2014

Landmarks of New York: Historic Districts

NYC Landmarks50 Alliance

“A virtual visit to NYC's historic districts”
2014

On April 19, 2015, the NYC landmarks law will be fifty!

In order to create an appropriate commemoration, the NYC Landmarks50 Alliance (www.nyclandmarks50.org), a broad-based consortium of individuals and organization, has been formed. Over the next year, the Alliance will be developing and presenting events to highlight the importance of NYC's landmarks law.

This on-line celebration of the City's historic districts, based on a portion of my publication, Landmarks of New York: An Illustrated Record of the City's Historic Buildings, is intended to introduce New York City's many historic neighborhoods to all lovers of culture, history and architecture.

Included is a brief excerpt from the publication's introduction, as well as new photographs of the historic districts. We hope this exhibition will bring pleasure and knowledge, and look forward to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the NYC Landmarks law over the next year.

Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel

Chair, NYC Landmarks50 Alliance

INTRODUCTION

New York is rich in the diversity of styles that have survived three hundred and fifty years of construction and demolition: Federal, Georgian, Greek and Gothic Revival, Tudor, Italianate and French-inspired, Victorian, International and Post-Modern. Between 1830 and 1930, as the nation moved from an agrarian to a highly urban and industrial society, more architectural styles were employed in New York than at any other place, or point in history.  This has given New York its great variety of colors and forms, and within a single district, we may encounter many styles, shapes and texture.

Since its creation in 1965, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has granted landmark status to more than 31,000 buildings, the majority of which reside within the 110 historic districts and 20 historic district extensions throughout the five boroughs. And what a brilliant, richly textured tapestry New York is! There are farmhouses, brownstones, cast-iron buildings, Art Deco towers, and glass and steel skyscrapers. One can journey through the boroughs and travel back in history: from the early nineteenth century wood framehouses of Brooklyn's Weeksville, to the late nineteenth century brownstones of Longwood in The Bronx, to the early twentieth century attached brick rowhouses in Ridgewood, Queens to Manhattan's iconic Empire State Building.

Ironically, with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the city had an architectural awakening--perhaps the loss of the Twin Towers awakened New Yorkers to the fragility of their city. The desire to recognize and preserve structures for historical or cultural significance and to reach broader sectors of the city, such as the other boroughs and northern Manhattan, has taken on new urgency, as many believe that place matters, and that it is important to retain the historic fabric of our streetscapes.  The work of the Historic Districts Council, the city-wide advocate for the preservation of historic districts, has done much to foster these efforts and educate the public about the wealth of architectural treasures surrounding us.

Recent historic district designations primarily fall into a few categories: neighborhoods with significant sociological importance, those that reflect cultural/historical identities, and types or styles of development from particular economic periods.  Each borough has its own history, patterns of economic and cultural development, and distinct evolution to be celebrated. The preservation of neighborhoods, not just buildings, is a key goal of the landmarks movement--retaining a vibrant streetscape, enhancing economic value and commercial viability, and maintaining the quality of life.

Historic preservation has evolved to be one of the broadest and longest lasting land-use reforms in this country. What was once, and in some quarters is still considered to be an impediment to progress, has proved that appropriate recognition and protection of the built environment does create economic value, revitalize neighborhoods, and foster beauty and neighborhood pride. We can see that saving, preserving, and using historically, architecturally, and culturally significant structures are life-enhancing and valuable; it is this that lies at the heart of every successful city.  The landmark stock in the communities and commercial hubs throughout the five boroughs is part of our cultural and communal DNA. Preservation of our heritage provides evidence of some of our realized ambitions, and touches upon every aspect of metropolitan life as we know it, sheds light on the evolution of our cultural history and encompasses the dreams and illusions of one generation passed on for the enrichment of their successors. Preservation, perseverance, pride. What a tribute to ourselves!

Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel

Chair, NYC Landmarks50 Alliance

Chair, Historic Landmarks Preservation Center

www.nyclandmarks50.org

www.hlpcculturalmedallions.org

Greenwich Village Historic District, Manhattan
Manhattan Avenue Historic District, Manhattan
West Chelsea Historic District, Manhattan
Hunters Point Historic District, Queens
Central Park West-West 76th Street Historic District, Manhattan
Hamilton Heights-Sugar Hill Historic District, Manhattan
Madison Square North Historici District, Manhattan
Hardenbergh-Rhinelander Historic District, Manhattan
Fort Totten Historic District, Staten Island
African Burial Ground and the Commons  Historic District, Manhattan
Sniffen Court Historic District, Manhattan
Tudor City Historic District, Manhattan
Fraunces Tavern Historic District, Manhattan
Albemarle-Kenmore Terraces Historic District, Brooklyn
Tribeca West Historic District, Manhattan
Sunnyside Gardens Historic District, Queens
Harrison Historic District, Staten Island
Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District, Brooklyn
Henderson Place Historic District, Manhattan
Morris High School Historic District, The Bronx
Hamilton Heights-Sugar Hill Northwest Historic District, Manhattan
Ridgewood North Historic District, Queens
Bertine Block Historic District, The Bronx
Boerum Hill Historic District, Brooklyn
Ladies' Mile Historic District, Manhattan
Carnegie Hill Historic District, Manhattan
Wallabout Historic District, Brooklyn
Tribeca South Historic District, Manhattan
Audubon Terrace Historic District, Manhattan
Douglaston Historic District, Queens
Tribeca North Historic District, Manhattan
Governors Island Historic District, Manhattan
South Street Seaport Historic District, Manhattan
Brooklyn Heights Historic District, Brooklyn
Cobble Hill Historic District, Brooklyn
Chelsea Historic District, Manhattan
Fiske Terrace-Midwood Park Historic District, Brooklyn
Hamilton Heights Historic District, Manhattan
Mount Morris Park Historic District, The Bronx
Stuyvesant Square Historic District, Manhattan
Fieldston Historic District, The Bronx
MacDougal-Sullivan Gardens Historic District, Manhattan
St. George/New Brighton Historic District, Staten Island
Ellis Island Historic District
Lamartine Place Historic District, Manhattan
Jumel Terrace Historic District, Manhattan
Crown Heights North Historic District, Brooklyn
West End-Collegiate Historic District, Manhattan
Upper West Side-Central Park West Historic District, Manhattan
East Village/Lower East Side Historic District, Manhattan
Vinegar Hill Historic District, Brooklyn
Mott Haven East Historic District, The Bronx
Crown Heights North III Historic District, Brooklyn
Turtle Bay Gardens Historic District, Manhattan
Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District, Manhattan
Gansevoort Market Historic District, Manhattan
Addisleigh Park Historic District, Queens
DUMBO Historic District, Brooklyn
Douglaston Hill Historic District, Queens
Brooklyn Academy of Music Historic District, Brooklyn
Mott Haven Historic District, The Bronx
Central Ridgewood Historic District, Queens
Noho East Historic District, Manhattan
Central Park West-West 73rd to West 74th Historic District, Manhattan
Weehawken Street Historic District, Manhattan
Clinton Hill Historic District, Brooklyn
Audubon Park Historic District, Manhattan
Fulton Ferry Historic District, Brooklyn
Morris Avenue Historic District, The Bronx
East 17th Street-Irving Place Historic District, Manhattan
Fillmore Place Historic District, Brooklyn
Grand Concourse Historic District, The Bronx
Longwood Historic District, The Bronx
Metropolitan Museum Historic District, Manhattan
Crown Heights North II Historic District, Brooklyn
Riverside-West End Historic District, Manhattan
Alice and Agate Courts Historic District, Brooklyn
Park Slope Historic District, Brooklyn
Greenpoint Historic District, Brooklyn
Ditmas Park Historic District, Brooklyn
Eberhard Faber Pencil Company Historic District, Brooklyn
Hamilton Heights-Sugar Hill Northeast Historic District, Manhattan
West 71st Street Historic District, Manhattan
St. Paul's Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District, Staten Island
Stone Street Historic District, Manhattan
Soho-Cast Iron Historic District, Manhattan
South Village Historic District, Manhattan
Park Avenue Historic District, Manhattan
Park Place Historic District, Brooklyn
Riverside Drive-West 105th Street Historic District, Manhattan
Riverside Drive-West 80th -81st Street Historic District, Manhattan
Perry Avenue Historic District, The Bronx
Tribeca East Historic District, Manhattan
Prospect Park South Historic District, Brooklyn
Riverdale Historic District, The Bronx
Clay Avenue Historic District, The Bronx
Prospect Heights Historic District, Brooklyn
Ridgewood South Historic District, Queens
East 10th Street Historic District, Manhattan
Bedford Historic District, Brooklyn
Stockholm Street Historic District, Queens
Ocean on the Park Historic District, Brooklyn
New York City Farm Colony-Seaview Historic District, Staten Island
St. Nicholas Historic District, Manhattan
Murray Hill Historic District, Manhattan
St. Mark's Historic District, Manhattan
Carroll Gardens Historic District, Brooklyn
Jackson Heights Historic District, Queens
Prospect Lefferts Gardens Historic District, Brooklyn
Noho Historic District, Manhattan
Treadwell Farm Historic District, Manhattan
Gramercy Park Historic District, Manhattan
Bedford Stuyvesant/Expanded Stuyvesant Heights Historic District, Brooklyn
Fort Greene Historic District, Brooklyn
Upper East Side Historic District, Manhattan
Credits: Story

Editor — Deborah Bershad
Assistant Editor — Jess Ouwerkerk

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google
Home
Explore
Nearby
Profile