Press Release

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Latest review leads to action: 30 sites for landmark status, including Greenwood Cemetery, Pepsi Cola sign, Bergdorf Goodman store, Prince’s Bay Lighthouse, Immaculate Conception Church

(New York, NY) – At a public meeting today, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) made determinations on properties that were calendared prior to 2010 and were not acted upon, marking a significant milestone in LPC’s Backlog Initiative. The decisions are based upon extensive outreach and research by the Commission. Thirty sites that have gone decades without action will now be prioritized for landmark status, including three buildings in Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery, the Pepsi Cola sign in Long Island City, Staten Island’s Prince’s Bay Lighthouse, Immaculate Conception Church in the Bronx and Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman store.

In 2015, after considering feedback from a wide cross-section of stakeholders, including preservationists, architects, developers, community boards, property owners and elected officials, including Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, the agency established a plan to address the backlog efficiently and allow for input from the public. The three-phase plan to address the backlog included a Public Review Period with more than 15,000 pages of material on the backlog properties available online.

The Commission held four Special Hearings on the backlog last fall, giving the public an opportunity to testify and submit information on these calendared properties. In addition to documents already in LPC files and made available online, the Commissioners heard nearly 12 hours of verbal testimony from more than 300 speakers and received additional written testimony submitted by the public. At the public meeting, LPC staff presented summaries of the testimony and written submissions for each item, as well as the agency’s own research and recommendations; the Commissioners then discussed and made decisions on all of the backlog properties.

Most of the backlog properties had been on the calendar for 20 years or more. Based on extensive feedback and research undertaken by the Commission, Commissioners decided to prioritize 30 properties for designation by the end of 2016, putting them on the path to becoming City landmarks. It also voted to remove five sites from the calendar based on their lack of merit, and to remove a further 43 sites from the calendar due to site-specific issues by issuing No Action Letters, which will allow them to be placed back on the calendar at a future date, should new information or historical interest in them arise. The Commission noted several reasons for removing properties from the calendar by issuing No Action Letters, including questions regarding their relative significance, alterations that have reduced sites’ historical features, and the presence of other regulatory controls that serve to protect the structures from future alteration or demolition.

“As the City’s expert body on historic preservation, the Commission has spent months analyzing testimony and conducting further research on these items,” said Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan. “Our actions today represent an important step in addressing this backlog.  While challenging, I believe it was very much needed – the Commission’s designation process should be open, fair and reasonable, and this is a necessary step to achieve that goal. I am pleased that with significant public input, the Commission has identified 30 items which we will advance towards designation in 2016.”

“Today’s votes mark a real achievement: the Landmarks Preservation Commission is clearing its backlog through a transparent, public, accountable process,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The IRT Powerhouse on the West Side and the Loews Theater in Washington Heights are just two of the 30 gems deserving protection that will have it, because of the Commission’s action today. I thank the Commission for working with me to devise this process and for diligently following through. Working together, we’ve proved the system can work.”

Items prioritized for designation will be brought back to the Commission for a vote by the end of the year, and the agency anticipates that the backlog of calendared items will be resolved by the end of 2016. Properties prioritized for designation include Immaculate Conception Church and 65 Schofield Street House in the Bronx; Lady Moody-Van Sicklen House and three structures in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn; the Pepsi Cola Sign and the Bowne Street Community Church in Queens; Vanderbilt Mausoleum and Prince’s Bay Lighthouse in Staten Island; and Bergdorf Goodman and the YMCA, Harlem Branch in Manhattan.

Items prioritized for designation are as follows. For a list of all Commission actions please visit LPC's website.


Prioritized for Designation:

  1. Immaculate Conception, Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Convent and Priests’ Residence, 375-395 East 150th Street
  2. 65 Schofield Street House, 65 Schofield Street, Bronx, CD 10


Prioritized for Designation:

  1. 183-195 Broadway Building, 183-195 Broadway, Brooklyn, CD
  2. Williamsburg Trust Co. Building (Ukranian Church in Exile Holy Trinity Cathedral), 177 South 5th Street, Brooklyn, CD 1
  3. St. Augustine's Roman Catholic Church and Rectory, 130 Sixth Avenue, Brooklyn, CD 6
  4. Greenwood Cemetery, Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, CD 7
  5. Lady Moody-Van Sicklen House, 27 Gravesend Neck Road, Brooklyn, CD 15
  6. St. Barbara's Roman Catholic Church, 138 Bleecker Street, Brooklyn, CD 4


Prioritized for Designation:

  1. Bowne Street Community Church, 38-01 Bowne Street, Queens, CD 7
  2. Lydia Ann Bell and William Ahles House, 39-26 213th Street, Queens, CD 11
  3. Pepsi Cola Sign, 4600 Fifth Street, Queens, CD 2


Prioritized for Designation:

  1. 92 Harrison Street House, 92 Harrison Street, CD 1
  2. George W. Curtis House, 234 Bard Avenue, CD 1
  3. St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Rectory, 1331 Bay Street, CD 1
  4. Vanderbilt Mausoleum and Cemetery, Moravian Cemetery, Richmond Road and Altamont St., CD 2
  5. Brougham Cottage, 4746 Amboy Road, CD3
  6. Prince’s Bay Lighthouse and Keeper’s House, Hylan Boulevard, CD 3
  7. Lakeman House, 2286 Richmond Road, CD 2


Prioritized for Designation:

  1. 315 Broadway Building, 315 Broadway, Manhattan, CD 1
  2. 57 Sullivan Street House, 57 Sullivan Street, Manhattan, CD 2
  3. Interborough Rapid Transit Powerhouse, now Consolidated Edison Powerhouse, 850 12th Avenue (aka 840 Joe DiMaggio Highway), Manhattan, CD 4
  4. Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, CD 5
  5. Edgar J. Kaufman Conference Rooms, Lecture Hall and Elevator Lobby, 809 United Nations Plaza, Manhattan, CD6
  6. St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Parish House & Rectory, 227 West 99th Street, Manhattan, CD 7
  7. 412 East 85th Street House, 412 East 85th Street, Manhattan CD 8
  8. St. Joseph’s Church, 401-403 West 125th Street, Manhattan, CD 9
  9. Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Building, Harlem Branch (now Jackie Robinson YMCA Youth Center), 181 West 135th Street, Manhattan, CD 10
  10. St. Paul’s Church and School, 121 East 117th Street, Manhattan, CD 11
  11. Loew’s 175th Street Theater, 4140 Broadway, Manhattan, CD 12
  12. Excelsior Power Company Building, 33-43 Gold Street, Manhattan, CD 1


The Landmarks Preservation Commission is the mayoral agency responsible for protecting and preserving New York City’s architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites. Since its creation in 1965, LPC has granted landmark status to more than 34,000 buildings and sites, including 1352 individual landmarks, 117 interior landmarks, 10 scenic landmarks, and 138 historic districts and extensions in all five boroughs. Under the City's landmarks law, considered among the most powerful in the nation, the Commission must be comprised of at least three architects, a historian, a realtor, a planner or landscape architect, as well as a representative of each borough.

Contact: Damaris Olivo / 212-669-7938