Guidelines for Monuments and Memorials

The Public Design Commission supports the installation of monuments or memorials to commemorate people, places, and events significant to New York City’s history. The PDC discourages monuments/memorials for people, places, and events that have been recognized as significant for a period of less than 20 years, unless they are of exceptional importance. Monuments to living persons will not be considered. A professional historian with expertise on the subject must provide a written statement establishing the significance of each subject and thoroughly vet any proposed text and images.

Proposals will also be evaluated on the following:

  • For an historical event, the monument/memorial should be located at or near the scene of the event or in a place as closely or logically related to the event as possible.
  • For a person, the monument/memorial should be located at or near the scene of an event with which the person is identified or in a place closely identified with that person.
  • For a monument/memorial to multiple persons, a single location should be selected at or near the scene of an important event with which they are jointly identified or in a place with which they are jointly identified.
  • For a monument to a place, the site should (1) be associated with important historic events or activities, or with the lives of important persons; (2) include buildings, structures, or monuments, whether existing or vanished, of special or distinctive design, construction or character, or have otherwise made an important contribution to the City’s cultural, social, economic, or political history; (3) sustain or nurture community traditions and identity; and/or (4) include notable archaeological sites or landscape features.
  • Monuments/memorials should be oriented to ensure legibility and minimize any contribution to pedestrian congestion.