Lefkowitz Building Not Safe Until Landmarked


Yesterday, the Daily News broke that the Louis J. Lefkowitz Building (80 Centre Street) would be spared by the City as a potential new jail site, and now the Mayor is eyeing an enlargement of the Tombs, instead.  The City determined that it would be too complicated and costly to relocate all of the tenants of the building, which houses State offices, including the Marriage Bureau.

When City and State leaders decided to construct this building 90 years ago, they wanted to build large enough to consolidate all State offices to one location to save substantial money on rents to private entities. It is fascinating that the people in that era had the perspicacity to solve the problems of space and tenancy so well that their solution–the building’s functionality–in a way helped save it, as the City found it couldn’t easily relocate the tenants and instead abandoned the plan.

Now that the building is no longer imminently threatened, it is by no means safe. Only landmark designation will ensure the continued existence of this important contribution to Manhattan’s Civic Center. Landmarking will also ensure that if this building’s use ever does change, and modifications are required, it will benefit from the oversight of the Commission and allow the public to have a say about its future.

HDC sent in a Request for Evaluation to the LPC in August 2018, and LPC has not yet made a determination about the building. Please send a letter today and tell them that although the building seems safe for now, it still deserves designation as an individual landmark.



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