Preservation and protection of our architectural, historical, and cultural assets is one of the most important factors in assuring that New York remains a livable city. Preserving the best of our city’s past and adapting it for reuse in the 21st century greatly enhances the quality of life for all citizens. Individual Landmarks and historic districts continue to offer substantial opportunities for economic development, the revitalization of neighborhoods, the stabilization of property values, and the enhancement of the tourism industry.

Last month, LANDMARK WEST! alerted our members, friends and neighbors to efforts by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and others to challenge the City’s

1965 Landmarks Law. Since our last email, our colleagues at the Historic Districts Council
(HDC) have formed a coalition to support the Landmarks Law. Read their message below, then sign on to the coalition — we did!

Original message dated Thursday, July 26, 2012 
… Following on the heels of the contentious designation hearings regarding the Downtown Brooklyn Skyscraper Historic District, the real estate lobby organized into the deceptively-named Responsible Landmarks Coalition and began proposing “reforms” to the Landmarks Law. These amendments were revealed at a City Council public in the beginning of May, where 11 bills were discussed that would, if adopted, mire the Landmarks Preservation Commission in complete bureaucratic status and encourage the City Council to reject landmarks designations on the basis of over-exaggerated and groundless financial concerns. 
… HDC monitors landmark issues throughout New York and we can unfortunately report that the environment for preservation activity has definitely turned cold. We are losing properties which should be preserved and even protected sites are getting hammered by damaging and potentially destructive proposals. Think about the proposal for a residential tower 15 feet away from St. John the Divine, a 9-story hotel development possibly undermining the Merchant’s House or the demolition of the Corn Exchange on 125th Street.
How You Can Help:
  • Sign Up! Join the coalition of those opposing these changes to the Landmarks Law (for individual listing, please fill out the form on the HDC website). This growing list will be used to show City Councilmembers that these “reforms” are not supported by the people in the community. Even if you testified at the hearing on May 2, please affirm that your group wishes to be listed — we would rather be too solicitous than list an organization incorrectly.
  • Save The Date! This Wednesday, HDC will be hosting a rally to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Legendary Rally to Save Pennsylvania Station. We will be gathering in the afternoon on Wednesday, August 1, by Madison Square Garden to draw attention to the continued threat to New York City’s fantastic and imperiled historic buildings and neighborhoods. Stay tuned for more details (or contact HDC at or 212-614-9107).

We need you. Your community needs you. Stay tuned for updates via email, and visit to share your thoughts, sign up for the coalition and learn more.

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