A landmark law is going to shape how we get new landmarks.
New York City may not be the oldest city in the world, but it prides itself on persevering the history it has. Not surprisingly, landmarks prove to be a great way to reflect on history. NYC has a lot, and we mean a lot of landmarks.
We're also adding new landmarks like the Pepsi-Cola Sign in Long Island City, and unfortunately losing some like a 160-year-old Serbian Orthodox Cathedral. Now, it looks like its going to be harder than ever to get more landmarks in this city.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed a bill that limits the amount of time it takes to review a potential landmark, and also granted owners to choose whether or not they wish to have their property labeled as a landmark.
The city's Landmark Preservation Commission will now have two years to determine whether a potential historic district can fall under the landmark category.
Preservationists have pointed out that this is too little time to determine whether or not the designation should be classified as a city landmark.
Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Historic Districts Council among many others have taken great issue with the passing of this bill.
Individual property has even less time than districts to be selected as a landmark. The bill now grants one year, with the slim possibility of another, to be reviewed and then determined to be a landmark.
Opponents of the bill have also pointed out that first-time owners can choose whether or not they want their property to be a landmark.
Essentially, if the property is under review to be a landmark, the owner of it can simply shoot down the proposal. Many are saying this goes against the basic principals of landmark preservation. They're not wrong.
Time has a lot to do with landmark status, so the idea that someone who, through no fault of their own, has no real sense of that time or its significance can ignore what's stood long before they ever got there, well, that's absurd.
Opponents of the bill also point out that the new time frame for review will overload the already-overloaded Landmark Commissions. They're disputing an abiding characteristic of NYC itself though, because if there's one thing we're really good at, it's compounding problems with more of them.
In a city full of landmarks, it's our duty to find more NYC gems to preserve for generations to come. But with this new rushed process, will we really be the city of landmarks fifty years from now?
Check out 6 Stunningly Underrated NYC Landmarks You Must Visit.[via Curbed] [Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]