LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION
NYC LANDMARK PRESERVATION COMMISSION OFFICE AT 1 CENTER STREET MANHATTAN

WHAT IS THE NEW YORK CITY LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION?

New York City is known for its skyscrapers, bustling streets, and vibrant culture. However, many may not realize that the city also has a thriving land preservation committee that plays a vital role in protecting the city’s natural areas and historic landmarks.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) was established in 1965 in response to the widespread demolition of historic buildings and landmarks throughout the city. Today, the LPC is responsible for identifying and designating landmark buildings and neighborhoods, as well as regulating changes to the exterior of designated buildings to ensure their preservation.

The LPC is made up of 11 commissioners appointed by the mayor, who serve as volunteers and are experts in architecture, history, and preservation. The commission reviews applications for alterations, demolitions, and new construction in historic districts and landmarked buildings, as well as for new landmarks.

In addition to historic preservation, the LPC also plays a critical role in protecting open spaces and parks throughout the city. The agency works closely with the Department of Parks and Recreation to identify areas of ecological significance and to promote the preservation of open spaces.

One of the LPC’s most significant achievements in recent years was the designation of Central Park as a scenic landmark. This designation provides additional protection to the park and ensures that any changes or alterations to the park’s landscape must be reviewed by the LPC.

The LPC also works with community organizations, preservation groups, and advocacy organizations to raise awareness of the importance of preservation and to develop strategies for protecting historic landmarks and natural areas. These partnerships have led to the designation of new landmarks and historic districts throughout the city.

While the LPC has faced criticism for being overly restrictive and slowing down development, the agency plays a vital role in protecting the city’s cultural and natural heritage. New York City’s rich history and unique architecture make it a beloved destination for tourists and residents alike, and the LPC’s efforts ensure that these treasures are preserved for future generations.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission is an essential agency that plays a crucial role in protecting the city’s historic landmarks and natural areas. Its efforts help to maintain the city’s cultural identity and promote sustainable development. The LPC’s work is a testament to the importance of preservation and the need for proactive environmental conservation.

NEW YORK CITY LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION (NYC LPC) FACTS

  • There are more than 37,800 landmark properties in New York City
  • There are 155 historic districts and historic district extensions across all five boroughs of New York City
  • There are 1,449 individual, 121 interior, and 11 scenic landmarks designated in New York City
 

TYPES OF LANDMARKS DESIGNATIONS

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designates several types of landmarks within the city, each with their own level of protection and preservation requirements. Here are the main types of landmarks designated by the LPC:

  • Individual landmarks: These are buildings, structures, or sites that have been designated by the LPC as having significant architectural, historical, or cultural importance. They are protected by the LPC and any changes or alterations to their exteriors or interiors must be reviewed and approved by the commission.

Individual Landmark
Paramount Building designated as an Individual Landmark LP-1566 (Source NYC LPC ArcGIS)
  • Interior landmarks: These are spaces within individual landmarked buildings that have been deemed architecturally or historically significant. They may include lobbies, foyers, staircases, or other interior features. Changes to the interior of these spaces must also be reviewed and approved by the LPC.

Interior Landmark
Interior Lobby of the RCA Building designated as an Interior Landmark LP-1448 (Source NYC LPC ArcGIS)
  • Historic districts: These are areas within the city that have been designated by the LPC as having significant architectural or historical character. They may include blocks, streets, or entire neighborhoods. Any changes to the exterior of buildings within a historic district must be reviewed and approved by the LPC.

Historic District
The Greenwich Village Historic Distric LP-0489 (Source NYC LPC ArcGIS)
  • Scenic landmarks: These are natural or man-made landscapes that have been deemed important to the city’s scenic beauty or public enjoyment. They may include parks, bridges, or other outdoor spaces. Changes to these areas must also be reviewed and approved by the LPC.

Scenic Landmark
The Riverside Park and Riverside Drive designated as a Scenic Landmark LP-2002 (Source NYC LPC ArcGIS)

The designation of a property or area as a landmark by the LPC affords it a level of protection under the New York City Landmarks Law, and the commission has the authority to regulate any changes to the exterior or interior of the designated property or area.

EXAMPLES OF NYC LPC VIOLATIONS

Violations of LPC rules and regulations can occur when property owners or developers make changes to a landmarked building or property without first obtaining the necessary permits or approvals from the LPC.

Some examples of NYC LPC violations include:

  1. Making alterations or modifications to the exterior of a landmarked building without obtaining the required permits and approvals from the LPC.

  2. Demolishing or removing any part of a landmarked building or property without proper authorization.

  3. Failing to maintain the building or property in a state of good repair.

  4. Erecting signs or advertisements on a landmarked building or property without the LPC’s permission.

  5. Undertaking work within a designated historic district that does not conform to the area’s architectural or historical character.

  6. Performing work on a landmarked building or property that has not been reviewed by the LPC, including changes to windows, doors, roofs, or other architectural features.

  7. Failing to comply with the LPC’s rules and regulations regarding maintenance and repair of landmarked properties.

Penalties for LPC violations can include fines, stop-work orders, and the requirement to restore the building or property to its previous condition. In some cases, criminal charges may also be brought against property owners or developers who violate LPC rules and regulations.

LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION PERMITS

LPC permits are required for the following exterior work:
  • Any restoration, alteration, reconstruction, demolition, or new construction that affects the exterior of an individual landmark or a building in a historic district
  • Any project that affects the exterior envelope of the building, even at parts of the building that are not visible from the street
LPC permits are required for the following interior work:
  • Projects that require a permit from the Department of Buildings
  • Projects that affect the exterior of a building, such as HVAC louvers and vents
  • Projects that affect interior spaces that have been designated as interior landmarks

**PLEASE NOTE: Even if your exterior project does not require a Department of Buildings permit, an LPC permit is still required for landmarked buildings.

LPC permits are not required for ordinary repairs or maintenance such as:
  • Replacing broken window glass
  • Repainting a building’s exterior or architectural feature a color that matches the existing color
  • Replacing caulk around windows and doors
How do you check if your building is designated as a landmark building?
  • Go to the Department of Buildings website
  • Enter your property house number, street name, and borough
  • This will open a Property Profile Overview page
  • On this page, look for the Landmark Status. If it says L-Landmark, your building is designated as a landmark building.
 

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is responsible for protecting New York City’s architecturally, historically, and culturally significant buildings and sites by granting them landmark or historic district status, and regulating them after designation. It is the largest municipal preservation agency in the nation. The Landmarks Preservation Commission issues violations for buildings that are altered without first obtaining a permit. The landmarked building becomes non-compliant with LPC rules and regulations.

We assist Registered Architects, Professional Engineers and property owners in obtaining LPC permits for landmarked buildings in NYC and resolving LPC Landmarks violations.

NYC LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION FAQs

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has the authority to designate and regulate landmark buildings and historic districts in New York City. If work is done to a landmark building without a permit from the LPC, it could result in a violation and penalties.

The exact consequences of doing work without a permit will depend on the nature and scope of the work, as well as the severity of the violation. In general, the LPC may issue a stop-work order and require the property owner to submit an application for a permit retroactively. If the LPC finds that the work was done in violation of its rules and regulations, it may issue fines or require that the work be removed or corrected to conform to LPC standards.

In some cases, doing work without a permit may also result in criminal charges, especially if the work is deemed to be willful or intentional. The penalties for criminal charges can range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense.

It is important to note that the LPC takes the protection of landmark buildings and historic districts very seriously, and it is generally advisable to consult with the LPC before undertaking any work on a landmark property. This can help to avoid potential violations and penalties and ensure that any work is done in compliance with LPC regulations.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is responsible for adjudicating violations of its rules and regulations. The LPC has the power to enforce its regulations and may hold hearings to determine whether a violation has occurred and what penalties, if any, should be imposed. The majority of these violations are adjudicated at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), the City’s main civil administrative court.

If the LPC determines that a violation has occurred, it may issue fines, require that the work be corrected or removed, or take other appropriate action to ensure compliance with its regulations. In some cases, the LPC may also refer cases to the New York City Department of Buildings or other city agencies for further action or enforcement.

Property owners who receive notice of a violation (NOV) from the LPC have the right to request a hearing to contest the violation and any penalties that may be imposed. At the hearing, the property owner can present evidence and arguments in their defense and challenge the LPC’s allegations. The LPC will consider all evidence presented and make a decision based on the facts of the case.

Overall, it is important to comply with the LPC’s regulations to avoid potential violations and penalties. Property owners who have questions or concerns about the LPC’s rules and regulations should contact the Commission for guidance and advice.

The NYC LPC violation system typically works as follows:

  1. Inspection and Notice of Violation: The LPC may inspect a property to determine whether a violation of its regulations has occurred. If a violation is found, the LPC will issue a notice of violation to the property owner, describing the alleged violation and the required corrective action.

  2. Response and Hearing: The property owner has the right to respond to the notice of violation and request a hearing to contest the alleged violation and any penalties that may be imposed. The hearing will be conducted by the LPC, and the property owner can present evidence and arguments in their defense.

  3. Determination and Penalties: After the hearing, the LPC will make a determination based on the evidence presented and any applicable laws and regulations. If the LPC finds that a violation has occurred, it may impose penalties such as fines, require that the work be corrected or removed, or take other appropriate action.

  4. Appeal: If the property owner disagrees with the LPC’s determination and penalties, they may appeal the decision to the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals. The Board will review the case and make a final determination.

It is important to note that the LPC violation system is intended to ensure compliance with the LPC’s regulations and protect New York City’s historic buildings and districts. Property owners who receive notice of a violation should take the matter seriously and work with the LPC to address the issue and avoid further penalties.

For more information regarding Landmarks, please visit NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (NYC LPC)

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