Citation for Grassroots Initiative
A Special Citation for Grassroots Initiative is given for the Queens Modern project, a documentary website created by Frampton Tolbert that serves as a unique repository of Queens architecture and design of the modern era. Queens, New York City’s largest borough, continues to fight against loss of buildings from all eras. Primarily developed starting in the 1930s, it has a younger building stock, encompassing deco, moderne, modern, and contemporary styles, yet almost none of the architecture from these eras is protected or preserved. Queens Modern began in 2014 as a survey, study, and digitization of projects that received commendation from the Queens Chamber of Commerce Building Awards program from the 1930s through 1970s. Tolbert secured grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation. He visited sites and interviewed those with connections to the buildings. In 2018 the project expanded to look at significant architectural firms that did work in Queens and across the region. Since completion, the website has been covered by major media outlets, is used as a research tool by other local organizations, and, perhaps most importantly, has spurred several Requests for Evaluation to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission for sites documented on the website.
“The Queens Modern project captures a nice mix and broad range of sites from the modern period in Queens, in a database that is an accessible research resource.”