LPC BACKLOG INITIATIVE RESULTS IN 27 NEW LANDMARKS
With 10 New Designations, LPC Successfully Cuts Through 50 Year Backlog, Ensuring Landmark Protection for Worthy Sites Citywide
(New York, NY)- The Landmarks Commission today successfully concluded its Backlog Initiativeby designating 10 sites in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, bringing the number of properties designated through this effort to 27. The decisions were based upon extensive public outreach and research by the Commission during an 18-month period. Ten properties were designated today including St. Barbara’s Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, the Bergdorf Goodman Building in Manhattan, Bowne Street Community Church in Queens, and Brougham Cottage in Staten Island. The Commission previously designated nine properties in April, seven properties in June, and one property in August.
“I am thrilled that through this ambitious and unprecedented effort, we have granted full landmark protection to 27 outstanding properties, and cut through a 50-year backlog in a matter of 18 months,” said Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan. “We’re very proud that the designated properties are from all five boroughs and represent a diverse array of building typologies, including early residences, institutional buildings, churches, a theater— even an iconic sign. This is a great day for preservation in New York City!”
“Together, we’ve proved the system works – we’ve cleared the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s backlog through a transparent, public, accountable process,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Thanks to the Commission’s work, a raft of historical and architectural gems throughout our city will be protected, and items that have languished on the calendar for too long without decisions now have them. I thank the Commission for working with me to devise this process and congratulate them on a job well done.”
“The New York Landmarks Conservancy appreciates that the Commission listened to the public, and gave each of the backlog buildings a hearing,” said Peg Breen, President of the New York Landmarks Conservancy. “We’re glad that a significant number of these properties will be designated and protected for the future. After decades on the calendar for some of these sites, it was worth the wait.”
The Commissions three-phase plan to address the backlog included a Public Review Period, with more than 15,000 pages of material on the backlog properties made available online; four Special Hearings with approximately 12 hours of verbal testimony and more than 300 speakers; and a public meeting where, after hearing agency recommendations, the Commissioner’s prioritized 30 properties for designation.
Sites designated previously through this initiative include the Pepsi Sign in Long Island City, Prince’s Bay Lighthouse in Staten Island, the William H. Schofield House in the Bronx, and Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.
The following properties were designated at today’s meeting:
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 as well as efficient delivery of energy services to New York City residents.
Two properties were removed from the calendar by “No Action,” which allows them to be placed back on the calendar at a future date: The Immaculate Conception Church in the Bronx, which received significant opposition to designation from the parish; and the Edgar J. Kaufmann Rooms in Manhattan, based on potential legal issues related to public access to the rooms, a criterion for designating the rooms as an interior landmark under the Landmarks Law.
Damaris Olivo / 212-669-7938, firstname.lastname@example.org