Beverly Adele Moss, class of 1945

Beverly Adele Moss was born in Brooklyn, New York to Maximillian and Grace Moss. Her father was an attorney and the President of the New York City Board of Education, as well as an important philanthropic figure in Brooklyn. Her mother was a volunteer for the notable anthropologist, Margaret Mead. Moss attended James Madison High School high school in Brooklyn, with a brief period at boarding school in the south, and then went on to get her Bachelors degree at Pembroke College, where she graduated cum laude in 1945. After graduation, Moss met her husband, Samuel Spatt, who was a flight surgeon during World War II and later an internist physician. They had three children in quick succession: Robin, Jonathan, and David. After 61 years of marriage, Moss’ husband passed away from heart failure. Moss remains in her family’s home in Brooklyn at almost 94 years of age.

Throughout her career, Moss held several high-profile positions for the city of New York. A faithful member to the League of Women Voters, she was civically active right out of college, and after a few smaller positions in the city, Moss joined the New York City Planning Commission in 1965. She famously dissented on several major projects throughout New York during her time on the commission until 1970. In 1974, Moss was appointed to the Landmarks Preservation Commission as chair until 1978, and she remained a member until 1982. There her goal was to be transparent, nonpolitical, and she was able to persuade the mayor to appeal the Grand Central decision. She also saved Vuillard houses, and she gained private and public funding for over sixteen new programs including the Landmarks Scholar Program.

During the interim of her positions in these commissions, Moss also taught planning, preservation, public policy, housing, and community advocacy at the New School for Social Research (1967-1970) and Barnard College (1970-1983). Towards the end of her career, Moss worked for Bishop Joseph Sullivan as an assistant and speechwriter until 2013.