Glossary of Landmark Preservation Terms

Adaptive use:
The process of converting a building to a use other than that for which it was designed.

Banking interior:
The area of the designated interior historically used for banking operations and any associated interior spaces including, without limitation, entrance vestibules or mezzanines identified in the designation report as part of the designated interior.

Interior architectural feature:
The architectural style, design, general arrangement and components of an interior, including, but not limited to, the kind, color and texture of the building material and the type and style of all windows, doors, lights, signs and other fixtures appurtenant to such interior.

Interior landmark:
An interior, or part thereof, any part of which is thirty years old or older, and which is customarily open or accessible to the public, or to which the public is customarily invited, and which has a special historical or aesthetic interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the city, state or nation, and which has been designated as a landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Issued by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in accordance with the provisions of the Landmarks Law. (a) “PMW” shall mean a Permit for Minor Work as defined by Section 25‐310 of the Landmarks Law. (b) “CNE” shall mean a Certificate of No Effect as defined by Section 25‐306 of the   Landmarks Law. (c) “CofA” shall mean Certificate of Appropriateness as defined by Section 25‐307 of   the Landmarks Law.

Police power:
The right of government to restrict the use of property and individual conduct (denial of demolition, for example) in the interest of the public health, safety and welfare.

The act or process of applying measures to sustain the existing form, integrity, and material of a building or structure.  It my include initial stabilization work, where necessary, as well as ongoing maintenance of the historic building materials.

The act or process of reproducing by new construction the exact form and detail of a vanished building, structure, or object or a pat thereof, as it appeared at a specific period of time.

The act or process of returning a property to a state of utility through repair or alteration which makes possible an efficient contemporary use while preserving those portions or features of the property which are significant to its historical, architectural and cultural values.

Questionable modernization of a historic building in which inappropriate alterations are made and important features and details eliminated.

The act or process of accurately recovering the form and details of a property and its setting as it appeared at a particular period of time by means of the removal of later work or by the replacement of missing earlier work.

Reversible alteration:
An alteration in which the altered feature can be readily returned to its appearance prior to the alteration.

Significant features:
The interior architectural features of the designated interior that the LPC has determined contribute to the special historic, cultural, and/or aesthetic character for which the interior was designated and therefore require protection.

The act or process of applying measures designed to reestablish a weather-resistant enclosure and structural stability while maintaining the essential form as it exists at present.



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