Rescued, Restored, Reimagined: New York's Landmark Interiors

March 6 – April 24, 2015

Interiors are the environments in which we conduct our daily lives. They are as integral to the identity of buildings as the exteriors that enclose them. Yet interiors are in a sense ephemeral, as they are often created for a specific purpose, client, and moment in time. While building exteriors can be adapted for new uses without dramatic alteration, the spaces they enclose are inherently vulnerable.

The original 1965 Landmarks Law did not even consider interiors, perhaps reflecting a bias shared by the Law’s early proponents, most of whom were architects, as well as the concern that protecting interiors would interfere with their use. Even today, of more than 31,000 designated New York City landmarks, only 117 are interiors.

Rescued, Restored, Reimagined is the untold story of some of New York City’s landmark interiors. Among those protected are iconic spaces such as Grand Central Terminal, the Chrysler Building lobby, or the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport. This exhibition highlights some of the lesser known but equally remarkable interiors, illustrating how public and private, commercial and community, and other interests can work together to meet the challenges of preservation.

This exhibition also highlights the importance of interior design in the creation and preservation of New York’s design heritage. Architects are often given primary credit for the design of buildings, both outside and in, and to date, only one interior designer has ever been appointed to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The New York School of Interior Design is proud to present the story of landmark interiors as part of the NYC Landmarks50 Alliance, the citywide celebration of the 50th anniversary of New York City’s Landmarks Law.

Curatorial Committee:

Hugh Hardy, FAIA, H3HC Architects
Judith Gura, Design Historian, NYSID faculty
Kitty Hawks, Interior Designer, Board Member, Municipal Arts Society
Kate Wood, President, Landmark West!

Location and Hours

NYSID Gallery
161 East 69th Street (between Lexington and 3rd Avenues)
New York City

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm.
Closed on all major holidays.
Admission is free.
Visit or call 212.472.1500 for more information.



Wednesday, March 25, 6pm

Hugh Hardy, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture; Kitty Hawks, interior designer; and Justin Davidson, architectural critic, will join New York magazine design editor Wendy Goodman in a provocative discussion about the problems faced in preserving landmark interiors in an era of changing needs and a city committed to the pursuit of the new. Register here.


Exhibition on view at the New York School of Interior Design Gallery through April 24th. 161 East 69th Street; Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 6pm. Admission is free. Learn more.


A city-wide celebration of the the 50th anniversary of New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, with many events, exhibitions, and programs staged by public and private organizations around the city. Visit