The New York Landmarks Conservancy recently launched a database of New York City buildings that are in bad shape and need restoring. The database actually has over 20,000 buildings in it; “red” buildings (those in the worst shape) are available for reviewing online at http://ebo.nylandmarks.org/.
There are several ways to browse the buildings; by year built, architect, architectural style, building materials, name/address, and borough. I decided to look at the structures built before the 1830s.
I got six results in a list that included a thumbnail of the image, building name, borough, and neighborhood. Click on the name of the building to get a history of the building and its current status, as well as a slightly larger picture (but unfortunately not NEARLY large enough) and a detail list that includes condition, building materials, year built, and NYC Designation Status (“Landmark”, “Historic District”, etc.) Each building’s page also includes a form; the public is invited to provide more information/history about these buildings.
I would have liked to see larger pictures, though I suppose those would have been even more depressing. When you’ve gone through the database, back up and look at http://nylandmarks.org/, which provides information on the New York Landmarks Conservancy, their technical journals, and tours of historic New York landmarks (hmm.. have to look into that next time I’m in NYC…)