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NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
Frequently Asked Questions

Permitting and Making Alterations
  1. Does the Landmarks Commission restrict the height of proposed buildings in historic districts? 
  2. My project conforms to zoning regulations regarding height and bulk. Does that mean that the Landmarks Commission must approve my application? 
  3. Do I need a Commission permit to make ordinary repairs? 
  4. I need a Department of Buildings permit for my proposed project. Do I have to file with the Department of Buildings before applying to the Landmarks Commission? 
  5. Are there any types of work that do not require LPC's approval? 
  6. What are some of the factors that the Landmarks Preservation Commission considers when it reviews my application? 
  7. I own a 1970s building in a historic district. Why does the Landmarks Commission review changes to my building? 
  8. Can the Landmarks Commission make me restore my building to the way it looked when it was first built?
  1. Does the Landmarks Commission restrict the height of proposed buildings in historic districts?
    The Commission does not regulate the height or floor area of buildings, the size of rear yards or open spaces, obstruction of sunlight or air, density of population, or the purposes for which buildings are used. These matters are under the jurisdiction of the Department of City Planning. For more information about these issues, visit DCP's website.

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  2. My project conforms to zoning regulations regarding height and bulk. Does that mean that the Landmarks Commission must approve my application?
    No. The Landmarks Commission may find that a proposed project is inappropriate under the provisions of the Landmarks Law even if the project complies with the Zoning Resolution's requirements. For example, even if a proposed addition to a landmark does not exceed zoning limits regarding height and bulk, the Landmarks Commission may deny a permit for the addition if it finds that the design and materials would detract from the landmark's architectural significance.

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  3. Does the LPC have to approve and review changes to buildings in historic districts?
    You do not need a permit from the Landmarks Commission to perform ordinary repairs or maintenance chores. For example, you do not need a permit to replace broken window glass, repaint a building exterior to match the existing color, or caulk around windows and doors. If you have any doubt about whether a permit is needed, call the Commission at 212-669-7817.

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  4. Do I need a Commission permit to make ordinary repairs?
    You must file with the Department of Buildings first only if you are applying to enlarge your building or to construct a new building in a historic district. For other types of work requiring permits from the Department of Buildings, such as storefront installations, cornice replacements, and interior alterations, you may file your application with the Landmarks Commission first, if you wish.

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  5. Are there any types of work that do not require LPC's approval?
    Ordinary exterior repairs and maintenance, such as replacing broken window glass or removing small amounts of painted graffiti, do not require LPC approval. An LPC permit for interior work is required in the following cases:
    • when the work requires a permit from the Buildings Department or,
    • when work on the interior affects the exterior,
    • when the interior has been designated by the Landmarks Commission as an interior landmark.
    The Commission's Preservation Department staff can tell you whether a permit is needed for work you are considering.

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  6. What are some of the factors that the Landmarks Preservation Commission considers when it reviews my application?
    The staff of the Commission reviews your proposal to evaluate the effect of the proposed changes on the architectural and historical character of your building and/or the historic district.

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  7. I own a 1970s building in a historic district. Why does the Landmarks Commission review changes to my building?
    To preserve a historic district's special character, the Commission reviews changes to all buildings within its boundaries. The Commission must review the proposed changes to your building to make sure that the overall design is sensitive to the scale and character of the historic district and that the alterations will not detract from the special qualities of the surrounding buildings in the district.

    If you apply to the Landmarks Commission to make changes to your building, the Commission will take into account the fact that your building is a contemporary structure. You will not be asked to alter your design to make it look "old-fashioned." If you want to put in new windows, for example, you will not be asked to install multi-paned wooden windows if they did not exist in this building when it was constructed.

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  8. Can the Landmarks Commission make me restore my building to the way it looked when it was first built?
    The Commission regulates proposed changes to a building. It cannot make you do work on your building. For example, if prior to designation the stoop was removed and a ground-level entrance installed, the Commission cannot make you replace the stoop. However, if your building has modern windows or doors and you want to replace them, the Commission might not approve replacing them in kind, but could require a different window, so that the windows and doors are appropriate to the style and design of the building. Similarly, if a highly visible and inappropriate rooftop addition had been added prior to designation, the Commission cannot make you remove the addition. But, if you desire to work on or change the design of the addition, the Commission would require that the work make the addition less intrusive and/or more appropriate.

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Find Your Landmark!





LPC Calendar & Actions


October 28, 2014
Public Meeting
Material Viewing:
October 24, 2014

October 21, 2014
Public Meeting

October 21, 2014
Public Meeting
Material Viewing:
October 17, 2014

October 7, 2014
Public Meeting

September 30, 2014
Public Hearing
Material Viewing:
September 26, 2014

September 23, 2014
Public Hearing
Material Viewing:
September 19, 2014

September 16, 2014
Public Meeting
Material Viewing:
September 12, 2014


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