In Memoriam Everett Ortner

Dear Friends,

We are profoundly saddened by the death on May 22, 2012 of Everett H. Ortner, noted preservationist and founding chairperson of both the Brownstone Revival Coalition and Preservation Volunteers. For almost fifty years, Everett worked tirelessly to preserve and defend New York’s brownstone neighborhoods.  He was our dear friend.

After purchasing and restoring his Park Slope Brooklyn townhouse in 1963, Everett and his wife Evelyn (deceased 2005) personally spearheaded the brownstone revival movement. By organizing grassroots fairs and conferences, fighting banks who habitually “red-lined” mortgages in struggling brownstone neighborhoods, and founding several local and national preservation organizations, including Back to the City, Inc., the BRC, Preservation Volunteers, and Preservation Action, Everett helped save beloved townhouse neighborhoods in NYC and elsewhere.

A native of Lowell, MA, Everett graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1939. He spent 7 months in a POW camp during WWII and was decorated with the Bronze Star Medal for Valor as an infantry lieutenant in France. He was an editor, writer, and photographer at Popular Science magazine for 33 years until his retirement. He also penned numerous articles on urban revival and preservation topics.

Everett passed away after complications from a fall. He was 92 years old.

Check in on Monday for a full story about Everett’s life and work.

The estate requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Preservation Volunteers. To donate, go to


Dexter and Jane