In November of 2008, New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designated seven new properties with landmark status—New York University’s University Village, the Guardian Life Insurance Co. annex, the Morris B. Sanders House, the New School’s former Baumann Bros. store, Pratt’s Manhattan Campus, an ex-FDNY firehouse, and a New York City Parks Department pool complex. The new additions make bring the total number of landmarks in the five boroughs to an impressive 1,212.
“Each of these landmarks is an icon, and each has a lot to say about the city’s architectural evolution, as well as its social and historic development,” said Commission Chairman Robert B. Tierney on the historic day. “It’s a great day for preservation in New York City—particularly for modern architecture.”
Historic landmarks offer striking examples of New York City’s rich architectural heritage and the vintage architecture is one of the New York’s greatest charms. But not all landmarked buildings are commercial or public structures—many house co-op or condo communities. While these historically and architecturally significant buildings are highly desirable places to live, they come with some unique concerns when it comes to maintenance and restoration projects.
What it Takes
Not every building that applies for historic landmark status gets its wish. If the owners of a building in New York City are considering asking for landmark status, there is a process that needs to be followed, starting with filing a Request For Evaluation of Landmark Potential with LPC.
“We do an evaluation and determine if there is something worth pursuing and worth recommending to our 11 appointed commissioners. A building has to be at least 30 years old and of special historical, cultural and/or architectural significance to the city of New York,” says Lisi de Bourbon, the commission’s public information officer. “It requires a great deal of research and collaboration with the public, advocacy groups, the City Council and other elected officials.”