Turtle Bay Association

City Scape
East Midtown Manhattan's Turtle Bay


In Our Year of Service to the Community.

The Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. All contributions, including membership, are tax deductible.

Our mission

The Turtle Bay Association (TBA) is made up of residents, business people, and property owners who live and/or work in Turtle Bay. With a membership of almost 2000 New Yorkers, we're a growing group of dedicated volunteers actively working to preserve our history, enhance our quality of life and help our members deal with the issues and demands of everyday urban living in the 21st century.

Modest beginnings

In 1957, a few Turtle Bay neighbors got together to protest the widening of East 49th Street. Their informal meetings led to the formation of the Turtle Bay Association. years later, we're still the neighborhood watchdogs. Many of our present board members initially became involved with the association in much the same way their predecessors did: confronting a problem and joining forces to do something about it.

Neighbors keeping an eye out

The problems and concerns of a neighborhood in a city the size of New York are generally too complex to be handled by an individual. The Turtle Bay Association, which has the power of many, watches out for problems, defines the issues, and really knows who to contact for help.

  • From the beginning, we have nurtured close working relationships with appointed and elected officials at all levels of city, state and federal government.
  • The Turtle Bay Association maintains direct contact with our local police precinct to ensure the safety and protection of our community.
  • We are charter members of the 17th Precinct Community Council.
  • We work with representatives of all the major municipal services to make sure we're receiving optimum service.
  • As charter members of the East Side Rezoning Alliance (ESRA), in 1987, we joined forces and successfully spearheaded a drive for low-rise rezoning to protect our air and sunlight.
  • We have frequently acted as a watchdog to report zoning violations that threaten the character and quality of life in our neighborhood.
  • In 1995, we formed the Turtle Bay Business Associates to more fully address the concerns of the neighborhood's commercial sector and to promote business in Turtle Bay.
  • In addition, the Turtle Bay Association supports the activities of other neighborhood nonprofit groups such as the Vanderbilt YMCA.

A cleaner, greener neighborhood

We have spearheaded major park renovations, including the reconstruction of Peter Detmold Park (1987) and Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, which was completed in 1999. Responding to complaints of concerned parents, we launched a clean up of MacArthur Playground, planted flowers, and continue to organize events.

TBA's Beautification of Second Avenue campaign has resulted in more trees and flowers being planted there, as well as the reduction of visual clutter. Our graffiti fighters periodically repaint mailboxes, traffic signs, and signal boxes.

In addition, TBA helps support such community-based groups as the Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, the Friends of Peter Detmold Park, and the Turtle Bay Tree Fund in their efforts to keep our neighborhood clean and green. Through our own TBA Tree Program, we directly fund the planting and maintenance of trees along Second Avenue in Turtle Bay.

In recognition of our efforts, the Turtle Bay Association has been cited in the U.S. Congressional Record for working to reclaim Turtle Bay's public spaces.

But we're not resting on our laurels

The TBA board of directors meets monthly to review a wide variety of issues, while designated committees focus on specific areas, such as Environment, Zoning, and Parks. We write letters and make phone calls, voicing our concerns for the community's safety, security, appearance, and well-being. Sometimes it takes years of organized community activism to win our battles.

We keep our members informed three ways. We publish the Turtle Bay Newsletter. The TBA bulletin board, used to post important notices of interest to the community, is prominently displayed on Second Avenue between 48th and 49th Streets. We maintain this website, which has broadened our outreach and expanded the information we bring to our members.

We also maintain an active agenda of annual events, including our "Love Thy Neighborhood" Valentine Party, our annual Turtle Bay Street Fair, Night Out Against Crime, Town Hall Meetings, and a holiday toy collection for needy children. Plus an occasional outing just for the fun of it!

The greater our numbers, the stronger your voice. join us!!

We invite you to support the Turtle Bay Association--to join hands and hearts with us and become a good neighbor. If you live or work in Turtle Bay, you owe it to yourself to join us in preserving and protecting our quality of life here. Even if you're not a local, you can still be a member of the Turtle Bay Association. We promise to make you feel right at home!

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Board of Directors

Tell us your concerns. Work with us to solve them.

The board of directors of the Turtle Bay Association is representative of a diverse cross-section of the community. Among this dedicated group of volunteers are executives, business owners, managers, writers, computer programmers, lawyers, accountants, secretaries and retirees. Together they bring a wide range of experience to the organization.

Board meetings are held the first (nonholiday) Monday of each month, except August, in the conference room of the Vanderbilt YMCA, 224 East 47th Street. Although board meetings are not open to the public, any TBA member may briefly address the board prior to the beginning of its regular business. When appropriate, special presentations may be included on the agenda.

Members may also contact the TBA office at (212) 751-5465 or write a letter of concern to the President. These can be sent via regular mail to 224 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017; faxed to (212) 751-4941 or emailed to us at office@turtlebay-nyc.org.

A general membership meeting is held each November to elect the slate of officers provided by the nominating committee and to present a review of the year's activities as well as a financial report.

Board of Directors

President: William E. Curtis
Vice Presidents: Millie Margiotta, Dolores Marsh, Bruce Silberblatt
Treasurer: Richard Irwin
Directors: Ethel Bendove, Bunny Blei, Meryl Brodsky, Orin Buck, Bill Curtis, Lee Frankel, Phyllis Gitomer, Vivian Gordon, Denise Hamilton, Marie-Louise Handal, Bill Huxley, Dick Irwin, Flo Kelly, Mary F Marangi, Millie Margiotta, Mark Markowski, Dolores Marsh, Pat Mc Dougald, Carol Rinzler, Bruce Silberblatt
Ex Officio:
Barbara Connolly
Honorary Emeritus:
Jeannie Sakol
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Member Benefits

When we talk about the benefits of membership, we're not just handing you a line. We're handing you several.


We know you're busy, but you still want to keep abreast of what's going on in your community. Whether you rent, own, run a business or serve an institution, what happens here affects your well being and quality of life. We keep you up to date on the myriad changes that are taking place on the streets where you live - and how they might impact the routine, quality, comfort or security of your daily life.


It's easy to get lost in the maze of city council meetings, community boards and special agencies. TBA knows the ropes and has earned the respect - and ear - of our appointed and elected officials. When you need help in a hurry, we can point you in the right direction - the first time.


Discover the treasures of Turtle Bay. New residents are sometimes unaware of what history and hallowed halls surround them, or the wide range of activities and resources that can be found within our boundaries. With a history dating back to 1639; a charming name; prominent residents such as Walter Cronkite, Kurt Vonnegut, Dorothy Thompson, Katharine Hepburn, and Steven Sondheim who have called it home; and high profile establishments such as the United Nations within its boundaries, Turtle Bay is packed full of both history and current events. Our website and newsletter let you know where to find our neighborhood's oldest gems, newest gathering places, most interesting people and the area's upcoming social, civic and cultural events you won't want to miss.


Have a problem? Wonder what one person can do about it in a place the size of New York? Alone, it's difficult. But chances are, others share your concerns. If you join us, you'll become part of an organized, highly respected, hard-working group. The Turtle Bay Association's 45 years worth of positive results for the community have proven to residents time and again that supporting the TBA gives one individual the power of many - and the power to truly make a difference.


Business owners have special needs in a community. As a member of the Turtle Bay Business Owners group, you can work with TBA and other area businesses to address common problems. You can learn in detail about how changes being considered by the City Council or the State of New York might affect the life of your business. In addition, you can find out what the community would like to see more of from its businesses.


Want to make sure neighborhood growth doesn't harm the neighborhood? Try the Zoning Committee. Feel like putting your organizational skills to the test? Help plan our special events. Do you secretly yearn to be a journalist? The Turtle Bay Newsletter awaits! Who says you can't have a good time while also doing good?

You can enjoy the many benefits of membership (such as discounts with many of the area merchants) simply by paying your annual TBA dues. But meeting your neighbors and working with them to help your neighborhood function better and look nicer makes your "investment" even more worthwhile!

Click here to find out how to join.

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Mission Statement Board of Directors Member Benefits

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