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50th Anniversary Issue
April 2015

This Sunday marks the 50th Anniversary of the Landmarks Law. As the Commission celebrates this milestone, it is the ideal opportunity to reflect on our past and define our role for the future.

Over the past 50 years, we have protected over 33,000 architecturally, historically, and culturally significant buildings and sites throughout all five boroughs. I am proud to say that since I was appointed Chair, we have designated around 1,700 additional buildings, including a 640 building historic district in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and a 900 building historic district in Central Ridgewood, Queens. In addition, another historic district of over 300 properties on the Upper West Side of Manhattan is scheduled for a vote in the next couple of months. We have also calendared the Mount Morris Park Historic District Extension, a nearly 300 building proposed historic district in upper Manhattan.

Our Preservation Department continues to thrive as we process more than 13,000 applications for work on landmarked buildings each year. The Commission rigorously reviews these applications to find architectural solutions to meet today’s exciting challenges of sustainability, adaptive reuse, and new construction in historic districts, all while preserving the significant architectural features and character of the landmarked properties. This record of achievement is possible thanks to the property owners who are the stewards of their historic properties, architects who design creatively and are sensitive to the historic character of their projects, preservation advocates and community groups who participate in both the designation and public hearing processes, and our accomplished and dedicated Commissioners and talented and hard working staff.

While we have achieved great success, there is still much to be done. We continue to discover buildings and sites that connect us to our city's fascinating history of our city. As time passes, structures that were once considered new will be viewed from a different perspective, and will have the potential to become landmarks of the future. Change is constant in New York City; the vibrancy of the continually growing city is enhanced by the preservation of the historic fabric. It is this weaving of old and new that makes New York one of the most unique, visited, exciting, and beloved cities in the world.

In order to achieve these goals, we are always looking for ways to improve efficiency, transparency, and clarity in all of our processes. In this issue of the newsletter, we will introduce you to the latest LPC website features and revised application forms. We also give you an update on our designation activity, the Commission’s commemoration of the 50th Anniversary, and information about adapting historic buildings for sustainability and resiliency.

As always, I welcome your feedback as we work toward our common goal of protecting New York City’s past, and enriching its future.



On April 16, 2015, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the New York City Council presented Landmark Preservation Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan with a proclamation honoring the 50th anniversary of the Landmarks Law, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the preservation community. Chair Srinivasan accepted the award on behalf of the agency, Commissioners, and preservation advocates, many of whom were present for the proclamation ceremony.  We thank the City Council leadership and members for their longstanding support of the Commission and its work.


Information from Landmarks Preservation Commission public hearings/meetings is now more accessible than ever!

Public hearing presentations for proposed applications for work on designated properties are now posted on the LPC website on Fridays before public meetings and hearings. This enables interested parties to view presentation materials prior to hearings and meetings, and to prepare informed testimony for public hearings.

In addition, Commission decisions on applications presented at public hearings and meetings are now posted on our website and are searchable by address and/or docket number.


The Commission has introduced new, more user-friendly forms so that the public can easily submit complete applications, leading to speedier reviews! Click here to view and download LPC’s new forms.


The Commission has recently designated the Crown Heights North Historic District III and the Chester Court Historic District in Brooklyn, the Central Ridgewood Historic District in Queens, and has calendared the Mount Morris Park Historic District Extension in Manhattan. In addition, LPC has designated the Brooklyn Public Library Stone Avenue Branch in Brownsville - the first children’s public library in the country.


In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the agency has launched, a new website highlighting a year-long series of digital features and free to low cost events at landmark sites throughout New York City.

On April 19th 1965, in response to the mounting losses of historic buildings, most notably Pennsylvania Station, Mayor Robert F. Wagner signed the Landmarks Law. The law created the Landmarks Preservation Commission and gave the agency the authority to designate and preserve landmark structures throughout New York City. In the five decades since Mayor Wagner signed the Landmarks Law, the Commission has designated over 33,000 buildings as New York City Individual Landmarks or as part of one of the 114 New York City Historic Districts. The website highlights the history of the law, inviting a new generation of New Yorkers to learn more about the history of preservation in New York City.

In addition to featuring monthly upcoming events, features slide shows from LPC’s historic photo archives, blog posts on New York City Landmark buildings, and walking tours of historic sites throughout New York City!


Over two years ago, flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy exposed the vulnerabilities of many older buildings in low-lying areas across the City, including dozens of locally designated buildings in several historic districts and at least a few Individual Landmarks.  Understandably, this wakeup call was enough to prompt owners, tenants, and design professionals to consider options for improving the resiliency of their historic buildings and sites.  In support of these efforts, the Commission is developing policy and guidance for navigating these types of proposals through our review process. For an example, click here.


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