Scope and arrangement
The collection mainly spans the years of Stanley Turkel's active involvement with the City Club as an officer of the City Club (President, and Secretary). One of the major strength of the collection is Turkel's annotations and notes throughout the papers. Turkel's emendations offer insight into the mechanism of the City Club that may not be available in the official records of the organization. The drafts of the by-laws and constitution illustrates how the City Club re-crystallized their mission, as a dynamic organization. Unlike the published copies, the drafts demonstrates a work in progress. Turkel's insider viewpoint is strongly characteristic of the minutes of the Board of Trustees, therefore, offering a more complete depiction of the administrative machinery. The minutes are supported with correspondence, published and other related topical material. And, to a much lesser extent, the Executive Committee Minutes, 1989-1992, mirrors the Board of Trustees Minutes. There is scant information on the Committees, 1980-1990, and information about the financial documentation is scattered throughout the collection offering an incomplete measurement of the financial health of the City Club. With regard to key issues of importance to the City Club, the collection does contain some documentation of the City Club dispute with WNYC-AM, during the late 1980s. The richest documentation in the collection is about the Luncheon Speakers, 1962-1997. This series, spanning the years, 1962-1997, is supported by correspondence, some transcripts of the guest speaker remarks, Turkel's notes, publicity, printed and near printed material. To a slightly lesser extent, the Distinguished New Yorker Dinners, is supported with documentation. The remaining material is samples of addresses, reports, public relations and printed matter completes the collection; material representative of the early years of the City Club is negligible.
The additions are letters, 1962-1991, from prominent individuals in the City government and other fields whom corresponded with Stanley Turkel on City Club issues, other matters and social.
The Stanley Turkel collection of City Club of New York memorabilia is arranged in fourteen series:
The By-Laws and Constitution, reflect the early years of the City Club of New York. This series, arranged chronologically, contains changes and amendments of the by-laws and constitution (printed versions for the years 1908-1923); drafts of documents, and correspondence, 1965-1995 relating to the objectives of the City Club.
Series contains copies of the original minutes annotated with Turkel's comments, and correspondence from board members and others on issues of interest to the City Club. The subjects include the by-laws and constitution of the City Club, City Club dinners, publications of the City Club, comments on the Treasurer's report, membership, brief comments about the various committees of the City Club, the City Club's position on issues concerning New York City, and goals of the City Club. The remainder of the series is an assortment of material relating to the Board of Trustees.
Copies. Similar to Series II, in content and style, the Minutes have Turkel's annotations. The subjects were timely to current events of New York City including the Daily News newspaper strike, and Contractwatch, an oversight project that fosters accountability of awarding city contracts (both occurred in 1991). Correspondence focuses on issues that were of concern to the City Club. An example would be the City Club's efforts to maintain a visible presence in the public through radio and press coverage of the Club's luncheons. Subject and documentation also covers politics and finances.
There is limited information about the overall operations of the committees. The Committees in this series are as follows: Ad Hoc Committee, Cable Communications Ad Hoc Committee, Development and Finance Committee, Endowment Committee, Focus Committee, and the Membership Committee, Nominating Committee, Organization Study Committee, and the Sub-Committee on Planning and Housing.
An Issue that garnered a great deal of attention in the late 1980s was WNYC-AM, and City Club controversy. This controversy erupted in 1987 because without prior warning, WNYC-AM decided to no longer air the City Club's Friday luncheons live. Instead, tapes of the luncheons were aired at undesirable hours. The City Club's position was that WNYC-AM, a city owned station, did not like the political commentary (see: New York Times, Letters to Editor, Stanley Turkel's letter dated June 23, 1987, box 12, folder 1). WNYC-AM's position was that the programs were stultifying. The correspondence for the early 1990s indicates that the City Club was attempting to have the luncheons rebroadcast live, however, the series does not indicate the resolution of the issue.
Another Issue that constantly drew the public attention was New York State's Wicks Law (bill sponsored by State Senator Arthur Wicks, 1946, and passed by the State Legislature). The Wicks Law was implemented to avoid corruption and give opportunities to small building contractors. Over the years, pros and cons developed about the usefulness of the Wicks Law. This Law continues to be strongly supported by unions, however, on the opposing side, civic minded individuals and organizations (including the City Club) opposes it. An article entitled "Wicks Law: the $300 Million Payoff by Joseph Rose, The City Journal, Summer 1992 (box 12, f. 11) exemplifies the downside of Wicks Law. There are several files in this series that examines the City Club, New York City, and individuals advocation for the repeal of the Wicks law through correspondence, articles, the Club's publications, and Wicks Law Repeal, a Public Construction Necessity, October, 1984. City of New York, Office of the Mayor, Edward I. Koch, Mayor (box 12, folder 7).
Contains the following material: correspondence, Turkel's notes, copies of guest speakers remarks, invitations to luncheons, solicitation of speakers, confirmations, thank you letters to the guest speaker, biographical information on the speaker, ephemera and printed matter. Some luncheons are represented with more documentation than others. Prominent individuals that accepted the City Club invitation to speak represent leading figures in politics, civic affairs, education, business and other fields. Individuals represented include the following: Walter Washington (Chairman, New York Housing Authority, 1967), Peter J. Strauss (1971, President, Community School Board No. 2), Kent Barwick (Chairman of New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, 1978), Patrick W. McGinley (Commissioner, NYC Department of Investigation, 1985), and Peter F. Vallone (Speaker, NYC, 1994).
Contains a representative sampling of information regarding the Dinners as follows: City Club's correspondence pertaining to the organization of the dinners, Turkel's notes, remarks of guest speakers, invitations to the members to attend the dinners, invitations to prominent New Yorkers to be seated on the dais, photographs, publicity for the dinners, programs and printed matter. The remaining material in this series regards the City Club's 75th Anniversary held prior the the establishment to the Distinguished New Yorker Dinners.
Series is similar in content to Series VIII and Series IX. The series contains Turkel's notes, copies of speeches delivered during the presentation, photographs, invitations and printed matter.
Contains the following: the brochure for the celebration of Childs 95th birthday, general correspondence, announcements for nominations, responses for nominations, brochures about the lectures, draft copies of some of the addreses, press releases from the City Club, and published articles on the speaker. Prominent individuals whom lectured at the Lectureship include Raymond D. Horton, on Municipal Reform and Urban Change; Some Perspective from the New York Experience (1978); Richard P. Nathan, on Whither National Urban Policy? (1980); and Mitchell Sviridoff's Urban Neighborhoods: Past, Present and Future (1986).
Series contains a representative sampling of the addresses and reports produced by City Club members and the City Club regarding the improvement of the municipal government and its services for the public. The sub-group of this series entitled City Club of New York, Goals for New York focuses on issues of concern to New Yorkers that include parking, municipal labor policy, municipal spending, subways, housing and litter.
Series reflects the pro-active position of the City Club to formulate and garner publicity for its organization through press releases of the City Club, and press coverage of the City Club. The remaining material, in this series, is the City Club publications outside of New York State, miscellaneous articles, City Club stationary, the Women's City Club of New York information packet, and miscellany.
This series contains two publications the City Club Comments, and the Gadfly. City Club Comments, 1959-1978, arranged chronologically, was the official organ of the City Club. Published monthly, this publication reflected the goals and objectives of the City Club regarding municipal issues.
The Gadfly, 1978-1996, arranged chronologically, One important characteristic of the Gadfly "Impertinent Questions in Search of Pertinent Answers" were open questions to elected officials regarding issues to New Yorkers (issue October 1978). Earlier issues indicates that publication included the Friday luncheon schedule. The reminder of material includes a several copies of the Bulletin, 1913-1946, City Club Reports, history of the City Club (articles and drafts), City Club brochures, 1979-1982, membership applications and two dissertation thesis of the City Club (1933 and 1975).
This series contains letters of elected officials of New York City, and other prominent individuals in New York City. The correspondents wrote to Stanley Turkel, mainly in his capacity as an officer of the City Club of New York. The topics include local city matters, invitations and other concerns relating to the City. Correspondents include Herman Badillo, Carol Bellamy, Stanley Brezenoff, Richard S. Childs, David N. Dinkins, Howard Goldin, Ruth W. Messinger, Jerrold Nadler, Norman Steisel and Herbert Sturz.