Preservation Issues

Fifty Years of Landmarks

-Landmarks Law signed by Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. on April 19, 1965

-The original Penn Station

January 2015

The New Year marks the 50th anniversary of New York City’s Landmarks Law. The Conservancy is part of a large and diverse group of organizations celebrating the law, and the many benefits it has provided to the City’s economy and quality of life.

Mayor Robert F. Wagner signed the Landmarks Law on April 19, 1965. It is one of the strongest preservation laws in the country and has been a model for similar laws in other cities. Thanks to the statute, thousands of historic buildings have been rehabilitated and restored, rather than torn down.

All New Yorkers have favorite landmark buildings and areas—from world renowned skyscrapers to museums, theaters, cultural institutions and neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. New York would be a much different, less interesting and less enjoyable City without the protection the law provides.

The Conservancy’s main anniversary celebration will feature our Sacred Sites Open House Weekend on May 16 and 17. An array of religious institutions of many faiths, styles and periods in every borough will open their doors to visitors. This is a rare opportunity for New Yorkers to glimpse inside many of the City’s remarkable religious institutions and view the art and treasures within.

The Conservancy is part of NYCLandmarks 50. Each of the numerous preservation organizations, educational and cultural institutions, theaters, consulates and artists in the group has events planned throughout the year. Collectively, they will demonstrate the broad impact preservation has on the City.

The celebration comes at a crucial time for the future of landmarks protection in the City. Some members of the real estate industry feel that too much of the City is being designated and there are efforts to weaken the law. Just as citizens rallied to promote the passage of law fifty years ago, the anniversary celebrations will show continued wide support for the law today.

The Conservancy will also feature talks and tours celebrating the City’s various landmarks throughout the year.

You can find the complete list of New York City Landmarks here. How many have you visited?


Landmarks NY Mobile App – Find Landmarks in All Five Boroughs!

Click Here to Download Available on the Apple App Store.

Landmarks: New York is perfect for New Yorkers and visitors alike who are interested in exploring the unique places that define this vibrant and extraordinary City.

Have fun exploring the amazing art, architecture and history of New York!


Here is a good start: Fraunces Tavern was one of the first landmarks designated in the city back in 1965.

Tourist In Your Own Town #37 – Fraunces Tavern Museum from New York Landmarks Conservancy on Vimeo.


Treasures of New York celebrates the 50th anniversary of New York City’s Landmarks Law with a video showcasing the preservation movement and some of the people who have worked to protect thousands of culturally and historically significant sites in all five boroughs of New York City for the past half century.

Click Here To Watch