FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28, 2019
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She has 20 years of experience in historic preservation, sustainability and urban planning, and previously served as LPC's Director of Special Projects and Strategic Planning
NEW YORK – Today, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) announced the appointment of Lisa Kersavage as Executive Director. Prior to her appointment, she served as LPC's Director of Special Projects and Strategic Planning during which she managed special research projects and interagency planning initiatives. As Executive Director, Kersavage now oversees the agency's operations and will work closely with the Chair to develop policy and strategic planning agency-wide.
"With more than twenty years of professional experience in the fields of preservation and planning, Lisa brings exceptional expertise to her new role," said LPC Chair Sarah Carroll. "She has been a critical member of the LPC senior management team for the past three years, successfully leading important agency initiatives that have resulted in significant designations and more transparent processes through the use of data and technology. I look forward to working with her in this new role as we continue to further LPC's mission of protecting and efficiently regulating the city's historic resources. "
"I am honored and excited to be named Executive Director of LPC, which is not only the largest municipal preservation agency in the nation but a national leader in addressing some of the most complex issues in the field," said LPC Executive Director Lisa Kersavage. "I look forward to working with my colleagues at LPC and other agencies, as well as communities across the city to ensure that diversity continues to be reflected in our designations, that we continue to develop preservation plans in areas undergoing change, and that we further explore the intersection between preservation and sustainability."
During her tenure at LPC, Kersavage helped develop and realize the plan to alleviate the agency's 50-year backlog of properties that had been heard but not designated as landmarks. This resulted in the designation of 27 individual landmarks that had been on the Commission's calendar for decades, including the IRT Powerhouse, the Loew's 175th Street Theater in Washington Heights, the Williamsburgh Trust Company Building in Brooklyn, and the Bowne Street Community Church in Queens. She also worked to identify preservation opportunities with other city agencies that were developing major planning efforts, including the Greater East Midtown rezoning, which resulted in 12 designations, such as the Pershing Square Building, the Shelton Hotel, and Citicorp Tower.
Kersavage oversaw and launched several special projects to support the agency's work, including the Historic Data Project, the largest and most comprehensive historic building data collection created by any municipal preservation agency in the nation. Through this project, funded by the New York Community Trust, LPC compiled and transferred building-by-building information from 50 years of the Commission's historic district designation reports into a Geographic Information System (GIS) database. She also led the creation of the Discover NYC Landmarks map and story maps that highlight some of the city's designated landmarks and historic districts.
Prior to joining LPC, Kersavage was responsible for the planning, development and implementation of an ambitious global design competition named Changing Course, which sought to reimagine a more sustainable Lower Mississippi River Delta, in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund and Van Alen Institute. Previously, she spent nearly eight years at the Municipal Art Society (MAS), where she held various positions including Senior Director of Preservation and Sustainability, and led the organization's Preservation and Climate Change campaign. She also served as Executive Director of Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts and the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation, and was a historic preservation public policy consultant to the William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia.
Kersavage received her M.S. in historic preservation, with an urban planning focus, from Columbia University and her B.A. in art history from Penn State University.
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 36,000 buildings and sites, including 1,415 individual landmarks, 120 interior landmarks, 11 scenic landmarks, and 144 historic districts and extensions in all five boroughs. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/landmarks and connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCLandmarks and www.twitter.com/nyclandmarks.