Landmarks Preservation Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan and the Waldorf Astoria Lobby
Landmarks Chair Resigns - Tenure Included Many Designations but Concerns About Rules Continue

Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan announced that she would be resigning as of June 1. Though long planned, the announcement came in the midst of public concern over proposed rules changes at the agency.

The Conservancy joined colleagues in a recent letter to the Chair asking that the rules process be stopped because of many and various questions from Community Boards, elected officials and preservation groups. There has been no response to date. ( read letter )
Srinivasan is both an architect and city planner. Her focus at LPC has been on efficiency, transparency, greatly improving information on the agency website and cultural landmarks. During her tenure, the LPC designated 3800 buildings. These include 67 individual landmarks, 9 historic districts and 3 interior landmarks.

The individual landmarks include 12 in Midtown East; buildings in East Harlem and East New York, areas being re-zoned; and 27 buildings that had lingered for years on a “backlog” list that has now been cleared. Interior landmarks include the great public rooms of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and the New York Public Library’s glorious Rose Main Reading Room. Cultural landmarks include the Stonewall Inn.

Srinivasan was quoted as saying that she was proud that the Commission focused on areas not previously represented by designations, but with stories to tell. She also said she was returning to her “first love, city planning and zoning.”

The Conservancy also joined colleagues in a joint letter to the Mayor describing preservation’s contributions to the City’s economy, tourism and quality of life and stressing the importance of the Chair’s position. ( read letter )

The Conservancy is concerned about the proposed rules changes because they would add a complicated layer of bureaucracy to the permit process and, in practical terms, requiring hiring an architect or expediter. They would limit Community Board review of projects that have a strong impact neighborhoods, such as rooftop and backyard additions. They would also create a new category of “lesser” buildings within historic districts, potentially allowing significant alteration or even demolition in a district without public notification or input.
Historic Richmond Town
Emergency Grant Help for 1819 Staten Island Building

Historic Richmond Town received an Emergency Preservation Grant of $10,000 for urgent stabilization and to defray the cost of engineer’s and architect’s fees for the restoration of the historic Guyon Tavern, after a car damaged the 1819 building.

On the night of April 2, an SUV plowed through the front façade of the two-story frame building at 3752 Richmond Road in Staten Island. The elderly driver was not badly hurt and does not face charges but the impact took out a corner structural post and portions of the front and side facades. We called Historic Richmond Town as soon as we heard about the accident and they asked for our help in getting a qualified engineer to the scene as soon as possible. The Conservancy called on our colleagues at Old Structures Engineering , who went out to visit the site immediately and specified emergency stabilization measures. The building was stabilized and sealed and is now in no danger of collapse. The board of directors of Historic Richmond Town is currently deciding on an architect for the restoration of the building.

The nearly 200-year old building is part of Historic Richmond Town , a preserved historic village comprised of roughly 30 buildings located near the center of Staten Island.

Flatbush, Brooklyn
Work About to Begin at Erasmus Hall Academy

The Conservancy joined staff members from the Department of Education and the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a final walk-through of Erasmus Hall Academy prior to the commencement of roof replacement work. The finish roofing was selected from samples provided by the contractor, who also joined us. New brick for chimney repairs was also selected. Work is to commence within the next few weeks.

The $600,000 roof and dormer restoration project is being funded by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. Phase 2, which will include repair and repainting of the four facades, porches and windows will be funded separately.

Erasmus Hall Academy was built in 1786 as a private school for boys. Founded with the assistance of Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, John Jay and others, it was the first secondary school chartered by the New York State of Regents. It is a Federal-period wooden building situated largely out of the view of the public within the central courtyard of Erasmus Hall High School. It is significant both for its distinguished architecture and its associations with the Founding Fathers. The Conservancy has worked to restore and reuse this building for more than a decade. 
Fund Staff - James Mahoney, Blaire Walsh, and Mark Weber
Historic Properties Fund (HPF)
Conservancy's Loan Program Approves Four New Projects

The Historic Properties Fund Board welcomed Mark Weber as the new Fund Director at its April 26th board meeting, where four new loans were approved totaling $570,000. These four projects would bring the total amount of funds committed by HPF to $28,220,236 and the number of properties assisted to 258.

Two of the loans will fund exterior restoration work on two brownstones in Upper Manhattan. One, a Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival row house in the Manhattan Avenue Historic District built in 1887 and designed by the noted New York City residential architect, C. P. H. Gilbert. This mid-block row house features a rusticated base surmounted by a sheet metal-clad bay window on the parlor floor. The second, a Romanesque Revival row house built in the 1880’s is representative of the row houses built in the late 19th century when Mount Morris Park was developed into a residential community. Another loan will assist a Romanesque Revival row house in Park Slope, Brooklyn built in 1896 that features a bow front façade with curved sash windows. The final loan approved will assist a three-story wood frame double house in Staten Island that was built c. 1873-1874 in the Second Empire style and retains its original slate mansard roof.

Weber returns to the Conservancy following a lengthy stint at the World Monuments Fund from 1998 to 2016. Weber served as the Director of the Technical Services Center while at the Conservancy from 1986 to 1998. He joins Fund staff James Mahoney, Project and Accounting Manager, and Blaire Walsh, Project and Outreach Manager.
Broadway Presbyterian Church, Morningside Heights (photo from Broadway Presbyterian).
Conservancy Grants Mend Buildings, Build Community

The Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Committee met on April 23rd and approved 21 new grants totaling $225,000 to help landmark religious properties implement exterior repair and restoration projects. The Conservancy’s grantees host worship and social services. Grants for roof, masonry, and window restoration ensure these community centers can continue to host health, education, and cultural programs in dry, safe, and warm environments.

Broadway Presbyterian Church, in the newly designated Upper Manhattan Morningside Heights Historic District, is one such grantee. The church facility is used by 18,000 people a year who are served through a variety of social and community programs. There are multiple meal programs, a homeless shelter, healthcare clinic, food pantry, social-services guidance, workforce culinary training, nursery school, community rooftop garden, and an ecumenical university outreach program. The church shares space with a Korean Methodist Congregation, and hosts frequent concerts for multiple city orchestral and performance groups.

The Gothic Revival church was designed by Louis E. Jallade and constructed in 1912 of Manhattan schist with cast stone trim. The Conservancy has worked with Broadway Presbyterian since 2016, when a piece of tower masonry fell. Initial Conservancy funding helped underwrite specifications and bid documents by Bone Levine Architects, to guide masonry restoration. The Conservancy’s latest grant of $30,000 will help fund this comprehensive, $1.2 million project.

Plan Your Adventure - Sacred Sites Open House - MAY 5-6
The Conservancy will host its eighth annual Sacred Sites Open House on May 5-6, 2018. Please join us as religious institutions throughout New York State highlight the art and architecture of their buildings. This year’s theme is, “Sacred Sounds and Settings” and focuses on music and artistic performance in these spaces.

Visit our online Open House Weekend Guide . This searchable database of participating sites features maps and images, and can be sorted by location and date.

Click on the Open House Sites  or Map tabs to begin planning your weekend adventure.
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 Jenna Smith 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 693-697 Broadway (Southwest corner of Broadway and West 4th Street)
aka "Merchants Building" in Manhattan.

Date of construction: 1908
Architect: William C. Frohne

The building was correctly identified by Brent Burdick and his favorite landmark is the Beacon Theatre, along with the many excellent and historic theaters New York is lucky enough to still have.
Moses Awards - Don't Miss!
The Conservancy invites you to the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards, our highest honors for outstanding preservation. This year we honor John H. Beyer , architect and founding partner of Beyer Blinder Belle, as well as the owners and stewards of historic buildings across the City, who completed extraordinary restoration and reuse projects in 2017.

WHEN:  Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE:   St. Bartholomew's Church - 325 Park Avenue, Manhattan


RSVP by May 5
Questions: Jenna Smith at 212.995.5260 or

This month’s Landmark News is sponsored by   Stribling and Associates
This newsletter is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  | Find us on   Facebook  &  Twitter  | Watch us on   YouTube
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