Places connect us to the past, host community and cultural traditions, and keep local environments distinctive. City Lore and the Municipal Art Society founded the Place Matters project in 1998 to identify, promote, and protect such places in New York City.

Place of the Month

Eastern District Dispensary

The Eastern District Dispensary was established on the Lower East Side in 1831, during a major cholera epidemic that claimed the lives of more than 3500 people, mainly destitute Irish immigrants crammed into filthy hovels in the fourth and sixth slum wards of downtown Manhattan. Dispensaries were located in impoverished immigrant neighborhoods to serve people living and working in crowded quarters who were particularly vulnerable to life threatening contagious diseases like cholera, diphtheria, yellow fever, typhoid, smallpox, tuberculosis.

Places that Matter

Place Matters ESRI Map

Place Matters ESRI Map

Click on the map above to see the many wonderful sites included on the The Census of Places That Matter, a grassroots survey of places in the five boroughs that the public finds important. The Census was created to help broaden the ways that preservation is understood and practiced in New York City. The Census offers an alternative approach to identifying, celebrating and preserving places that matter to the people and communities who love them.

News

New Virtual Tour

Be sure to visit our newest virtual tour, Seeing East 4th Street: Vernacular Architecture in NYC, an introductory guide to reading New York City’s vernacular architecture – everyday buildings constructed for ordinary people. Looking closely at vernacular architecture helps us understand more about the places where we live, and the people who have lived there.  

Place Matters USA

Consulting Nationwide

Since our first national conference in 1996, Place Matters has documented, celebrated and advocated for places that anchor traditions, tell our history, and make New York City distinctive. After more than 15 years of developing successful creative placemaking initiatives in our home town, we are pleased to offer our services nationwide.  


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