By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The Players at 16 Gramercy Park South has seen its fair share of tumult in the last couple years as the effort to dig itself out of its longstanding, crippling debts continues. However, its members will soon have something to celebrate since the club will be receiving a preservation award for its work on the building’s façade.
The club is being honored on April 30 at the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards along with Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, Tavern on the Green and other historical landmarks in the city. The award, from the New York Landmarks Conservancy, honors architects, craftspeople and building owners for their contributions to preserving city landmarks.
“It’s considered the Oscars of historic preservation,” Mary Workman, president of the Players Preservation Fund, said of the honor.
Workman, a theater director and instructor at The Acting Studio and a member of the Players since 2006, founded the Players Preservation Fund at the club as a 501c3 in 2013.
“Through the fund, we were able to use members’ tax deductible donations to do the brilliant renovations,” she said.
She added that the reconstruction began before the fund was officially founded but she wanted reassurance that the work would be completed and thought that members might want to help the efforts. She was correct, as the fund raised more than $500,000 for the project.
Workman said that $400,000 of the money raised went to the work on the façade itself and $37,000 went towards the restoration of the stained glass that is part of the façade.