NPC aspires to be a thought-leader as well as a facilitator and partner for the continued sustenance and stewardship of community spaces.
- Develop public programming about livable cities.
- Research and prepare technical briefs and policy papers on challenges around community space models, the legal corporate structure, funding and financing, and operations.
- Establish Research Fellows and Intern Program.
- Develop curated resources to support organizations in areas such as nonprofit management and external affairs.
- Act as Technical Assistance Provider for Creating Community Spaces.
- Establish a headquarters that provides office and meeting spaces at a sliding scale for organizations working in the livable cities sector.
NPC IDENTITY STATEMENT
Consistent with its established mission and vision, the Neighborhood Preservation Center will serve as a home to social impact innovators who are collaborating to make New York City an even better place to live and work. Our model welcomes and supports mission-relevant individuals and organizations – nonprofits, selected for-profits (e.g., B Corporations), and those emerging entities in-between – by providing affordable work, meeting, and programming space in an inclusive and inspiring environment.
For 20 years, until December 31, 2019, the Neighborhood Preservation Center operated as a co-working space and resource center in the rectory of St. Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery on New York’s Lower East Side. NPC was initially conceived and operated under an agreement between the St. Mark’s Historic Landmark Fund and St. Mark’s Church. It provided below market rate office and meeting space -- both short term and long term -- to community groups and nonprofits. NPC was a pioneer in the coworking space movement and, when it opened in 2000, the only nonprofit in the city that provided this service to community-focused and place-based organizations. Meetings at the rectory building gave voice to community needs and gave birth to organizations that spent their formative period at the Center before taking the big leap in their organizational development to become the organizations they are today. At the rectory, the Center hosted some 6,500 meetings for several hundred groups, incubated 20 fledgling organizations (among them Friends of the Highline, Museum of Food and Drink, and ioby), provided offices to established nonprofits (such as Green Guerrillas and APA NY Metro Chapter), and housed special initiatives by the Municipal Art Society, Housing First!, and the New York Landmarks Conservancy. NPC presented over 30 public programs, panels, lectures, and exchanges aimed to encourage dialogue among peers and shine a light on efforts and issues. NPC staff regularly assisted individuals with inquiries on neighborhood history and references for neighborhood improvement and protection. The Neighborhood Preservation Center originally began as a project of the St. Mark’s Historic Landmark Fund intended to last 20 years, the length of an agreement between the Church and Fund which concluded on December 31, 2019 when the management of the rectory transferred back to the Church.
During the 20-year initiative, the Neighborhood Preservation Center project had generated a life of its own. A multi-year strategic planning process was undertaken and, in 2020, a new vision of NPC as its own 501-c-3 not-for-profit organization developed.