Fall 2018

Inside This Issue


Sarah Carroll
Greetings from the Chair

I am so honored to have been asked to chair the Landmarks Preservation Commission. When I was a young preservationist, my goal was to work for the largest and strongest municipal preservation agency in the country to protect the city I grew up in and loved. For the past 24 years, I have been able to do just that and it's been a gratifying experience to have contributed to protecting and shaping our built environment.

In thinking about my appointment, I have reflected on my years at the LPC. I am amazed to realize that I have been with the Commission, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015, for nearly half of its existence. During this time, I have seen the agency grow both in size and capacity. The Commission has designated close to 15,500 buildings and sites since I began working at LPC in 1994, bringing the number of total buildings and sites to over 36,000. Designations have expanded across the boroughs. When I started, Manhattan had the most designated buildings and sites, and now Brooklyn is the borough with the largest number with nearly 15,900 designated buildings and sites. The number of applications we receive annually has also grown significantly from approximately 5,000 to more than 14,000 per year, and staff has increased over the years to meet the demands.

The use of technology has revolutionized the way we work and allowed unprecedented access to aspects of the Commission's work. We've gone from hand typing designation reports and permits, to using databases that provide alerts, tracking and monitoring of the agency's work. When I started, the agency only had intranet and only a select few staff could confirm whether a property was designated. Today, we have an interactive web map that can be used by any member of the public to look up a designated property and access specific data on that property.

I am excited to now look to the future and get to work tackling our challenges and partnering with our colleagues in the preservation community to continue to designate and protect properties that reflect city’s rich and diverse history. At the same time, I will continue to find ways to increase efficiency in our regulatory work while maintaining a thorough, hands-on approach to regulation, and will continue to leverage technology to make all of our work accessible and raise awareness on the importance of our work.

I look forward to continuing to work together to make preservation in New York City successful so that we can ensure LPC remains the largest and strongest preservation agency in the nation.

Wish you all the best,
Sarah Carroll

LPC Designates a New Historic District in Brooklyn
LPC Designates a New Historic District in Brooklyn

On June 26, 2018, the Commission designated the Boerum Hill Historic District Extension in Brooklyn. Encompassing residential blocks and an important commercial corridor, this historic district represents the diverse cultural and economic history of Boerum Hill, as well as its largely intact 19th century architecture.

The Boerum Hill Historic District Extension consists of approximately 288 buildings in three distinct areas and is directly adjacent to the existing Boerum Hill Historic District designated in 1973. They share a similar development history. Read more about it here.

550 Madison
Postmodern icon AT&T Building Becomes an Individual Landmark

On July 31, 2018, the Commission designated the AT&T Corporate Headquarters Building as an individual landmark. This building, later known as Sony Plaza and now 550 Madison Avenue, is an icon of the Manhattan skyline and of postmodern architecture.

The AT&T building, which has generated widespread critical and media attention since its inception, is considered one of the most important postmodernist buildings in the world and it is one of Johnson/Burgee's most celebrated works to this day. Read more about it here.

236-238 President Street
Two Brooklyn Buildings Get Landmark Status

On September 18, 2018, the Commission designated the Hans S. Christian Memorial Kindergarten at 236 President Street and 238 President Street in Brooklyn as individual landmarks. These two historic buildings associated to Elmira Christian, an advocate for early childhood education, are architecturally and culturally significant representations of the residential development and rich history of Carroll Gardens.

The Hans S. Christian Memorial Kindergarten is considered the first purpose-built free kindergarten in Brooklyn, while the adjacent 238 President Street served as the Brooklyn Deaconess Home for the Methodist Episcopal Church and later became the home of Reverend Alberto B. Baez and his wife Thalia, founders of New York City's oldest Spanish-language Methodist church. They also used the adjacent kindergarten building for their Spanish services. Read more about the designation here.

New on the Commission's Calendar

Union Square
7 Broadway Buildings South of Union Square Proposed as Individual Landmarks

On, September 25, 2018, the Commission voted to calendar 7 buildings on Broadway as individual landmarks: 817 Broadway, 826 Broadway, 830 Broadway, 832 Broadway, 836 Broadway, 840 Broadway, and 841 Broadway. These historic buildings located between East 12th and East 14th streets are architecturally distinctive and highly intact representations of an important era in the development of Broadway in the area south of Union Square.


Park Terrace West
LPC Proposes a New Historic District in Inwood

The Commission also calendared a historic district in Inwood: the Park Terrace West-West 217th Street Historic District. The proposed district consists of a picturesque enclave of fifteen early 20th-century Tudor and Colonial Revival style houses.


Historic District Marker Unveiled in DUMBO
Historic District Marker Unveiled in DUMBO

On August 24, 2018, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation (NYLPF), and the DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance unveiled a historic district marker to promote and commemorate the designation of the DUMBO Historic District in Brooklyn. A total of three markers, funded by the DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance, were installed throughout the district. They feature a map on one side and a brief description and history of the district on the other. Read more about it here.

Rules Collage
Proposed Rule Changes Move Forward

For the past two years, LPC has been engaged in a process to amend its rules to streamline the process for approving every day work on designated properties, and make the regulatory process more efficient and transparent for applicants, neighbors and the public.

After almost a year of outreach to stakeholders, the LPC held a public hearing in March of this year on a package of amendments. LPC staff reviewed the comments received during the public hearing process and, on May 28, 2018, briefed the Commissioners on the staff’s responses to the testimony and proposed revisions to the proposed amendments.

LPC decided to hold a second public hearing to solicit public input on the revised amendments. This second hearing was held on October 16, 2018, at which the Commission heard testimony from preservation groups, property owners, community groups and members of the public. There was general agreement that the revisions were very responsive to the concerns and suggestions raised in the first hearing, although some asked that the Commission to consider making additional changes. Staff is now reviewing these comments and suggestions. Read more about the Proposed Rules here.
LPC Releases New Guidelines for Archaeological Work in NYC
LPC Releases New Guidelines for Archaeological Work in NYC

On October 4, 2018, LPC announced the release of new Guidelines for Archaeological Work in New York City. These new guidelines, revised to reflect changes in state and federal regulations, as well as new methods and practices, will provide greater clarity for applicants navigating LPC's environmental and archaeological review process.

The new Guidelines for Archaeological Work in NYC, available for download on the LPC website, include more information on important topics such as permanent datums or measurements of where archaeological resources are found, how to manage artifacts and the appropriate treatment of human remains. The document also includes new sections on excavation standards and archaeological analysis. Read more about it here.

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