Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks. April 21 - Sept. 13, 2015

Many believe New York’s pioneering Landmarks Law, enacted in April 1965, was the key factor in the rebirth of New York in the final quarter of the 20th century. It fostered pride in neighborhoods and resulted in neighborhood preservation in every borough, connecting and motivating residents and bringing new economic life to older communities. It ensured that huge swaths of the city remain a rich complex of new and old. It also ensured the creative re-use of countless buildings. At the same time, a new body of important architecture has emerged as architects, clients, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission devised innovative solutions for the renovation of landmark buildings and for new buildings in historic districts. The law spawned creativity in architects’ responses to building preservation that has enhanced the cityscape in all five boroughs.

Presented to celebrate the law's 50th anniversary, Saving Place is organized by Donald Albrecht, the City Museum's Curator of Architecture and Design and Andrew S. Dolkart, the Director of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University, with consulting curator Seri Worden, currently a consultant with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Exhibition Co-chairs: Frederick Bland, Jim Hanley, Hugh Hardy, William Higgins, John J. Kerr, Esq., Richard Olcott, Raymond Pepi, Frank Sciame

Honorary Chairs: Kent Barwick, Laurie Beckelman, Gene Norman, Sherida Paulsen, Jennifer Raab, Beverly Moss Spatt, Meenakshi Srinivasan, Robert B. Tierney

Read the press release

Read more from curator Donald Albrecht on our blog.

Public Programs

Preserving the Fabric of Our Neighborhoods
Tuesday, May 26 at 6:30 pm
Join a group of experts to explore the intersections between historic preservation and affordable housing.

The Reach of the Landmarks Law: A Balancing Act
Thursday, June 18 at 6:30pm
Join a group of preservation experts as they will explore the possibilities, limitations, and challenges of the landmarks law.

Modern Architecture: The New Frontier
Tuesday, June 30 at 7pm
Join this panel in exploring the complexity of – and controversies over – potential landmarks from the late modern and postmodern era (c. 1970 on), as well as evolving concepts about the presentation and interpretation of history and context in urban architecture.

Is Preservation Elitist?
Monday, July 20 at 6:30pm
Join a panel of community activists, preservationists and architects as they discuss the challenges of preserving those designated historic districts in New York famed for their distinctive cultural character versus their grand architecture.

The Politics of Preservation
Thursday, August 6 at 6:30pm
Join a panel that will explore the broad issues that bring the political process to bear on the operations and execution of the Landmarks Law.

Preservation in Global Cities: New York/ Mexico City/ Paris/ Shanghai
Thursday, September 10 at 6:30 pm
Join an international panel of architects, planners, and academics to explore the contrasting approaches and strategies of preservation faced by global cities in Europe, Asia, and America.

Educator Programs

Educator Workshop: Saving Place: Engaging Students with New York City Landmarks
Saturday, May 9 OR Wednesday, May 13 from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Join leading historians and museum educators for a day dedicated to celebrating the 50th anniversary of New York’s pioneering Landmarks Law.

Group Tours

Interested in booking a group tour? Click here to learn about opportunities to join Museum scholars and curators for a closer look.

Walking Tours

The Museum will present a series of walking tours in collaboration with Municipal Art Society’s “50 for the 50th!” Tours.

  • Press

    • "'Saving Place' Exhibition Celebrates New York Landmarks, Saved and Lost" The New York Times
    • "Flip Through 50 Years of Historic New York City Landmarks" The Atlantic's CityLab
    • "5 Places You Might Not Know are Bona Fide NYC Landmarks" New York Post
    • "New Exhibit Looks at Story of Historic Preservation in Five Boroughs" NY1
    • Inside MCNY's Newest Exhibit: Saving Place" Untapped Cities
    • "New York City’s Landmark Preservation Movement Exhibited" Architect Magazine
    • "What Saved Grand Central? A New Exhibit Celebrates NYC's Greatest Landmarks" Condé Nast Traveler
    • "Exhibition highlights 50-year-old New York City Landmarks Law" Associated Press
    • "New Exhibit–Saving Place: Fifty Years of NYC Landmarks at MCNY: Interview with the Curators" Untapped Cities
    • "Discover 50 Years of New York City's Historic Landmarks" Architectural Digest

    Sponsors

    J.M. Kaplan Fund
    Con Edison
    Extell Development Company
    Robert A. & Elizabeth R. Jeffe Foundation
    New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation
    Sciame/Frank Sciame
    Taconic Builders/Jim Hanley
    Two Trees Management Company/David Walentas

    42nd Street Development Corporation
    Allade
    O. Kelley Anderson
    Beyer Blinder Belle
    The Brodsky Organization
    Carolyn S. Brody Family Foundation
    Capalino+Company
    David F. and Frances A. Eberhart Foundation
    Ennead Architects
    John J. Kerr and Nora Wren Kerr
    L & L Holding Company
    New York Preservation Archive Project
    Peter Pennoyer Architects
    Reilly Windows & Doors/Michael Reilly
    Robert A.M. Stern Architects
    Howard L. Zimmerman Architects

    Artistic Doors & Windows Manufacturing
    Authentic Window Design
    Bentel & Bentel, Architects/Planners
    BKSK Architects
    Françoise Bollack and Thomas Killian
    Bone Levine Architects
    Brisk Waterproofing Company
    Building Conservation Associates/Raymond M. Pepi
    Catherine Cahill and William Bernhard
    Carnegie Hill Neighbors
    William and Robin D. Hubbard
    COOKFOX
    Suzanne Davis and Rolf Ohlhausen
    Deerpath Construction Corporation
    Ferguson & Shamamian Architects
    H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture/Hugh Hardy
    Higgins Quesebarth & Partners
    Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti
    E. William Judson
    Stephen S. Lash
    Brenda Levin
    Empire State Realty Trust
    James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation
    Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects
    The Nanz Company
    Old Structures Engineering
    Thomas Phifer and Partners
    Platt Byard Dovell White Architects
    Polart Group/Wesley Armatowski
    Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects
    Encarnita and Robert Quinlan
    G.P. Schafer Architect
    SHoP Architects
    The Stonbely Family Foundation
    Skyline Windows/Peter Warren
    Barbara and Donald Tober Foundation
    Cynthia Wainwright and Stephen Berger
    West New York Restoration of CT
    Roy J. Zuckerberg Family Foundation/Lloyd Zuckerberg

    and

    Mr. and Mrs. Oscar K. Anderson III
    Patricia Begley and George H. Beane
    Stephen G. Berliner/Savills Studley
    Lucienne and Claude Bloch
    Joan H. Geismar, Ph.D.
    Jeanne Giordano and Robert Frasca
    Li/Saltzman Architects
    Linda Yowell Architects
    Nicholson & Galloway Inc.
    Nancy and Otis Pearsall
    Nicholas Quennell
    Annabelle Selldorf
    Linda Yowell Architects

    With public support from:

    Honorable Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, City Council
    Honorable Helen Rosenthal, City Council Member

    Saving Place is also made possible by:

    The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.