FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, January 28, 2016
LANDMARKS COMMISSION TO ACT ON 95 BACKLOG PROPERTIES
(New York, NY)- On Tuesday, February 23rd, The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will hold a Public Meeting to take actions on its 95 backlog properties. These properties were calendared by the Commission over the past 50 years for consideration for designation, but were never acted upon. The backlog consists of items throughout the five boroughs that were placed on the Commission's calendar prior to 2010, of which 85 percent were calendared 20 or more years ago.
The Commission held four Special Hearings on the backlog last fall, giving the public an opportunity to testify on the 95 properties. In addition to thousands of pages of documents already in its files and made available online, the Commissioners heard nearly 12 hours of verbal testimony from more than 300 speakers and received thousands of pages of additional written testimony submitted by the public. At the February 23rd meeting, based on all of the available information, Commissioners will decide whether to: (1) prioritize properties for designation; (2) remove non-priority properties from the calendar by taking No Action. No Action is an administrative process that allows an item to be taken off the calendar without judgment on the merits, and allows it to be reconsidered for designation without prejudice in the future; or (3) remove properties from the calendar by voting to not designate based on merit.
"Last summer the Commission embarked on an initiative to, in less than 18 months, address a backlog that was created over a 50-year period," said Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan. "After a very successful, transparent and efficient hearing process, the agency has spent months analyzing all of the testimony submitted by the public and conducting further research on all 95 items. I'd like to thank Borough President Gale Brewer for her support for addressing the backlog and for her important role in bringing different stakeholders together to support her recommendations to the Commission regarding this process."
"This meeting marks a real achievement -- working together, we devised a transparent and orderly process to clear the Landmarks Preservation Commission's backlog," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "As one of our country's oldest and most diverse cities, New York has a wealth of historic, cultural, and artistic treasures in its streetscape that are worth preserving for future generations. The Landmarks Law works to do just that, when we work together and devote the right resources to the task. I’m thrilled that I and my staff could help the Landmarks Preservation Commission devise and pursue this backlog plan, and I look forward to learning which backlogged buildings and spaces will become city landmarks."
In 2015, after considering feedback from a wide cross-section of stakeholders, including preservationists, architects, developers, community boards, property owners and elected officials, including Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, the agency established a plan to address the backlog efficiently and allow for input from the public.
In July 2015, the Commission released a three-phase plan to address the backlog, which included a Public Review Period with more than 15,000 pages of material on the backlog properties available online, Special Public Hearings for backlog items, and Public Meetings for Commission decisions.
Items prioritized for designation will be brought back to the Commission for a vote by the end of the year, and by doing so the Commission anticipates that the backlog of calendared items will be resolved by the end of 2016.
Details of the Backlog Initiative can be accessed on the LPC website.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission is the mayoral agency responsible for protecting and preserving New York City's architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites. Since its creation in 1965, LPC has granted landmark status to more than 34,000 buildings and sites, including 1352 individual landmarks, 117 interior landmarks, 10 scenic landmarks, and 138 historic districts and extensions in all five boroughs. Under the City’s landmarks law, considered among the most powerful in the nation, the Commission must be comprised of at least three architects, a historian, a realtor, a planner or landscape architect, as well as a representative of each borough.
Contact: Damaris Olivo / 212-669-7938