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 agency is comprised of a panel of 11 commissioners who are appointed by the Mayor and supported by a staff of approximately 70 preservationists, researchers, architects, historians, attorneys, archaeologists, and administrative employees.
There are more than 36,000 landmark properties in New York City, most of which are located in 141 historic districts and historic district extensions in all five boroughs. The total number of protected sites also includes 1,398 individual landmarks, 119 interior landmarks, and 10 scenic landmarks.
History of LPC & the Landmarks Law
The Commission was created in 1965 through groundbreaking legislation signed by the late Mayor Robert F. Wagner in response to the losses of historically significant buildings in New York City, most notably, Pennsylvania Station.
Designed by the famous architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White and completed in 1911, the Beaux Arts-style train station occupied two full City blocks from 31st to 33rd streets between Seventh and Eighth avenues, and was demolished in 1963 to make way for Madison Square Garden and an underground commuter railroad station.
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
The full text of the Landmarks Law is available through an online portal to the Charter, Administrative Code, and Rules of the City of New York
. To read the law, see Title 25, Chapter 3 of the Administrative Code