The interactive timeline aims to foster civic pride for New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 16, 2020, the Landmarks Preservation Commission announced the release of an online timeline, Fifty-Five Years of LPC. Fifty-Five Years of LPC was released in honor of Landmarks’ 55th year anniversary. The timeline is interactive and includes excerpts of Landmarks’ history and highlights its notable accomplishments through the decades.
Fifty-Five Years of LPC divides Landmarks’ history by decades from the 1960s to the present day. The timeline has a tab dedicated to each decade. Each tab begins with a short historical summary of the decade. The summary mentions the number of designations in that decade, the commission’s notable designations and decisions, and commentary from past and present Landmarks chairs commissioners. There is also a slideshow on each tab that includes pictures of notable landmark designations and decisions of the decade.
The timeline was released in honor of the 55th anniversary of the enactment of the City’s Landmarks Law and the creation of the Landmarks Preservation Commission on April 19, 1965. The commission was created to protect and preserve buildings, sites, and neighborhoods that have a cultural, social, economic, political, and architectural significance in the City’s history. Since its creation, Landmarks has designated more than 37,000 buildings and sites and issued hundreds of thousands of permits approving work on historic buildings and new buildings in historic districts.
Landmarks noted that the release of the Fifty-Five Years of LPC timeline comes at a time when fostering civic pride is important because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on New Yorkers. Landmarks Chair Sarah Carroll stated that the timeline highlights the role Landmarks plays in preserving the City’s history and she hopes that the story map will engage New Yorkers “in a joyful discourse about the city’s history and culture from the safety of their home during these difficult times.”
Fifty-Five Years of LPC was released as part of Landmarks’ Love NYC Landmarks initiative. Under the Love NYC Landmarks initiative, the agency plans to release online content that highlights the City’s historic buildings and neighborhoods. Current Love NYC Landmarks online content includes articles, a virtual neighborhood tour of the Central Harlem–West 130th-132nd Streets Historic District, and online quizzes about the City’s landmarks.
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer stated that the Fifty-Five Years of LPC timeline highlights Landmarks’ work over the decades and makes the city’s history tangible for every generation.
By: May Vutrapongvatana (May is the CityLaw Fellow and New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2019)