How the Landmark Designation Process Changed Drastically Over the Years
As our celebration of 50 years of NYC landmarks continues, NY1 Arts and Culture Reporter Stephanie Simon helped us keep up with the changing landscape with a look at some interesting and unusual choices.
It may seem like the most permanent part of our city but in many ways how and why we designate landmarks has changed considerably over the last 50 years. The days when only the grandest and oldest buildings were landmarked are behind us.
"We are looking more at cultural landmarks where the significance is not necessarily its architectural features, but the history that overlays those buildings," said Meenakshi Srinivasan, Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairwoman.
Like Louis Armstrong's modest home in Corona, Queens. Of course with more than 30,000 landmark buildings and sites throughout the five boroughs there are bound to be some surprises.
"In Coney Island, you have the roller coaster, you have the Wonder Wheel, you have the parachute jumps," said Srinivasan. "They are amazing iconic structures. We have bridges. We have parks that are landmarked -- Prospect Park, Central Park. We have subway stations that are landmarked, several along the IRT on the West Side."
One of the city's newest landmarks is the Stonewall Inn here in Greenwich Village. Amazingly, it was landmarked in just three weeks.
"We brought it to calendar in the beginning of June and by June 23 we voted it out," said Srinivasan. "The building’s about 100 years old, but its recent history in 1969 in the Stonewall riots really was the impetus for the LGBT movement."
And the new website landmarks.nyc offers a self-guided walking tour of this neighborhood. Of course with so many you can easily create your own landmarks walking tour.
"High Bridge which is connecting Manhattan and the Bronx," said Srinivasan. "But it is also an aqueduct."
Many New York City pools are also landmarked. And there are a few double landmarks.
"Jackie Robinson’s home in Aslan Park and Jackie Robinson Play Center in Harlem," said Srinivasan.
Whatever your passion you can find a New York City landmark to visit. And if not, go to the website and find out how you can suggest a site for consideration.