Preservation Issues

We need your help to once again save Grand Central

Grand Central Terminal - Midtown East

The joyous public celebration surrounding Grand Central’s 100th anniversary demonstrates how our rich architectural legacy shapes the City and enhances quality of life for New Yorkers and visitors alike.

We are all deeply grateful for the successful fight that saved it from becoming the base for a new glass tower 35 years ago, a fight that drew valuable lessons from the destruction of the original Penn Station in 1963.

So it is unfortunate that the Department of City Planning has chosen this time to propose an “upzoning” of Midtown East, the area surrounding Grand Central, that could lead to the demolition of up to 17 landmark-quality buildings. The proposed zoning changes adjacent to Grand Central could result in diminishing this Beaux Arts masterpiece amidst a crowd of much taller office buildings – some up to 80 stories high, which could even obscure the Chrysler Building.

The Conservancy believes that the mix of landmarks and new development is essential for the energy and unique character that defines New York. However, the City’s proposal almost entirely ignores the outstanding extant buildings that comprise one of New York’s most distinctive commercial areas.

And it’s important to remember that preserving our iconic buildings and diverse neighborhoods is a major contributor to the City’s financial health, revitalizing communities, providing economic stimulus and supporting local jobs.

There’s plenty of room for new office towers in the 78 blocks proposed for rezoning. But the greatest cities don’t move forward by destroying the best of their existing architecture.

Please help us honor Grand Central’s 100th anniversary by doing the following:

First, contact Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Robert Tierney at 212-669-7817 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Second, contact City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at 212-788-5615 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Tell them: Please protect New York’s cultural legacy by designating the 17 buildings around Grand Central that the Landmarks Conservancy has submitted for landmark review. We can have great new buildings without destroying the City’s unique character.

Thank you,

Peg Breen