The BulleTin Board

Too many landmarks?
Compiled by Russell Steinberg

Picking up the pace

LPC under attack

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has been under a microscope lately, as developers fight a recent uptick in historical designations. The LPC has been increasingly active since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office, creating 27 historic districts since 2002 — more than under any other administration. (New York Observer)
LPC Chairman Robert Tierney

NYC developers have begun resisting the administration’s attempts to landmark buildings and create new historical districts. In response to their complaints, the City Council last month held a hearing on a bill that would require LPC officials to weigh potential lost revenue from a new development before landmarking it. Another bill would require City Council approval of historic designations. (DNA Info)

Brooklyn Heights in crosshairs
Despite strong opposition, the LPC this year approved the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District. Critics, including the Real Estate Board of New York, lobbied aggressively against the 21-building designation, arguing that it would increase costs for landlords and suppress development.

Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District

Taking a ‘Toll’
Another dispute is taking place on the Upper East Side, where residents are pushing for the landmark designation of two 156-year-old buildings — 1108 and 1110 Park Avenue — in hopes of blocking a 15-story development project by Toll Brothers that would demolish them. And this month, the LPC will consider creating an East Village/Lower East Side historic district. Several churches and synagogues in the area oppose the designation, arguing it will make building repairs more expensive. (New York Times, Wall Street Journal)

Preserving the past
The Bloomberg administration has ratcheted up the LPC’s funding. The commission’s annual budget is now $4.8 million, more than 60% higher than it was in 2003. During that time, staffing has jumped 40%, to 60 full-time employees. (New York Observer)

Historic decisions
Mayor Robert Wagner established the LPC in 1965, in response to New Yorkers’ growing concerns over incidents like the 1963 demolition of Pennsylvania Station. Since then, the LPC has landmarked over 27,000 buildings and created 107 historic districts. The law requires the commission to include at least one resident of each borough.

1108 and 1110 Park Avenue

Mayor Robert Wagner

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