning forgotten spaces into growing places at its 12th Annual Spring Picnic this past Thursday, May 30th, at Gracie Mansion, "the People's House." Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris; Honorary Co-Chairs Tim Gunn and Parker Posey; and the evening's Emcee, Emmy Award-winning comedienne Judy Gold joined Midler. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks provided the music. The evening raised over $1.2 million for NYRP.

In 2007, Mayor Bloomberg and Midler, together with the City Parks and Recreation Department, began a citywide initiative to plant one million trees in all five boroughs of New York City by 2017. They announced tonight that the MillionTreesNYC initiative would complete its goal two years early – in 2015, which coincides with the 20th Anniversary of NYRP.
MillionTreesNYC Lead Sponsors Meredith Hahn, Chris Giamo, Bette, Mary Desjardin, Juliet Williams, Hilary Ayala, Mayor Bloomberg, Amy Freitag, and Dave Barger
Thanks to lead support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Toyota Motor Corporation, along with the continuing generosity of major supporters American Express, JetBlue, and ConEdison, MillionTreesNYC is now ready to ramp up its tree planting to get the final 250,000 trees in the ground by 2015.

TD Bank came on board as the lead closing sponsor, making it possible for MillionTreesNYC to help the citizens of the city realize the many benefits of trees two years early.
The table settings
Among the hundreds of green enthusiasts attending were: Executive Director of NYRP Amy Freitag, Martin von Haselberg, Michael Kors and Lance LePere, Rosanne Cash, Amy Goldman Fowler and Cary Fowler, Margo and Jimmy Nederlander, Ann Ziff, Linda Allard, Jamie Tisch, Claude Wasserstein, Tonne Goodman, Clifford Ross, Ann Stevenson Colley, Todd DeGarmo, Mica Ertegun, Alexandra Cohen, Hugh Hildesley, Ed Hollander, Fernanda Kellogg and Kirk Henckels, Ellen and Richard Levine, Deborah Krulewitch, Steven Orr, Kathy and Ben Needell, Enid Nemy, Elizabeth Peabody, Richard Perlman and Ellen Hanson, Marjorie Gubelmann, Liz Smith, Darcy Stacom, Pam and Allen Swerdlick, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Kelly and Gerry Pasciucco, Jamee and Peter Gregory, Paul Cavaco, and Karen Klopp among others.
Founded in 1995 by Bette Midler, New York Restoration Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming communities and creating a greener, more sustainable New York City. NYRP helps strengthen communities by working in parks, public housing, vacant lots, schools, on sidewalks, rights-of-way, the waterfront, and in our own community gardens. As the lead partner with NYC Parks on the MillionTreesNYC initiative, they have helped the City plant more than 745,000 trees since 2007. By cleaning, greening, and beautifying high-need communities, NYRP creates a context for community to happen.
Bette Midler and Michael Kors
Ann Ziff and Brian Mullaney
Eric Kornfeld, Rosanne Cash, and Judy Gold
Jamee Gregory and Peter Gregory
Liz Smith and Elizabeth Peabody
Cindy Smith, Suri Kasirer, Amy Freitag, and Adrian Benepe
Peggy O'De and Zeze Calvo
Gillian and Serena Miniter
Amy Goldman Fowler and Jane Goldman
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Diana Taylor
Ellen and Richard Levine
Liz Smith and Bette Midler
Marylyn Malkin, David Malkin, and Margo McNabb Nederlander
Brian Mullaney and Claude Wasserstein
Todd Thomas and Parker Posey
Adrian Benepe and Bernadette Peters
Martin von Haselberg (right)
Katie Couric and Liz Smith
Elizabeth Peabody and Tim Gunn
Liz Smith and Margo MacNabb Nederlander
Mica Ertegun
Valentina Branchini
John Molner, Zeze Calvo, Katie Couric, Peggy O'Dea, and Brian Mullaney
Peter Gregory and Marjorie Gubelmann
Todd Thomas, Parker Posey, and James L. Nedelander
Todd DeGarmo and Patti Harris
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff
Kathy and Ben Needell
Darcy Stacom
John Molner and Katie Couric
Bette Midler and Chris Giamo
Bette Midler and Kendal Ascher
Rosanne Cash and Teal Kraus with friends
Amy Goldman-Fowler, Amy Freitag, and Cary Fowler
Margo MacNabb Nederlander, Jimmy Nederlander, and Bette Midler
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Hugh Hildesley
Paul Cavaco, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, and Gerry Pasciucco
Rosanne Cash and Eric Kornfeld
Jimmy Nederlander, Richard Levine, and Bernadette Peters
Crowd during sing-along, Ellen Levine and Darcy Stacom at far right
The event space at 583 Park Avenue in Manhattan made a well-suited setting for 2013's Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation Gala on May 14, an evening under a coffered, Pantheonic dome that made the atmosphere warm and Rome-y. How apt, because as a consummate architect Sir John revived and restyled the Eternal City's architecture in many unforgettable works, including his unparalleled 19th-century home in London, which is faithfully preserved at Lincoln's Inn Fields and which was named No. 4 on a list of the 50 Best Museums in the World by The Times of London on May 11.

That achievement owes appreciably to Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation and its ongoing work to enlarge the museum's ever-enlarging audience while magnifying the Soanian tradition of Neo-Classical architecture, thus the basis for the event. Observed Vanity Fair editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger in opening remarks, “If Soane’s work proves anything, it is that classicism was and is a living style, that it is not a matter of copying the past but of taking inspiration from it.”
The scene of Soane's Museum Foundation Gala, 583 Park.
Sir John Soane's work of yesteryear informs Norman Foster, Lord Foster of Thames Bank's impressive work of today, including the architect's Hearst Tower in New York. Lord Foster—one of evening's honorees and one of a larger-than-life breed—commenced the day in London, re-toured the Soane Museum for the umteen time that morning, luncheoned midday with the queen (yes, Lilibet) and then piloted his private plane across the pond in time to pick up his bronze Soane Foundation Honors medallion. Making the presentation was Malcolm Rogers, director of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, whose Art of the Americas Wing was designed by Foster. “Like Sir John Soane–and I am reminded of this every time I visit the Soane Museum—he is a poet of light and shade,” said Rogers.

The evening continued with the bestowal of a pair of medallions to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives Partnership, a collaboration between Columbia University's Avery Architectural Library and the Museum of Modern Art to oversee Wright's vast trove of architectural models, correspondence, 23,000 drawings and 44,000 photographs, one of the largest and most complete collections ever compiled on an architect.
While dining (roasted halibut and a divine molten chocolate cake), the 260 guests were treated to a pictorial projection on the stage curtain of more than 100 architectural vistas that represented the spectrum of the Soane's lifework.
Wright's great-granddaughter Catherine Ingraham, a professor of architecture and urban design at Pratt (and second cousin of actress Anne Baxter—Eve of All About Eve), handed out the medals, commenting, “The partnership of a world-class museum and library fosters badly needed new scholarship on Wright, whose persona and work have been both overexposed and understudied. It will also open to scrutiny and appreciation an archive that needed some propriety and order, not to mention dusting off and repair, all of which it will now get in spades.”
Catherine Ingraham, Carole Ann Fabian, Barry Bergdoll, and Kate Levin
Among the attendees were Celeste Adams, Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust; Mary Stewart Hammond and Arthur Allen; Barry Bergdoll, MoMA's Philip Johnson Chief Curator, Architecture and Design, who accepted the Soane medallion on behalf of the museum; Joel Barkley; Kathryn Berry; Becky Birdwell; Fred Canova; Dara Caponigro, editor, Southern Accents; Walter Chatham; Vin Cipolla, Municipal Arts Society; Judith Dobrzynski, Real Clear Arts blog / The Leon Levy Foundation; Helen Dorey, acting director of Sir John Soane’s Museum; David Easton; Guy Elliott, chairman of the trustees, Sir John Soane’s Museum, London; Carole Ann Fabian, director of Avery Architecture and Arts Library at Columbia University, who accepted the Soane medallion on behalf of the library; Mark Ferguson and Natalie Jacobs; John Flower; Elena Foster; Andon George; Wendy Goodman, New York Magazine; Niall Hobhouse; Thomas Jayne; Wendy Evans Joseph; Tom and Kristin Kligerman; Kate D. Levin, commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; David Levinson, L&L Holdings; Tony Marx, president of the New York Public Library; Brian J. McCarthy; Stacy McLaughlin, 1stdibs; Bill Menking, The Architect’s Newspaper; Charles Miers, publisher, Rizzoli; Amanda Nisbet; Lynn Nisbet, publicist; Christine Pittel, editor, House Beautiful; Judith Prause, Chesney’s; Robert Rufino; Richard Sammons, Fairfax and Sammons; Frank Sanchis, World Monuments Fund; Dana Sandberg; Durston Saylor, photographer; Edward A. Snyder, dean of Yale School of Management; Suzanne Stephens; Nick and Courtney Stern; Robert A. M. Stern; Meg Touborg; Peter Trippi; Newell Turner, editor-in-chief, Hearst Design Group of Magazines; Massimo Vignelli; Alan Wanzenberg; Charles Warner; Angela Westwater and David Meitus; and Roy Zeluck.

Said Soane Foundation President Thomas A. Kligerman: “The 2013 Foundation Gala was celebratory proof that Sir John Soane's Museum continues to inspire all those who know it, as well as those who don’t yet—and I promise you: Everybody should!”
Peter Manning, Clifford Harvard, Ann Lydecker, Roy Zelluck, and Kelly Rourke
Jamie and Lisa Dworkin, Charlie Warner, Julia Bradford, and Durston Saylor
Guys
Carol Sullivan, Steve and Liz Weinstein, and Nick and Courtney Stern
Birch Coffey, Barbara Pine, Celeste Adams, and Mike Nicholson
Edward Snyder and Beth Miller
Faye Cone and SJSMFdn President Tom Kligerman
CO-CHAIR Newell Turner, Carolyn Englefield, and David Murphy
Gals
Mike Nicholson, Catherine Ingraham, and Thomas A Kligerman
Mary Stewart Hammond and Arthur Allen
Suzanne Santry and Sam Roche
Steve Weinstein, Mary Louise Napier Zuzunaga, and Nick and Courtney Stern
Paul Goldberger, Susie Magee, Lady Foster, and Lord Foster
Katy McKegney, Kate Levin, Chas Miller, and Karen Sendler
Thomas Jayne and friends
Judith Selkowitz, Carolyn Brooks, Susie Magee, and Wendy Moonan
Angela Westwater and David Meitus
Robert and Julia Van Nutt
Meg Morton, Malcolm Rogers, and Cyndy Spurdle
Christine Pittel, Alexander Gorlin, and Andrea Monfried
Lord Foster of Thames Bank OM
Celeste Adams, Helen Dorey, and Chippy Irvine
Barry Bergdoll, Carole Ann Fabian, and Milan Hughston
Dana Sandberg and Chip Brian
Wendy Evans Joseph and David Hanks
Guy Elliott, and Lucy and Nat Day
Jeanne Lawrence, and Stanley and Betty Scott
Amanda Nesbet, Robert Rufino, and Becky Birdwell
Chris Pollack, John Flower, and Nick Stern
Anthony W. Marx and Norman Foster
David Levinson and Norman Foster
Lady Foster, David Metius, and Simone Levinson

Photographs by Mia McDonald (NYRP); Cutty McGill and Matt Gillis (Soane).