NEW YORK, April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- New York City's iconic skyline and distinctive neighborhoods have that special ability to summon feelings of civic identity and pride. Many of these buildings and their interiors; parks and boulevards; as well as a wide number of historic and architecturally-significant neighborhoods, have been preserved thanks to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Law, enacted by then Mayor Robert Wagner on April 19, 1965, to protect the City's architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the law, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel today announced the launch of the NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Committee. Over the next two years, this distinguished committee will work to broaden the public's appreciation of and commitment to New York City's landmarks through a series of events held throughout the five boroughs.
"There is hardly a neighborhood, or a New Yorker, not touched by New York City's preservation movement, which so reflects the great diversity of our city. We are committed to developing future preservationists who will take responsibility for protecting our history, and the continuity of the New York Cityscape," said committee Chair Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. "The Landmarks50 Advisory Committee is an all-voluntary effort that brings together committed individuals and institutions from the public and private sectors to inform and engage the public about the importance of historic preservation, which has ensured that the iconic landmarks of New York continue to be maintained and celebrated throughout the world."
Through the work of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Landmarks Law has protected over 30,000 historic buildings and sites across the five boroughs. Grand Central Station, the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island, Ladies' Mile, Central Park, Jackson Heights and the Ed Sullivan Theater are just some of the well-known and loved places that have been preserved because of this important NYC legislation.
One of the best manifestations of the New York City landscape and the impact of landmarks is the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum of Art. Built by Robert Moses for the 1964 World's Fair in part as a celebration of the City's municipal infrastructure, the 9,335-square-foot architectural model includes every building constructed before 1992 in all five boroughs for a total of 895,000 individual structures. This new exhibition "Marking Spaces: New York City's Landmark Historic Districts," will have yellow flags placed on the model to identify the 109 historic districts throughout the five boroughs.
"The Panorama has always been intended as a vehicle to educate and celebrate the built environment that is New York City," said Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director of the Queens Museum of Art. "What better way to commemorate 50 years of the Landmarks Preservation Law than to gaze upon the five boroughs and think of what our evolving city would be today were it not for those with the foresight to preserve our City's past while also looking to its future."
This simple and visual project was initiated through the NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Committee, and funded in part by Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall. The exhibition includes photographic images of these districts courtesy of the Historic Districts Council, as well as maps of the districts provided by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. It will be on view from Sunday, April 14, 2013 to June 2, 2013. "The Historic Districts Council is very pleased to help shine a light on New York City's designated historic districts for the public in such a visual way. We hope that this exhibit increases the public's awareness of exactly what and where New York's historic districts are located," said Simeon Bankoff, executive director, Historic Districts Council.
"I am happy to support the new exhibition, Marking Spaces: New York City's Landmark Historic Districts, at the Queens Museum of Art. The world-famous Panorama of the City of New York is an appropriate and fitting place to focus attention on the history and preservation of sites and districts throughout our great metropolis. The 109 historic districts in the new exhibit on landmarks show in a very practical way our respect and admiration for past accomplishments as we continue to build for the future," said Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall. "I thank Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, the Landmarks50 Advisory Committee and the Queens Museum of Art and all the public/private partnerships that have come together to make events like this one possible as we lay the foundation for the 50th Anniversary of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Law."
About Landmarks50 Advisory Committee
The NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Committee was formed to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the New York City landmarks law, which was enacted on April 19, 1965. The goal of the project is to broaden the appreciation of, and commitment, to New York City's most admired architecture, as well as to develop a new audience and generation of future preservationists. This is an all-voluntary effort brings together the public and private sector to inform, and educate the public about historic preservation in New York City.
Committee members include Douglas Blonsky, President and CEO of the Central Park Conservancy; Vin Cipolla, President, Municipal Art Society; Peg Breen, President of The NYC Landmarks Conservancy; Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director, Historic Districts Council; Emily Rafferty, President, the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Jonelle Procope, President and CEO, The Apollo Theater; Caroline Baumann, Acting Director, Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum; Jordan Roth, President, Jujamcyn Theatres; David Rockwell, Founder and President, Rockwell Group; Shelly Rubin, Co-founder, Rubin Museum of Art; Lisa Dennison, Chairman, Sotheby's North and South America; Tony Bechara, Chair, El Museo del Barrio and many more. To get involved, share ideas and volunteer your time, email [email protected].
CONTACT: Eiko Suzuki, 212-704-8192
SOURCE NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Committee