Monuments Policy

Review criteria for proposed new monuments on city property that are privately funded.

The City will convene relevant City agencies to review applications for new public monuments. This interagency team will convene quarterly or as needed to review proposals. The interagency team will include, but will not be limited to, the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Public Design Commission, and the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Housing and Economic Development. Please note that the City is not able to approve every monument proposed for city property.

  1. No individuals who are currently alive will be considered for commemoration. Only individuals who have passed away and who are known for achievements that occurred at least 20 years ago will be considered.

  2. The City is interested in considering projects that will increase the diversity of monuments on public property. The Public Design Commission has recently concluded a survey of public monuments, available in their most recent annual report. Preference will be given to subjects that are not already honored in publicly-accessible sites in New York City.

  3. Each monument that is proposed to the city needs to be accompanied by a historical justification. This text needs to be prepared by a qualified professional historian. The justification should address the legacy of the individual, group, or event and its place in New York City history. This document should be between 500 and 1000 words in length.

  4. Each proposal must include a document that demonstrates the feasibility of the project. This includes a proposed budget and a fundraising plan that shows the ability to raise the money for both commissioning and long-term maintenance of the work, and the nonprofit entity that will be collecting and administering donations.

  5. The group proposing a new memorial should propose a site, with the understanding that, if the proposal is approved, final site selection will be made by the relevant City agency (typically Parks, DOT, or EDC) based on a variety of factors including but not limited to site control, feasibility, maintenance, public safety, connection to subject, context within the city, and more.

  6. Artist selection for the design of each new monument that is approved will be conducted by the Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art program.

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