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 the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC).
“Potential landmarks and historic districts are identified by the Landmarks Preservation Commission through surveys and other commission-initiated research. Commission surveys and research may include properties suggested by members of the public through Requests for Evaluation. Surveys serve as inventories of the city’s significant buildings, and as planning tools that enable LPC to establish priorities and set goals for designating the next generation of landmarks and historic districts,” says Damaris Olivo, the director of communications with the LPC.
There are 92 historic districts across the city, with the Upper West Side and Upper East Side each home to more than 2,000 landmark buildings.
“The Landmarks [Preservation] Commission are building preservationists, and they care about the original design and what it was tailored for,” says Wayne Bellet, owner of Manhattan-based Wayne Bellet Construction Co., Inc., which has done hundreds of restoration projects of historic buildings in Manhattan. “I admire what they do.”