LPC Releases Guidelines for Storefront Design in Historic Districts

Before and after images from the Guidelines demonstrate how a new storefront reflects the original storefront opening. Image credit: NYC LPC

The document provides text and visual guidance for applicants. On May 6, 2019, the Landmarks Preservation Commission released Guidelines for Storefront Design in Historic Districts. The guidelines are designed to help business and property owners understand the rules and regulations for new storefronts created in historic districts.

The LPC is responsible for regulating changes to storefronts on designated buildings and buildings within historic districts; the goal is to maintain the character and history of a historic district. When evaluating proposed changes within a historic district, the LPC will approve both traditional and contemporary designs, as long as those designs harmonize with the surrounding historic district.

The Guidelines provide written explanations, graphics and photographs to explain the rules and criteria that staff use to review and approve permit applications. The guide includes before and after photos, diagrams, and architectural drawings. The guide also provides information about the materials needed for a complete application.

Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Sarah Carroll stated, “Small businesses face many challenges today and the intent of the Guidelines for Storefront Design in Historic Districts is to provide a helpful tool for business owners with storefronts in designated buildings. These guidelines will make it easier to navigate our rules and processes so that business owners can efficiently obtain approvals for a storefront that meets their needs and relates to the historic context of their building or historic district.”

Council Member Adrienne Adams, the Chair of the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Sitting, and Maritime Uses stated, “Historic preservation is about ensuring that the physical traces of our history continue to be a part of the City’s makeup to benefit the public. I applaud the LPC for making this process easier by issuing the ‘Guidelines for Storefront Design in Historic Districts’ as it will help owners and contractors face some of the challenges that come with protecting these historically and architecturally significant buildings.”

Simeon Bankoff, the Executive Director of the Historic Districts Council, stated, “This straight-forward, accessible guide will demystify the permit application process for people wanting to do business in New York City’s vibrant historic districts.”

To read the Guidelines, click here.

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2018.)



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