The Landmarks Preservation Commission

May 21, 2021

Municipal Filing Building – Location of the Landmarks Preservation Commission

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is the largest municipal preservation agency in the nation. It is responsible for protecting New York City’s architecturally, historically, and culturally significant buildings and sites by granting them landmark or historic district status and regulating them after designation.

The LPC was established in 1965 when Mayor
Robert Wagner signed the local law creating the Commission and giving it its
power. The Landmarks Law was enacted in response to the losses of historically
significant buildings in New York City, Pennsylvania Station being the most notable.

Designed by McKim, Mead & White and completed in 1911, the Beaux Arts-style train was demolished in 1963 to make way for Madison Square Garden and an underground commuter railroad station. Many believe that the situation involving the demolition of Penn Station helped save Grand Central Terminal along with other city landmarks from destruction.

Former Pennsylvania Station – Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey, 1962.

The agency is comprised of a panel of 11 commissioners who are appointed by the Mayor and supported by a staff of approximately 80 preservationists, researchers, architects, historians, attorneys, archaeologists, and administrative employees.

Potential landmarks are first nominated to the LPC from citizens, property owners, city government staff, or commissioners or other staff of the LPC. The LPC later conducts a survey of properties, visiting sites to determine which structures or properties should be researched further. The selected properties are then discussed at public hearings where support or opposition to a proposed landmark designation are recorded.

A Print Published in 1913 of Grand Central Terminal – New York Library

There are more than 37,000
landmark properties in New York City, most of which are in 149 historic
districts and historic district extensions in all five boroughs. The total
number of protected sites also includes 1,439 individual landmarks, 120
interior landmarks, and 11 scenic landmarks.

According to the Landmarks Law, the purpose
of safeguarding the buildings and places that represent New York City’s
cultural, social, economic, political, and architectural history is to:

  • Stabilize
    and improve property values
  • Foster
    civic pride
  • Protect
    and enhance the City’s attractions to tourists
  • Strengthen
    the economy of the City
  • Promote
    the use of historic districts, landmarks, interior landmarks, and scenic
    landmarks for the education, pleasure and welfare of the people of the City

HLZAE works closely with property owners and regulatory agencies such as the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to protect the historic, architectural, and aesthetic significance of buildings. Our staff assesses a building’s character defining features with the state of deterioration, contributing factors and past repair history to compile an appropriate scope of work. The compiled scope not only considers the importance of the historic and structural integrity of a building but also the financial planning.

At HLZAE, we integrate our inspection, design, and construction services to prolong the lifespan of buildings. Our team of experts approaches projects with a strong understanding of traditional building materials and methodologies as well as incorporating new cutting-edge technologies and repair alternatives when appropriate. With each project, we evaluate the alternatives for traditional versus contemporary repair techniques and advise clients on decisions subject to landmark requirements. 

If your landmark building is in need of restoration, let our team of experts help you take all the necessary steps to preserve your building.

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