New York, New York
Award Type: Crowninshield Award
For 40 years, Tony Goldman has been recognizing the potential of depressed, undervalued urban areas and reconstructing and transforming declining historic districts into popular, thriving global destinations. A true visionary, Goldman has been acknowledged as one of the pioneers of New York’s Upper West Side resurgence and the driving force behind the transformations of New York City’s Wall Street Financial District and SoHo neighborhood; Center City in Philadelphia; South Beach in Miami Beach; and most recently, undertaking the transformation of the warehouse districts in Miami’s Wynwood and Downtown Boston.
A native New Yorker, Goldman began his career close to home, renovating brownstones on New York City’s Upper West Side, before turning his attention to Lower Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Between 1976 and 1984, Goldman and a group of investors purchased and renovated 18 properties and opened the internationally acclaimed Greene Street Café, the first of New York City’s great jazz supper clubs since the 1950s. Trendsetting shops, hot restaurants and influential art galleries then sprouted up alongside artists’ lofts and living spaces, transforming SoHo from an urban area in decline to a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood.
In 1985, Goldman discovered the run down hotels and empty, decaying buildings in South Beach at the southern tip of Miami Beach. Recognizing the unusual, architecturally significant community of Art Deco buildings, he purchased and renovated 18 properties between 1985 and 1994, including his flagship hotel property, The Park Central, and its four star restaurant, “Lucky’s.” He also reopened The Hotel, formerly known as the Tiffany Hotel, which is home to Wish, a highly acclaimed fine dining restaurant. Today, Goldman’s South Beach developments serve as focal points in a thriving, pedestrian-friendly enclave that has become one of America’s top destinations.
By the mid 1990s, Goldman was back at work in his hometown, rehabilitating properties and bringing residential space to the heart of New York’s financial district. Over the past 10 years, Goldman Properties has also invested in the renovation of 25 distressed properties in the downtown Center City district of Philadelphia and has been a key player in revitalization efforts in downtown Boston.
In 2004, Goldman began the rejuvenation of Wynwood in Midtown Miami, a low-density warehouse district with a vibrant emerging arts community. Acquiring over 20 properties in the district, Goldman is currently overseeing a master plan to create an artistically driven, tasteful and architecturally exciting pedestrian neighborhood. The focal point of Goldman’s development is Wynwood Walls, an Art Park open to the public featuring the work of 23 international street artists who used building walls as canvases, creating the largest collective of museum-quality street murals in the US. Currently, Goldman continues his work in Wynwood with the addition of new artist murals and the opening of the artful Wynwood Kitchen & Bar (WKB) this November.
“We are so proud to present the National Trust’s highest honor to Tony Goldman,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “At its core, preservation is about recognizing the value of historic buildings and neighborhoods, and restoring life to places that define and enrich our communities. That is what Tony Goldman does, and nobody does it better.”
The Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award is the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s highest national recognition. Named for one of the National Trust’s founding trustees, the award is made with the greatest care and only when there is indisputable evidence of superlative achievement in the preservation and interpretation of our historic, architectural and maritime heritage.