Empire Diner. Amanda Chatel for Untapped Cities
It’s always exciting for us at Untapped to see the passionate work of residents get the spotlight. Michael Perlman, chair of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council, is one of those New Yorkers who has taken his fascination for urban quirks and history towards a greater mission–in his case, preservation. Last week, Michael’s work saving the diners of New York City was featured a piece by Eric Jaffe in The Atlantic Cities, chronicling his (often successful) quest to find buyers for iconic diners like the Moondance and Cheyenne diners. He’s also been trying to save the Empire Diner in Chelsea and the abandoned Lost Diner/Lunchbox Diner on West Street.
Michael previously wrote an opinion piece for Untapped about saving the former U.S. Open tennis stadium in Forest Hills and took Untapped readers on a tour of the neighborhood and stadium. His work not only saved the stadium’s demolition from the hands of eager developers, but also led to an admission by President Obama’s Advisory Board on Historic Preservation which admitted that the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission “irked its public duty,” by not calendaring the stadium for a public hearing.