Mayor Reappoints Landmarks Chair Sarah Carroll and Nominates Anthony Crowell and Gail Benjamin to City Planning

Sarah Carroll (left) has been reappointed as Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Anthony Crowell (top right) and Gail Benjamin (bottom right) have been nominated for Commissioner positions with the City Planning Commission. Image Credits: LPC/New York Law School/NYC Charter Revision Commission.

Sarah Carroll will serve an additional seven years at Landmarks, while Gail Benjamin and NYLS Dean Anthony Crowell will join City Planning for five years. On August 5, 2022, Mayor Eric Adams nominated Sarah Carroll to continue as Chair of Landmarks Preservation Commission and nominated Gail Benjamin and Anthony Crowell to the City Planning Commission. Landmarks commissioners serve seven-year terms, while City Planning commissioners serve for five years.

Mayor Adams stated, “I am proud to nominate these incredibly capable individuals to bring their expertise to our team and serve New Yorkers across the five boroughs. This group defines skill, knowhow, and a commitment to community engagement, and I urge the City Council to confirm them promptly so we can continue to ‘Get Stuff Done’ for all of our city’s residents.

Sarah Carroll

A lifelong preservationist and New Yorker, Sarah Carroll has served as Landmarks chair since October 2018. After earning her B.A. in art history from Bates College and an M.A. in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art & Design, Chair Carroll began her career at Landmarks.

For the past 25 years, Carroll has served various roles within the Commission. Prior to her appointment as Chair, Carroll served as Landmarks’ Executive Director, where she oversaw 4000 successful designations. As Landmarks Chair, Carroll currently manages a staff of approximately 80 architects, archaeologists, preservationists, historians, attorneys, and administrators.

Chair Carroll stated, “Preservation plays an important role in the vitality of our city and can revitalize communities, support economic development, and drive investment into existing buildings. I look forward to continue working under the leadership of Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer to create efficiencies in LPC’s review processes, further incorporate equity into the agency’s work, and to advance LPC’s mission to preserve the landmarks and historic neighborhoods that define New York City’s character and make it a global destination.”

Gail Benjamin

Gail Benjamin worked in land use for 36 years before her retirement. Early in her career, Benjamin served as co-director of the city Environmental Review Procedure and as a representative to the now-defunct New York City Board of Estimate.

Benjamin then served as director of the New York City Council Land Use Division for 25 years. As Director, Benjamin provided advice, analysis, and expertise to the Council speaker, the 51 City Council members, and the chairs of the Land Use Committee and its subcommittees. At the City Council, Benjamin oversaw the approval of the rezoning of Hudson Yards, New York University’s 2012 expansion, and a housing project at the site of the Domino Sugar factory in Brooklyn. Benjamin remains actively involved in land use after retiring from her role at City Council, retaining positions on several committees and boards.

Benjamin stated, “I am delighted to be considered by the Adams administration for an appointment to the City Planning Commission. I have spent most of my professional life involved with issues of planning in New York City and hope that my expertise will add to that of the departmental staff, Chairman Garodnick, the other commissioners, and to facilitating Mayor Adams’ agenda to move the city in COVID recovery and in planning for our joint future.”

Anthony Crowell

Anthony Crowell is the Dean and President of New York Law School in Tribeca, Manhattan, where he also serves as a professor specializing in state and local government law. As a first-generation college student, Crowell earned a B.A in urban policy and planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from American University. Crowell began his career at the International City/County Management Association in Washington, D.C., engaging in land use policy work, and later served as a law clerk at the State and Local Legal Center.

From 1997 to 2002, Crowell served as an assistant corporation counsel in the NYC Law Department’s Legal Counsel and Real Property Tax & Condemnation Divisions. Crowell additionally worked on aid and recovery in the aftermath of 9/11, directing the World Trade Center Death Certificate Program and serving as counsel to the city’s Family Assistance Center in 2001. Crowell also worked as counselor under Mayor Michael Bloomberg before joining New York Law School in 2012, managing a broad portfolio of legal issues and serving as Bloomberg’s LGBTQ+ liaison. Under Dean Crowell’s leadership, New York Law has implemented a social justice oriented curriculum, namely community-based legal clinics.

Crowell shared, “Being asked to serve on the City Planning Commission is a tremendous privilege, and one I take very seriously. I will use the experience and perspectives gained from serving New York City’s communities for 25 years to ensure we make proper and equitable planning decisions. We must give all New Yorkers, particularly those most in need, a chance to live and work in a healthy, safe, resilient, and affordable community, where businesses can thrive and provide meaningful and sustainable economic opportunities.”

Next Steps

The incoming City Planning Commissioners will be questioned by the City Council Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Elections in the near future. Afterward, all three nominees will be voted on by the full Council. CityLand will continue to cover these mayoral appointments.

By: Cassidy Strong (Cassidy is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)

Mayor Adams Nominates Sarah Carroll to Landmarks Preservation Commission, Gail Benjamin, Anthony Crowell to City Planning Commission; Anokye Blissett, Elisa Velazquez to Taxi and Limousine Commission, August 5, 2022.

Disclaimer: CityLand is a publication of the Center for New York City Law at New York Law School.


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