Backlog Initiative


On December 13, 2016, the Landmarks Commission successfully concluded its Backlog Initiative, bringing the number of properties designated through this effort to 27. Commission votes on the backlog sites took place throughout 2016, and decisions were based upon extensive public outreach and research by the agency during an 18-month period.

 

Designated Sites

Bronx

1. 65 Schofield Street House

Brooklyn

1. 183-195 Broadway Building
2. Williamsburgh Trust Co. Building (Later Fifth District Magistrates' Court/Later Holy Trinity Cathedral), 177 South 5th Street
3. St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church and Rectory, 130 Sixth Avenue (Designated as part of the Park Slope Historic District Extension II)
4. Greenwood Cemetery, Fort Hamilton Parkway Entrance, Chapel
5. Van Sicklen House, 27 Gravesend Neck Road 
6. St. Barbara’s Roman Catholic Church, 138 Bleecker Street

Queens

1. Bowne Street Community Church, 38-01 Bowne Street
2. Lydia Ann Bell and William Ahles House, 39-26 213th Street
3. Pepsi Cola Sign, 4-09 47th Road, Long Island City

Staten Island

1. 92 Harrison Street House
2. George William and Anna Curtis House, 234 Bard Avenue
3. St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church Rectory, 1331 Bay Street
4. Vanderbilt Mausoleum
5. Brougham Cottage, 4746 Amboy Road
6. Prince’s Bay Lighthouse and Keeper’s House, Hylan Boulevard
7. Lakeman-Cortelyou House, 2286 Richmond Road

Manhattan

1. 315 Broadway Building
2. 57 Sullivan Street House
3. Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue
4. St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Parish House & Rectory, 227 West 99th Street
5. 412 East 85th Street House
6. Church of St. Joseph of the Holy Family, 401-403 West 125th Street
7. Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Building, West 135th Street Branch, 181 West 135th Street
8. St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, 121 East 117th Street
9. Loew’s 175th Street Theater, 4140 Broadway
10. Excelsior Power Company Building, 33-43 Gold Street

 

About the Backlog Initiative

In 2015, after considering feedback from a wide cross-section of stakeholders, including preservationists, architects, developers, community boards, property owners and elected officials, the agency established a plan to address a backlog to address a backlog of 95 sites. Most of the sites had been on the agency's calendar for 20 years or more and had not been designated or acted upon. The three-phase plan to address the backlog included a Public Review Period (with more than 15,000 pages of material on the backlog properties available online), Special Public Hearings, and Commission Decisions.

The Commission held four Special Hearings on the backlog in Fall 2015, giving the public an opportunity to testify and submit information on the calendared properties. In addition to the documents already in LPC files and made available online, the Commissioners heard nearly 12 hours of verbal testimony from more than 300 speakers and received additional written testimony submitted by the public.

On February 23rd 2016, the Landmarks Preservation Commission made decisions on the backlog properties and prioritized 30 sites for potential designation. The Commission also voted to remove five sites from the calendar based on their lack of merit, and to remove a further 43 sites from the calendar due to site-specific issues by issuing No Action Letters, which will allow them to be placed back on the calendar at a future date, should new information or historical interest in them arise. The Commission noted several reasons for removing properties from the calendar by issuing No Action Letters, including questions regarding their relative significance, alterations that have reduced sites’ historical features, and the presence of other regulatory controls that serve to protect the structures from future alteration or demolition.

Items prioritized for designation were brought before the Commission for votes on April 12, 2016; June 28, 2016; August 9, 2016; December 13, 2016. Commission votes resulted in 27 designated New York City Landmarks. The Interborough Rapid Transit Powerhouse, now Consolidated Edison Powerhouse, will remain on the Commission’s calendar. Recognizing that designating an active power plant raises unique challenges, the agency continues to work with ConEd to develop an appropriate regulatory framework to ensure both preservation of the landmark and efficient delivery of energy services to New York City residents.