A Landmark Night of Living Landmarks

by Michael Gross Photographed by Jim Salzano and Noel Sutherland
Friday, November 2, 2018

“Not everybody had an executive assistant as good as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,” Peter Stangl, former Chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and the man who (with the help of the former FLOTUS) brought Grand Central Station back from decrepitude, said as he was made a Living Landmark of New York at The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s gala 25th Anniversary celebration of holders of that esteemed honor was in full swing in the Grand Ballroom of The Plaza on Thursday night.   

This year’s other honorees Stephen S. Lash, Lynden B. Miller, Liz and Jeff Peek, Chita Rivera, Thomas Sculco MD, Ruth Lande Shuman, and Michael I. Sovern, were introduced by Peg Breen, the Conservancy’s long-serving president.

Lash, Vice Chairman of the Advisory Board of America at Christie’s International SA, and Christie’s Inc., provided the evening’s best moment, when he offered for sale a glass of New York tap water that proved almost as popular as a Bansky.  Bidding began at $100 before jumping in a few leaps to $4,000.  “Now, we’re talking,” Lash said.  “This will be a world record.  No hors d’oeuvres included.” Moments later, Donald Tober won the water and an ovation with a bid of $5,000. 

Accepting for her and her husband, Liz Peek read a David Letterman-style Top Ten list of reasons they were grateful for the honor.  The second entry:  “It sure beats the alternative.”  She even touched the evening’s third rail, politics.  “Let’s hope The White House is landmarked, too,” Peek said.  Rivera honored another of the honorees.  “I’ve been around a long time and one of the reasons is Dr. Sculco,” she said.  “You could say parts by Sculco.”  Then she turned serious.  “I’ve been called a lot of things but to be named a New York Living Landmarks has a nice ring to it.  Our city always survives and makes you feel you can also.”  

The evening was hosted by David Patrick Columbia, and music was provided by Peter Duchin and his Orchestra.  Arie L. Kopelman and Leonard Lauder were Honorary Co-Chairs. All four, needless to say, are Living Landmarks themselves.  

Among the 450+ guests:  Justin and Sallie Abelow, George Arzt, Paula and Thomas Bauer, Renee and  Robert Belfer, Cathleen P. Black, Geoffrey Bradfield, Lila Brady, Stacey and Dana Bronfman, Diana Chapin, Suzanne and Bob Cochran, Michelle Contreras, Lewis B.,Ellie and Edgar Cullman, Jr., Kathy and Walter Deane, John Demsey, David Dinkins, Jerry Della Femina and Judy Licht, Sue and Stuart Feld, Alessandro and Fe Fendi, Marina and John French, Peter and Barbara Georgescu, Boo Grace, Yaz and Valentin Hernandez, Julio and Alex Herrera, Marlene Hess, Sharon King Hoge, Harold Koda and Alan Kornberg, Gene and Barbara Kohn, Deborah and Peter Krulewitch, Margo Langenberg, Laurence Leeds, Linda Lindenbaum, Carol and Earle Mack,  Jonathan Marder, Mary McFadden, Sylvester Miniter, Paige Peterson,  Ellyn and James Polshek, Emily Rafferty, Guy Robinson and Elizabeth Stribling, John and Elizabeth Rose, Mitchell Rosenthal, Emalia Saint-Amand, Barbara and John Schumacher, Valerie Steele, Nick, Courtney, Bonnie and Robert A.M. Stern, Thomas and Bonnie Strauss, Steve and Tina Swartz, Patsy and Jeff Tarr, Linda,Geoffrey and Claudia Thompson, Barbara Tober, Elizabeth Farran and W. James Tozer, Diane van Amerongen, Lauren Veronis, Nina and Tim Zagat, Robert Zimmerman and Gale Brewer.


Fine Dining Returns to South Street Seaport

An Italian revelation at 10 Corso Como


Ben is Back, and we’re keeping him

Another hot Cinema Society screening attracted stars and the social set

In The Magazine

Return to the Wild

Tales from a safari first-timer