The St. Mark’s Historic Landmark Fund is a 501-c-3 not-for-profit organization. Before its incorporation in 1979, it was the Friends of St. Mark’s. The Friends was formed in the 1970s by a group of neighbors of St. Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery who were inspired by and wanted to support the program they were watching unfold at the Church — a youth training program for low-income residents focused on restoration and the building arts called the Preservation Youth Project.
The Friends would become the Citizens Committee to Save St. Mark’s in order to raise funds towards restoration and rebuilding after a devastating 1978 church fire. Then in 1979, the Citizens Committee changed its name to the St. Mark’s Historic Landmark Fund when it formally incorporated as a not-for-profit organization with the mission of helping to preserve and interpret the landmark site.
Since 1999, the Landmark Fund has been responsible for the operations of the Neighborhood Preservation Center and the maintenance of the Rectory building, which is houses the NPC project. The Rectory was damaged in a 1988 fire and the creation of the NPC was the solution adopted to restore and adaptively reuse the building.
NPC is a co-working space that offers a resource center and space to share information and facilitate exchange with those working to improve and protect neighborhoods. The story of the St. Mark’s Historic Landmark Fund is a history of many of the people and projects that have all been a part of the preservation of St. Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery since the 1970s, and it’s all contained in the Landmark Fund’s archival collection.
The collection consists of papers, visual and audio materials, and objects related to the St. Mark’s Historic Landmark Fund (1979-present) and the preceding efforts which resulted in the creation of the organization.