ALERT: We Need Your Help Again as REBNY Pushes for Larger Buildings in Your Neighborhood

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is making a last-ditch effort to eliminate the longstanding State cap on the size of residential buildings before the State Legislative session ends next month. Without the current cap, there would be larger buildings and added density in neighborhoods across the City.

The Senate tried and failed to lift the cap earlier this year. It recently tried again, with bill S.6760 . The Assembly has refused to act on this. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie noted his support of the cap and pledged to protect residential neighborhoods in a recent newsletter. Keeping the Assembly firmly against lifting the cap is crucial. If you have not thanked Speaker Heastie after our recent request to do so , please email him now . Thank him. And urge him to keep the cap. 

REBNY’s all-out push, is aimed at turning Speaker Heastie and gaining support from Governor Cuomo. Please also email the Governor’s counsel , Alphonso David at . and tell him: We oppose S.6760. New York voters want the Governor to protect our neighborhoods. 

REBNY obviously seeks even more opportunities for its members to develop large buildings. But it is also the stalking horse for the de Blasio Administration, which tried and failed to lift the cap two years ago. The Administration has never publicly explained the rationale for eliminating the cap, nor sought community input. Their stealth attempts show a troubling lack of transparency. It’s not good government. Please act, and help us prevent this from happening.
LPC Amends Planned Rules Changes After Public Outcry

In response to opposition from preservationists, Community Boards, and elected officials, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has revised its proposed Rules Amendments, ensuring that the public will continue to have an opportunity to learn about and comment on projects at public hearings. LPC staff previewed the changes at a May 29 public meeting. ( LPC Proposed Rules ) The agency did not issue the full text, which would flesh out the now-revised Amendments.

The new set of changes appear to address several concerns that had been raised at a lengthy March 27 hearing. The original intent of the Amendments was to reorganize the Rules, codify staff practices and typical Commission decisions, and send many applications that used to require a public hearing to be handled at staff-level. The Conservancy agreed with the overall goals of transparency and efficiency, ( read our testimony ) but found that in practice, the proposed Amendments were burdensome and would shut out the public from many permit applications affecting their own neighborhoods. We asked for increased information on the agency’s website regarding applications in process and an updated permit application guide, which explains and illustrates the complicated Rules. Other groups called out changes in how additions and requests to use substitute materials would be addressed.

Upper East Side - 1 East 70th Street
Conservancy Supports New Frick Expansion Proposal

The Conservancy joined preservationists and the leaders of many cultural institutions in supporting a plan to expand the Frick Collection, at a Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing on May 29. ( link to testimony ) More than 50 people testified, many in support, but many also questioning the size of the additions and the impact on the Frick’s beloved viewing garden. The Commission did not take a vote at the end of the four-hour long hearing, but asked the project team to return with responses to the testimony and questions from the Commissioners. 

Architect Annabelle Selldorf presented the proposal , which would not alter the 1914 Carrere & Hastings mansion at the heart of the Frick. It does call for additions to the Library and the infill museum buildings designed by John Russel Pope in 1935, when Henry Clay Frick’s residence was adapted for gallery use. The additions’ limestone facades would be similar to the historic buildings, and connected by a bronze, limestone, and glass link in a more contemporary style. The proposal also included a low rooftop addition to the 1977 reception hall designed by Bayley, Van Dyke, and Poehler; it would be bronze and glass with a copper roof. Below ground, the Frick plans to construct a new auditorium. Russell Page’s 1977 viewing garden would be rebuilt to match the original. Beyer Blinder Belle is the executive architect and landscape designer Lynden Miller will be overseeing the garden recreation.

Sacred Heart Ukrainian Church-Johnson City, NY
Sacred Sites Open House
Thousands Visit Religious Buildings Statewide

Visitors from near and far turned out May 5th and 6th for the Conservancy’s eighth annual Sacred Sites Open House. More than 140 religious sites statewide opened their doors, welcoming ten thousand music and architecture aficionados. That’s a 25% increase over last year. This year’s theme, Sacred Sounds and Settings, was an opportunity for congregations to showcase music programs as well as architecture, with organ demonstrations, vocal and instrumental concerts, recitals, rehearsals, and special tours.

Twenty-six sites were participating for the first time this year, including five of the 24 Binghamton-area institutions. Johnson City’s Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier was one of the new sites.

“Cameras were constantly clicking,” reported Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Buffalo, which welcomed visitors from Canada, Tennessee, and Belize.

On Sunday, a sold-out Discover Brooklyn! tour led by Marianne Hurley, an architectural historian with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, described the social causes associated with many Brooklyn religious buildings.

Plymouth Church, for instance, served as a stop or short-term transfer station on the Underground Railroad, during the tenure of founding pastor Henry Ward Beecher.

Conservancy President Peg Breen and John H. Beyer
Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards
Honors for Preservation Projects and Noted Architect

More than 500 persons packed lovely St. Bartholomew’s Church on May 8 for the annual Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards. The landmark Park Avenue Church was among 11 project awards which also included, 1821 Federal-Style Houses on Canal Street, an unusual Elizabethan Jacobean Gothic Revival-Style building in the Bronx, and a 117-year-old bridge made of boulders in a Queens Park.  

Noted architect John H. Beyer, a co-founder of Beyer Blinder Belle, received the Preservation Leadership Award. His work includes some of the City’s most significant preservation projects: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Temple Emanu-El, Rockefeller Center and the Met Breuer.

He collaborated with his late partner John Belle, who also won the Leadership Award, on the restoration of Grand Central Terminal. Beyer designed retail spaces and the New Market Building, as well as planning circulation patterns. Beyer Blinder Belle is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. 

The Awards are a joyous celebration of the stewards of the winning buildings and the skilled preservation professionals who perform the work. This was the 28th presentation of what has become “the Oscars of Preservation.” 

The Conservancy is grateful for the support of the Henry and Lucy Moses Fund, which makes the Awards possible.

2017 Annual Report
Learn more about the Conservancy and its 2017 projects and advocacy work. Highlights include a push to restore the Olmsted House in Staten Island and the Erasmus Hall Academy Building in Brooklyn. The Conservancy also loaned over $500,000 to homeowners for restoration, provided Emergency Grants to several nonprofit organizations, and granted over $497,000 to 40 religious institutions across New York State.

Metropolitan Club - Luncheon
30th Annual Chairman's Award

The Conservancy cordially invites you to the 30th Annual Chairman’s Award.

Andrew Kimball, Industry City
Mr. Kimball is being recognized for his role in the transformation of  Industry City , the largest adaptive reuse of an industrial campus in the country.

Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, Trinity Church Wall Street
Rev. Dr. Lupfer is receiving an award for his continued stewardship of  Trinity Church Wall Street , one the City’s most important religious sites.

Richard J. Moylan, Green–Wood
Mr. Moylan is being honored for his visionary leadership of historic  Green-Wood  on the occasion of their 180th anniversary.

WHEN:  June 7, 2018
12:00 pm Reception 
12:30 – 2:00 Luncheon

1 East 60th Street at Fifth Avenue
Business attire required

For more information, please contact Alissa Catalano at 212.995.5260 or by email at

The Landmarks Conservancy inaugurated the  Chairman’s Award  in 1988 to recognize exceptional organizations and individuals that have demonstrated their dedication to protecting New York’s rich architectural legacy.
Mystery Landmark
Did You Identify This Mystery Landmark?

It's the Church of Resurrection on East 74th Street between Park and Lexington Avenue in the Upper East Side Historic District. It was originally known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, designed in 1868-69 by James Renwick Jr. The handsome Victorian Gothic style church is one of Renwick's more modest ecclesiastical designs and is made with rough ashlar stone in pointed Gothic style with free stone trimmings.

The building was correctly identified by Richard James Porter and his favorite landmark is the Chrysler Building. " It so perfectly exemplifies its style and period and is an enduring symbol of New York, recognized throughout the nation if not the world."
Join Our Legacy Society and Help Protect New York - Donate Now !

If you love the energy and vibrancy of this great City, help us protect it by including the Landmarks Conservancy in your estate plans. It’s very simple, and can provide significant financial benefits to your loved ones in the process. By joining our Legacy Society, you are supporting programs that preserve the unique character of New York, strengthen its economy, and benefit New Yorkers and visitors alike.

To learn more about how you can help protect New York’s architectural heritage, please contact us at 212.995.5260 or

This month’s Landmark News is sponsored by   Stribling and Associates
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