In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a luminous city has been devastated including New York’s historical landmarks. New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission seeks to properly identify and designate landmarks and the buildings in the city’s historic districts. In addition, they regulate any changes both on the internal and external façade. Their strict regulations are to ensure that these landmarks are preserved and do not compromise the designated New York’s historical landmark and historic district’s integrity. They promote the importance of these landmarks and encourage the community to recognize and appreciate a building’s special historical, cultural, and aesthetic value.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission receives a plethora of requests; however, they have often emphasized that they focus on the architectural history and value of a property. While many individuals have sent requests, they are denied because it only holds significant value to them and not to the city of New York. According to the New York Times, people have gone as far as asking for an evaluation on a specific part of the bottom of a bridge and an old childhood home. Although the Landmarks Preservation Commission has expressed their sympathy, they can’t deem an establishment a New York Historical Landmark because it has given an individual so many cheerful memories. Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s executive director, Andrew Bernon, retold the story of a Chelsea Gym that marked a cultural touchstone among the city’s homosexual population. However, the sole cultural value is not enough.
The requirements that the Landmarks Preservation Commission hold are very specific and different for each request. Although they must have historical, architectural, and cultural significance, there other factors such as the building’s condition. According to the committee, not all New York Historical Landmarks “are cut from the same cloth.” And although some requests aren’t accepted, sometimes it may just be a blessing.