Chairman Proud of Landmarks Commission Accomplishments

Robert B. Tierney, Chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Robert B. Tierney, Chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Last week CityLand published a Guest Commentary from Steven Spinola, President of REBNY.  Robert B. Tierney, Chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission submitted this commentary in response.

The Landmarks Law, enacted in 1965, has been responsive to New Yorkers’ demand that their historic neighborhoods be preserved. The architecturally and historically distinctive streetscapes found in all five boroughs reflect more than 300 years of growth, and play an integral role in our City’s economic well-being.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s creation of new historic districts has in recent years been overwhelmingly supported by the affected property owners, who recognize the positive impact on their property values of the stability brought by landmark designation.   The Commission works in partnership with owners in proposed historic districts through an open, transparent public process that involves numerous community meetings, meetings with owners, elected officials and other stakeholders, and public hearings.  I am proud of the Commission’s accomplishments over the past 11 years, a period during which we have protected 43 historic districts and extensions and 312 standalone landmarks in all five boroughs, totaling 8,079 buildings.  Of the 8,079 designated properties 6,362 are outside Manhattan, and 1,717 are in Manhattan.

Historic preservation is an important component of the City’s larger planning efforts, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission works closely with other land-use agencies in our shared efforts to protect and promote the future of the City’s neighborhoods. More than 1,100 units of affordable housing have been created or preserved in historic districts since 2004.  This reflects the flexibility that owners of buildings in landmarked districts retain to develop their properties. The Bloomberg Administration has built and preserved more affordable housing units than any city in the country – enough to house the entire city of Atlanta – and we have done it without sacrificing the historical character of the city, which adds both financial and civic value to neighborhoods.

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