Friday, January 7, 2011

NYC's Landmarks Law at 45 (you look beautiful, dahling!)

Less than one month from today, preservationists from across New York City (and beyond!) will gather for the Fitch Forum 2011Registration is now open at

On Saturday, February 5, 2011 the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, in co-sponsorship with the Law Department of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation, Preservation Alumni, and the Widener Law Review of the Widener University School of Law, present ... 

Fitch Forum 2011:  45 Years of Preservation Law: 
New York City and the Nation—The Past and the Future

Using the occasion of the 45th Anniversary Year of New York’s Landmarks Law, the Forum seeks to take stock of preservation law looking both nationally and at New York City.  In addition to assessing where we are today and how we got here, the Forum seeks to explore pressing challenges and opportunities facing preservation law today and tomorrow and to begin to explore strategies to respond to them.

For the whole of 2010, the New York Preservation Archive Project, helmed by Anthony C. Wood, provided a post-by-post review of the last 45 years of preservation in NYC on the Landmarks45 blog.  A great resource for a pre-Forum refresher--visit them now to learn (so much) more!

Saturday, February 5, starts with a Keynote Presentation by Jerold Kayden, the Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  Also on the program are Adele Chatfield-Taylor of the American Academy of Rome and Paul Edmondson, General Counsel to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  

One session will examine what is going on at the municipal level in other cities.  On that panel is Linda Dishman, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Conservancy.  Among those who will be participating in a panel discussion on New York’s landmarks law "NYC’s Landmarks Law at 45: Perpetually Young or Showing its Age?" are Mark Silberman, General Counsel of the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission, Jack Kerr, over the years a frequent pro bono counsel to the New York Landmarks Conservancy, Margery Perlmutter, Landmarks Commissioner, lawyer and architect, and Al Butzel, preservation legal counsel to a variety of civic organizations.  

Also on the program are Carol Clark, Adjunct Associate Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University, John Weiss, Deputy Counsel, Landmarks Preservation Commission, and Anne Van Ingen, formerly of NYSCA.   The day will conclude with the author Tony Hiss,  pulling the day’s proceedings together in his role as Rapporteur.  

The program is in formation so watch this space for announcements of additional speakers.

The event is being organized by Carol Clark and Anthony C. Wood.  Space is limited so register ASAP. This is a day you won’t want to miss (and what else is there to do in February in New York?).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Design review committee heads to Landmarks Commission

For LANDMARK WEST!, the new year brings with it a new crop of proposals for work to landmark buildings on the Upper West Side.  That means a whole new calendar of Public Hearings before the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC).  

Today is the first hearing of the year!  We'll be heading down to testify on these three items, channeling our inner Lorax (we speak for the buildings, for the buildings have no tongues!):

11 West 74th Street, a Queen Anne-style row house with neo-Grec style elements, designed by architect Daniel Burgess and built in 1889-90.  On the boards: a proposal to install a handicap-access lift.  A challenging intervention addressed in an appropriate manner--read LW's statement here.  "Meet" this building on our Online Building Database!

333 West End Avenue, a neo-Venetian Gothic-style apartment building (they don't stylize 'em like that any more!) designed by Emery Roth and built in 1925.  The application is requesting to legalize air condensers which were installed without the permission of the LPC.  With expanded landmark protection on the horizon for more of West End Avenue, what happens with this item is very important.   Click here to read LW's statement and to see images of the illegal conditions (as photographed at LPC Public Review).

25 West 75th Street, a Renaissance Revival-style rowhouse, designed by George M. Walgrove and built in 1892-93.  A first step towards what we hope will be a more expansive restoration in the future.  Read our testimony and get to know this building on our Online Building Database.

Interested in the public review process?  Let our design review committee coordinator, Cristiana Pena, know via email:  Or come down to the Landmarks Commission (hearings are open to the public!):

Stay tuned for a post-hearing report from the field!