Spring 2018

Inside This Issue


Meenakshi Srinivasan
Greetings from the Chair

As you'll read in this issue, the Commission has been very active with its designation agenda during the past couple of months. There are 9 new individual landmarks, one scenic landmark, and a new historic district. I am especially proud of advancing the designation of the Coney Island (Riegelmann) Boardwalk, the Central Harlem - West 130-132nd Streets Historic District, and three buildings in East Harlem. A centerpiece of my tenure has been to increase our appreciation of the social and cultural contributions of different communities through our designations, and these designations shine a light on New York City's rich social and cultural heritage.

The Coney Island Boardwalk, now the 11th scenic landmark in New York City, has welcomed people of all walks of life since it opened 95 years ago, ensuring the public could freely access the beach and ocean. Its history is unique and unparalleled, and it reflects the City's progressive policies of inclusion and access, as welcomes all New Yorkers. It is no wonder that the Boardwalk is a fixture in the minds and hearts of communities in the city and all over the world.

Our designations in East Harlem gave us the opportunity to tell the history and contributions of a diverse array of immigrants, Puerto Rican New Yorkers and celebrate the city's diversity. These three buildings embody East Harlem's unique development history and highlight how civic institutions and businesses helped shape the lives of the neighborhood's immigrant groups.

The Central Harlem - West 130-132nd Streets Historic District is a remarkable reminder of the significant role the African American community of Harlem played in creating political and social change in the city and nation, particularly during the Harlem Renaissance through the civil rights movement. That Scott Joplin lived in this charming enclave, or that the National Headquarters for the March on Washington is located here, makes it even more important to preserve.

This rich group of landmark properties is particularly special to me, not only because they remind me of why I, and so many like me, seek to live and work in New York and make it our home, but also because these will be my last designations as I leave this agency for other pursuits.

It has been the greatest privilege to serve this city of my dreams for 28 years, and to Chair and lead this Commission over the last four years. A very wise friend gave me career advice when I joined the Department of City Planning as a junior planner - "find the work that that will fulfill your spirit." And working to shape the City of New York for the future, at the Department of City Planning, at the Board of Standards and Appeals, and finally, at the Landmarks Preservation Commission, did just that - fulfilled my spirit.

Our landmarks and historic districts fulfill people's spirits every day. How poetic is that!

Wish you all the very best,
Meenakshi Srinivasan

Frederick Bland
Mayor Appoints Vice Chair

LPC Commissioner Frederick Bland has been appointed Vice Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Commissioner Bland is an architect and managing partner of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP, a firm known for restoring and renovating historic buildings. As Vice Chair, he will preside over the Commission's Public Hearings and Public Meetings until a new Chair is in office.

Landmark Designations

The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated 9 new individual landmarks, one scenic landmark, and a new historic district during the first five months of 2018. Read more about them below.


Hotel Seville and Emmet Building
LPC Designates Hotel Seville and Emmet Building

On March 6, 2018, the Commission designated two historic buildings in Manhattan's Madison Square North neighborhood as individual landmarks: Hotel Seville, now the James NoMad Hotel at 22 East 29th Street and the Emmet Building at 95 Madison Avenue. These two historic buildings represent the neighborhood's evolution from affluent residential blocks to a bustling commercial and business district. Read more about them here.


The Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh and Dr. Maurice Thomas Lewis House
Two Brooklyn Buildings Get Landmark Status

On March 6, 2018, the Commission (LPC) designated the Dr. Maurice Thomas Lewis House at 404 55th Street in Sunset Park as an individual landmark. This building is a rare example of a freestanding single-family home, significant to the early-20th century architectural development of Sunset Park in Brooklyn. Read more about it here.

The Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh at 209 Havemeyer Street was designated on March 27, 2018. This early-20th century building is significant for its elegant design and history associated with Williamsburg's development as a financial center. Read more about it here.


Public School 109, the Richard Webber Harlem Packing House, the Benjamin Franklin High School
Three East Harlem Buildings Are Now Landmarks

On March 27, 2018, the Commission designated three buildings in East Harlem as individual landmarks: Public School 109 (now El Barrio's Artspace P.S. 109) at 215 East 99th Street, the Richard Webber Harlem Packing House at 207-215 East 119th Street, and the Benjamin Franklin High School (now the Manhattan School for Science and Math) at 260 Pleasant Avenue. These three historic buildings represent the rich history and evolution of East Harlem during the 19th and 20th centuries. Read more about them here.


Coney Island (Riegelmann) Boardwalk
NYC's Iconic Coney Island Boardwalk Becomes a Scenic Landmark on its 95th Birthday

On May 15, 2018, the Commission designated the Coney Island (Riegelmann) Boardwalk a scenic landmark in recognition of its cultural and historical significance. Since opening on May 15, 1923, the Coney Island Boardwalk has been one of the best-known waterfront promenades in the world, providing access to the beach, amusements, and spectacular ocean views. Read more about it here.

On May 25, 2018, LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan joined Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and elected officials to celebrate the Coney Island beach opening and designation of the boardwalk. During the event, the Mayor unveiled the scenic landmark designation marker to promote and commemorate the boardwalk's landmark status. The marker, funded by the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation, will be installed on the boardwalk between 10th and 12th streets across The Wonder Wheel, another NYC landmark.


West 130-132nd Street Historic District
Check Out LPC's Newest Historic District

On May 29, 2018, the Commission designated the Central Harlem - West 130-132nd Street Historic District, located between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. This mid-block historic district is not only representative of Central Harlem's residential architecture, but the rich social, cultural, and political life of its African American population in the 20th century. Read more about it here.

To celebrate the designation of the district and its significance, LPC launched an interactive story map called Explore the Central Harlem - West 130th-132nd Streets Historic District. Check it out here.


the Firehouse, Engine Companies 264 & 328/Hook and Ladder 134 at 16-15 Central Avenue, and the 53rd (now 101st) Precinct Police Station at 16-12 Mott Avenue
LPC Designates Two Civic Buildings in Far Rockaway

On May 29, 2018, the Commission designated two historic buildings in Far Rockaway, Queens as individual landmarks: the Firehouse, Engine Companies 264 & 328/Hook and Ladder 134 at 16-15 Central Avenue, and the 53rd (now 101st) Precinct Police Station at 16-12 Mott Avenue. These buildings are outstanding examples of early-20th century civic buildings and represent a period of significant growth in Far Rockaway. Read more about them here.


Hans S. Christian Memorial Kindergarten
New on the Commission's Calendar

On April 10, 2018, the Commission voted to calendar two properties in Brooklyn: the Hans S. Christian Memorial Kindergarten at 236 President Street and 238 President Street. These buildings are architecturally and culturally significant representations of the residential development and rich history of Carroll Gardens.


collage of building facades
Proposed Rule Changes

On January 23, 2018, the Commission voted to calendar a proposal to amend LPC's existing rules in order to make its regulatory process more transparent, efficient, and user-friendly, as well as address demands on its regulatory function as more landmarks are designated in the future. Read more about the proposed rules here.

LPC has been meeting with all stakeholders, including preservation groups, for more than a year on this initiative. The Commission held a public hearing on March 27, 2018 and accepted written comments through May 8, 2018. LPC staff presented an overview of the public comments received and explained how they have informed a revised proposal of the rules changes on May 29, 2018. The Commissioners voiced support for the proposed revisions. Next steps include drafting the revisions to the Proposed Rules and bringing it back to the Commission for a vote. LPC will continue to do outreach to stakeholders, including preservation groups and community boards, as we move toward this final step.


Permit Application Finder site
Increasing Transparency and Public Access

On May 23, 2018, LPC launched Permit Application Finder, a new interactive web map that will for the first time allow the public to see geographically where LPC permits have been filed and issued and what that work entails. The Commission has also enhanced its online Permit Application Search, which now gives the public the ability to search by community district and work type. These new search tools are part of the agency's strategic plan to provide greater transparency and public access to the Commission's work. Read more about it here.


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