New York City Designation Process


The New York City Landmarks Law of 1965 established the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) and authorized them to designate individual buildings, historic districts, interior landmarks and scenic landmarks of historical, cultural and architectural significance. For over forty years, neighborhoods have sought historic district designation from the LPC because it protects their beloved buildings from demolition and insensitive change.

The Landmarks Law defines a Historic District as an area that has a “special character or special historic or aesthetic interest,” represents “one or more periods of styles of architecture typical of one or more eras in the history of the city,” and constitutes “a distinct section of the city.” Before making a formal request to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider your neighborhood, it is good to have as much community support as possible. Unfortunately, the LPC has limited staff and financial resources and therefore is not in a position to put together the reports, hold hearings, and expend its resources in time, labor, and money on an area with heavy political support for development and no community interest in preservation. In an area where political and development priorities militate against a successful landmarking effort, it is up to local groups to generate pressure not only on the Commission but also on their local representatives. See Advocacy Section.

There are several steps that required to ensure designation. For further information on the designation process click the steps below.

Step 1: Request for Evaluation

Step 2: Calendaring

Step 3: Designation Hearing

Step 4: Designation

Step 5: Review by the City Planning Commission

Step 6: Review by the City Council

For more detailed information on the designation process, please contact HDC to obtain a copy of our comprehensive manual, Creating an Historic District.”

Also, please refer to the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s website for more information.