New York City’s Remarkable Landmarks Law

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

We look at the New York City buildings that have been saved thanks to our landmarks law, and the years of hard work that went into creating the law. Anthony Wood is the author of Preserving New York: Winning the Right to Protect A City's Landmarks.

Weigh in: What's your favorite NYC building that's been saved thanks to the landmarks law?


Anthony Wood

Comments [12]

metzel from nyc

Gene - yes! Must be a better way of sorting through it all.
My experiences with the commission have always been less than inspiring....and I believe in saving things. Just not mummifying.

Mar. 11 2008 02:28 PM

metzel makes good points, but the Poe House was part of a whole neighborhood anschlussed by NYU.

And what did NYU throw as a sop to those who would object?

They plugged in a _facade_ of the house into the new mega-monstrosity's face. Take visitors by--they are utterly flummoxed. "What is THAT?"

But Community Board #2 was pleased as punch.

Mar. 11 2008 01:57 PM
Kate Brehm from New York, NY

Carnegie Hall studios are under threat right now! They are technically protected by New York law as built for artists (including dancers, musicians, actors, painters) as live/work space. BUT Carnegie is threatening to destroy
them to build a music school. PLEASE HELP
Save the Carnegie Artsist

Mar. 11 2008 01:55 PM
Chicago listener

you've moved on from this point, but i believe chicago's landmark commission only has the power to recommend preservation. each of the city's 50 aldermen has wide latitude in granting demolition and building permits.

developers make huge "donations" to the aldermen. here is a rather beloved building that was lost

a hideous single family home now occupies the space.

Mar. 11 2008 01:52 PM
Megan Taylor from New York, NY

Two NYC Landmarks/National Monuments needs MORE protection - Castle Williams and Fort Jay on Governors Island. An organization called "New Globe Theater" wants to install a theater in the Castle and take over more than half of Fort Jay for actors' residences.

Mar. 11 2008 01:50 PM
Neal from Port Washington

Didn't Jane Jacobs contribute to the preservation efforts in NYC during the 50' & 60's?

Mar. 11 2008 01:49 PM
metzel from nyc

If a landmark is defined by a notable person who lived there at some point in time then half of NYC is a landmark. There should be a discussion
of architectural MERIT, neighborhood fabric not just being old or the former home of someone.

Then - why not put more emphasis on what is built new? NYU is slowly replaced its context with ridiculous architecture by mediocre architects with the support of the community boards.

Everyone feels fine because they get a bad imitation of what they think it once was or "should be" - basically blandness - instead of new ideas creating a new possibilities in a city that has always been a framework for change.

Mar. 11 2008 01:49 PM
seth from Toronto, former NY'er

I am interested in the topic of Columbia. I know my former university is undertaking a large expansion northward. Are there any historic land mark buildings at risk with this development?

Mar. 11 2008 01:47 PM

Also please address NYU and Columbia's destruction of lesser landmarkes (The Edgar Allen Poe House, ivy-covered tenements and the entire North side of W. 3rd St., for one area).

Also, please address the strange cooperation of Community Boards in these destructions.

Also, please address the redesign of Washington Square Park (moving the fountain to line up with the Arch?? Why are we enslaved by the OCD-sufferers of the world??)

Mar. 11 2008 01:39 PM
metzel from nyc

The idea of preservation needs to be applied in a more nuanced way - especially if you are describing it as "legislating based on aesthetics".

The landmarks commissions actions seem to all too often lock something in time with no hope for readaptation and reuse. We should be able to reimagine a piece of architecture based on new times, owners, demands while still keeping its essence.

Mar. 11 2008 01:39 PM

What's going on with the gorgeous Farley Post Office building on 8th Ave. and 31st St.?

Mar. 11 2008 01:34 PM
Cory from Brooklyn

Penn Station: McKim, Mead and White, 1910

Mar. 11 2008 01:30 PM

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