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New York City Neighborhood Research: Example

Researching the history of the life of places in New York City takes on a life of its own.


To get a sense of neighborhood research in action, explore these three boilerplate examples. There is no ultimate perfect example, just degrees of productive and effective results.

  • "The Many Lives of a Carriage House by the New York Times is an accurate example of how basic resources might construct the narrative of a block, and how the history of the built environment can revivify the sense of a neighborhood. The Times queried the Milstein Division about resources for this piece.
  • The Landmark Designation Report for Lundy Brothers Restaurant Building is not only a history of the building, but provides detailed background information about the neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.
  • Access a Historic Structure Report published by the federal government and authored by research contractors, and note the resources cited in the bibliography. The scope of these reports, usually conducted for the National Park Service, is far-ranging, and will likely exceed the parameters of your own research pursuits, but they can be fruitful guides to the resources and processes involved in approaching site research. For example, see the Annotated Bibliography on page 239 in this 1981 historic structure report on Jacob Riis Park in Queens. Googling “historic structure report” will result in a handful of guides by state governments - look for “.gov” in the url.