Winter 2020

Inside This Issue

Sarah Carroll
Greetings from the Chair

As you'll read in this issue, over the past several months, the Commission has focused on initiatives to ensure equity, accessibility, and efficiency in our work. On the designation front, we prioritized the designation of buildings and sites that reflect the city's diversity and history and communities that have been less represented by designations. These include the designation of five individual landmarks that recognize Tin Pan Alley's contributions to American popular music and the significant achievements of songwriters and publishers of color (see New Designations below), and the proposed designation of the Manida Street Historic District in the South Bronx (see New on the Commission's Calendar). We continue to study buildings and communities throughout the five boroughs through the lens of equity to identify landmarks that represent all New Yorkers.

To make the agency's processes clear and accessible to all and ensure that appropriate work is approved as quickly as possible, we launched new tools, including the LPC Permit Guidebook: How to Get Staff-Level Approvals and new application forms (see LPC Launches New Permit Application Guide and Forms to Make it Easier to Apply For and More Quickly Obtain Permits). Outreach and education are also essential to our success, which is why we have been going directly to the communities to talk about the agency's work and the importance of preservation (see Raising Awareness about Preservation).

We have accomplished a lot these past several months thanks to the hard work of our staff, and I'm excited for what is yet to come.

Wishing you all the best,

Sarah Carroll

New on the Commission's Calendar
New on the Commission's Calendar

LPC Calendars a Historic District in the South Bronx

On January 21, 2020, the Commission unanimously voted to calendar the Manida Street Historic District in the Bronx. This block of semi-detached brick houses is a remarkable example of the early-20th century construction boom that occurred in the South Bronx as a result of expanded transportation routes and industry in the area. Read more about it here.

Calendaring is the first formal step in the designation process. Once calendared, LPC will hold a public hearing on the proposed designation at a future date, followed by a public meeting during which the Commission will vote on the designation.

New Designations

Tin Pan Alley in Manhattan
LPC Designates Five Historic Buildings Associated with Tin Pan Alley

On December 10, 2019, the Commission designated five historic buildings on West 28th Street in Manhattan: 47 West 28th Street, 49 West 28th Street, 51 West 28th Street, 53 West 28th Street and55 West 28th Street. These buildings are an intact part of a block known as Tin Pan Alley, home to the most significant concentration of sheet music publishers in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. While on this block — so named to describe the audible racket of piano music that made 28th Street sound "like a tin pan alley" — these firms revolutionized the music-publishing industry's practices for the creation, promotion and consumption of popular music as we know it today. Read more about the designation here.


Large red brick factory building in Gowanus, Brooklyn
LPC Designates Five Historic Buildings in Gowanus as Individual Landmarks

On October 29, 2019, the Commission designated five historic buildings in Gowanus as individual landmarks: the Somers Brothers Tinware Factory (later American Can Company) at 238-246 3rd Street; the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT) Central Power Station Engine House at 153 2nd Street; the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel Pumping Station and Gate House at 196 Butler Street; the Montauk Paint Manufacturing Company Building at 170 2nd Avenue, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Brooklyn Office, Shelter and Garage at 233 Butler Street. These five buildings represent the area's most prominent, architecturally distinctive and historically significant properties. Read more about the designation here.

Cover of LCP Permit Guidebook
LPC Launches New Permit Application Guide and Forms to Make it Easier to Apply For and More Quickly Obtain a Permits

On December 5, 2019, LPC launched an updated edition of the Permit Application Guide, now named the LPC Permit Guidebook: How to Get Staff-Level Approvals and new application forms to make it easier for property owners and tenants looking to do work on landmark properties. The enhanced guidebook and application forms are designed to help applicants understand the Commission's processes and rules and the information needed to submit a complete application so they can get their permits as quickly as possible. Read more about it here.

The guidebook can be downloaded for free as a comprehensive document or by chapter on our website here. If you would like to purchase it as a bound book, it is available at the CityStore. It can be purchased online here or at the store located at 1 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007.

five pictures of buildings
LPC Releases Story Map Highlighting 50 Years of Designations Associated with NYC's Abolitionist History

On December 12, LPC launched an interactive story map called New York City and the Path to Freedom as part of its efforts to make information and research more accessible. New York City played an important role in the effort to abolish slavery nationwide, and to assist those seeking to escape it. In observation of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to America, LPC wanted to bring greater awareness to the city's abolitionist history by telling the story through designated landmarks that embody it. Through narrative text, images, maps, and multimedia content, the public can learn the important history behind these buildings. Read more about it here.

collage of five buildings
LPC Awards Five New Grants to Help Homeowners and Non-Profit Organizations Restore their Buildings

On January 16, 2020, LPC announced that it has awarded five new grants through its Historic Preservation Grant Program to help low-to-moderate-income homeowners and non-profit organizations make much needed repairs to their landmark properties. The grant recipients for fiscal year 2020, one in each borough, will receive between $10,000 and $35,000 to restore, repair or rehabilitate the facades of their buildings and hands-on technical assistance from staff throughout the project. Read more about it here.

Since the grant program is federally funded, LPC is encouraging communities to participate in the upcoming 2020 Census to help ensure everyone gets counted because this information could impact the amount of federal funding the City receives for programs like this. Learn more about how to get counted here.


People attending an information session in an auditorium
Raising Awareness about Preservation

Over the past six months, LPC has been working with elected officials, community boards and other stakeholders to help raise awareness on the agency's work and the importance of preservation. On November 7, 2019, we joined the NY State Historic Preservation Office and the Historic Districts Council to talk to Stuyvesant Heights Historic District homeowners about the Historic Preservation Grant Program which offers financial aid for restoring their homes. On December 4, 2019, we hosted an information session for historic property owners in the Douglaston Historic District with NY State Senator John C. Liu and Community Board 11 in Queens. In partnership with Council Members Justin Brannan and Carlos Menchaca, we held information sessions for residents of the Bay Ridge Parkway-Doctors' Row Historic District and Sunset Park historic districts on January 9, 2020 and January 16, 2020. We will continue to increase outreach about the benefits and responsibilities of preservation.

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