Lion sculpture by Edward Clark Potter for the Fifth Avenue entrance of the New York Public Library, Manhattan. Photograph by A. E. Sproul, 1910. Collection of the Public Design Commission of the City of New York.
The Public Design Commission's Exhibition Files Collection includes project records for permanent works of architecture, landscape architecture, and art proposed on or over City-owned property dating from 1902 to the present. Projects may include the construction and restoration of buildings, such as museums and libraries; bridges and other infrastructure; parks and playgrounds; lighting and other streetscape elements, including distinctive sidewalks, bollards, and newsstands; signage; and the installation or conservation of art and memorials. The Commission's meeting minutes from 2007 to the present are available online. Selections from the Exhibition Files are included on our Flickr and Tumblr pages.
In addition to the exhibition files, the Commission maintains collections of materials acquired by commission members and staff, including correspondence, photographs, postcards, and books. Some materials have been digitized and are available online:
- Selections from the Special Collections are included on our Flickr and Tumblr pages.
- Frank Cousins Collection: In 1913, Frank Cousins was hired by the Commission to document approximately 50 buildings that the Commission felt were in danger of imminent demolition.
- Karl Gruppe's Film Reels: These films were created by sculptor Karl Gruppe to document various monument conservation projects undertaken by the New York City Parks Department, where he worked from 1934 to 1937. Gruppe was a Commission member from 1944 to 1947.
- 300 nitrate and acetate negatives from the Public Design Commission's Special Collections were transferred to the Municipal Archives of New York City. Digital images of the nitrate and acetate negatives are available through the Municipal Archives' online gallery.