Born in New York City, James Renner came to Washington
Heights in 1973 and
became interested in the local history of northern Manhattan. Over the years
he became involved as a photographer with various community organizations
such as: Friends of Fort Tryon Park, The Washington Heights-Inwood Historical
Society, The Harlem Heights Historical Society, The Washington Heights
Neighborhood Association, Arts Interaction and many others.
As a freelance photographer, James has worked for
New York City Community
Board 12, The Washington Heights Inwood Development Corporation and The
Washington Heights Business Improvement District Management Association, Inc.
He has also exhibited at Arts Interaction's Hintersteiner Gallery and at the
Fort Washington Branch of the New York Public Library. Some of his work
(slides) is on permanent display at the Visitor's Center of the Fort Lee
Historic Park in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
As a freelance writer James has a written interpretation
to his historic
contemporary photographs. Some of his works have been published works in the
following newspapers; The Washington Heights Citizen and the Inwood News, the
Manhattan Heights Forum and the Washington Heights and Inwood Report.
James has given walking tours of Bennett Park under
the auspices of the
Washington Heights Neighborhood Association. He was also part of a mobile
workshop sponsored by the City College of New York which included a tour of
Washington Heights called "The Role of Immigrants in Making New York a World
City." This workshop was held in November 1995.
On May 4, 1999 James was installed by Manhattan Borough
President C. Virginia
Fields as the Historian for Community District 12 which includes Washington
Heights and Inwood.