Important News: Landmarks Law Under Attack
Landmarks Law Under Attack
Girls’ High School, 1886 - Bedford, Brooklyn
Boys’ High School, 1890 + 1910 - Bedford, Brooklyn
Renaissance Apartments, 1892 - Bedford, Brooklyn
Alhambra Apartments, 1890 - Bedford, Brooklyn
74 Halsey Street - Bedford, Brooklyn
Euclid Hall, Broadway Between West 85th and West 86th Streets
926 St. Mark’s Avenue c. 1896 - Crown Heights North
360 West End Ave West End Collegiate Church
263 West End Ave Riverside Towers - West End
35 to 39 Hampton Place - Crown Heights North
June 7, 2012
The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) has put together a coalition of construction, union and landlord groups to challenge the City’s 1965 Landmarks Law. They seek, in effect, to give development precedence over protection of New York’s landmark buildings and neighborhoods. This is, in part, a reaction to our successful effort to designate a historic district in Downtown Brooklyn when we effectively refuted REBNY claims about the costs of preserving historic structures.
We believe this effort by our friends at REBNY and the Building Congress to be misguided. We are all in the building business and it is the great mix of architecture that makes New York unique.
Here are the benefits of preservation:
- Preservation is a critical factor in New York’s economy, creating tens of thousands of local jobs and boosting tourism.
- Preservation protects and improves property values, according to a report from the City’s Independent Budget Office.
- Preservation is popular. The Landmarks Commission is designating new historic districts in response to requests from residents across the City.
- Preservation is the most “green” form of architecture, reusing existing buildings and saving the environment.
- Preservation revitalizes neighborhoods and keeps beloved community anchors, such as historic religious properties, social service centers, museums, parks, and theaters open and active.
- Preservation keeps New York unique. From the Empire State Building to Greenwich Village to brownstone Brooklyn, landmarks define the City’s character.
- Preservation recognizes the most significant architectural and historic sites across the five boroughs, but less than 4% of the City’s buildings are landmarked.
The New York Landmarks Conservancy has been at the forefront of efforts to preserve, restore, and reuse New York City’s wonderful architectural legacy for nearly 40 years. The almost $38 million the Conservancy has dispersed in loans and grants has generated almost $1 billion in total construction projects. Conservancy staff has provided countless hours of pro bono technical advice to building owners, both non-profit organizations and individuals.
The Conservancy’s work has saved more than a thousand buildings. By saving homes, community, cultural and religious sites, and preserving neighborhoods, the Conservancy enhances New York’s quality of life and safeguards the City’s character for future generations.
We will keep you updated on this important issue.
Here is a sample of the buildings being threatened, click on the link to read the Landmarks Preservation Commission report. (pdf document)