Timeline of Key Events

1954-65
Robert F. Wagner, mayor

1956
NYS Bard Act passed, enabling creation of NYC Landmarks Law

1963
Pennsylvania Station demolished

1965-68
Geoffrey Platt, Landmarks Preservation commission chair

1965
NYC Landmarks Law passed, empowering Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to designate and regulate landmarks

Students march in “Children’s Crusade” to save the Old Merchant’s House, singing “Where have all the landmarks gone?”

1966-73
John V. Lindsay, mayor

1967
Old Metropolitan Opera demolished

Della Robbia Grill converted to a parking garage

1968-73
Harmon Goldstone, LPC chair

1968
NYS court upholds Sailors’ Snug Harbor designation, affirming constitutional authority of the LPC to protect landmarks

1969
Molotov cocktail destroys Gould Memorial Library interior

1970
Ada Louise Huxtable critiques Metropolitan Museum’s Great Hall restoration:  “What destructive wonders are wrought with light, paint, expensive corporate details and a few cuts in the walls.”

1971
Plaza Hotel public rooms redecorated

US Custom House vacated

1972
Council Member Carter Burden introduces bill to amend Landmarks Law, creating interior and scenic landmarks

1973
Citizens for a Sensible Landmarks Law organized to advocate for Law amendments

Roberta Brandes Gratz series of New York Post articles spurs Mayor Lindsay to follow through on promises to strengthen Landmarks Law

Landmarks Law amendments passed, with broad support

1974-77
Abraham Beame, mayor
Beverly Moss Spatt, LPC chair

1974
City proposes demolition of Tweed Courthouse, triggering formation of Save the Tweed Committee

Plaza Hotel reverses 1971 changes to public rooms’ décor

1976
R. Michael Brown becomes first (and still only) interior designer appointed to LPC

1978-89
Edward I. Koch, mayor

1978-83
Kent Barwick, LPC chair

1978
United States Supreme Court upholds Landmarks Law’s protection of  Grand Central Terminal (Penn Central Transportation v. NYC)

Rockefeller Center announces permanent closing of Radio City Music Hall

American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) provides seed money for photographic documentation of Radio City Music Hall and exhibit “Radio City – Keep It Kicking,” curated by R. Michael Brown

ASID launches Significant Interiors Survey, coordinated by R. Michael Brown, with 700 NYC interiors as pilot project

LPC disapproves plan to redecorate Chrysler Building lobby

1979
Merchant’s House Museum reopens after 9-year restoration

Apollo Theater closes

1980
Gerald Arend, a concerned citizen with offices in the Marine Air Terminal, raises funds to have James Brooks mural restored by original artist

1982
Astor, Bijou, Gaiety, Helen Hayes and Morosco Theaters demolished to make way for the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Broadway, scores of protestors arrested.

In New York Times op-eds, Real Estate Board of NY criticizes LPC for designating too many landmarks, preservationists say not enough

LPC holds a two-day public hearing on Broadway theaters

Neglected Sunset Play Center receives city funds for restoration

1984-88
Gene A. Norman, LPC chair

1986
Grassroots “Save the Beacon” campaign stops LPC-approved conversion of theater into disco

Rainbow Room renovated

1987-88
LPC designates 28 Broadway theaters as landmarks

Theater owners sue LPC, warning that landmark designation might prove “fatal” to city’s theater industry

1989
David F.M. Todd, LPC chair

Mark Hellinger Theater becomes Times Square Church

Owners of Seagram Building seek interior designation of the building’s lobby but oppose designation of the Four Seasons restaurant, arguing that the 50-year-old Modern interior without its furnishings – was “a void, without any particular architectural character.”

1990-93
David N. Dinkins, mayor
Laurie Beckelman, LPC chair

1990
Restored Ellis Island Great Hall opens as immigration museum

McAlpin Hotel Marine Grill gutted (mosaic murals saved and later reinstalled in Broadway-Nassau subway station)

1992
Guggenheim Museum interior restored, addition built

US Supreme Court declines to hear Broadway theater owners’ case against landmark designation

1993
NYS court upholds landmark designation of Four Seasons restaurant

1994-2001
Rudolph W. Giuliani, mayor
Jennifer Raab, LPC chair

1994
Luchow’s restaurant gutted by fire, demolished a year later

Loew’s Paradise theater closed

1996
Fire destroys restoration underway at Loew’s Paradise Theater

1997
New Amsterdam Theater restored

1998
Grand Central Terminal restored

1999
Radio City Music Hall restored

Ceiling mural in Chrysler Building lobby restored

2000
World Monuments Fund declares Seventh Regiment Armory one of world’s “100 Most Endangered Historic Sites”

2001
Federal Hall sustains structural damage from 9/11 attacks

Woolworth Building and other interiors closed to the public due to heightened security concerns [17. TOURIST SIGN]

Restored Tweed Courthouse opens as NYC Department of Education office and school

Apollo Theater restored

TWA Terminal closes, amid plans to encase the original building inside a new terminal

2002-2013
Michael R. Bloomberg, mayor

2002
Sherida E. Paulsen, LPC chair

Brooklyn Historical Society library reopens after major restoration

Restored Bowery Savings Bank (Bowery location) opens as special-events space

Fred F. French lobby restored

2003-2014
Robert B. Tierney, LPC chair

2004
Work begins on Gould Memorial Library rehabilitation plan

Marine Air Terminal restored

US Custom House reopens after 10-year restoration as National Museum of the American Indian

2005
Restored Loew’s Paradise reopens as entertainment venue

Hotel workers’ union fights plan to convert Plaza Hotel to condos, work begins to restore public rooms

2006
Federal Hall reopens

Williamsburgh Savings Bank (Hanson Place) is converted to special-events venue

2007
Merchant’s House Museum begins work on interior restoration plan

Seventh Regiment Armory Conservancy begins adapting interior for visual and performing arts programs, describes restoration work as “delayering”

City Hall restoration begins

2008
Beacon Theater restored

New terminal built next to TWA Terminal, leaving most of original intact, interior restored

2009
30 Rockefeller Plaza lobby murals restored

Rainbow Room closes

2010
Belasco Theater restored

JPMorgan Chase leaves Manufacturers Trust Company building, taking Harry Bertoia screen and hanging sculpture

Morgan Library restored

2011
Empire State Building lobby restored

LPC approves plans to alter Manufacturers Trust Company interior

2012
Loew’s Paradise reopens as church

Most of Ellis Island, including Great Hall, submerged during Hurricane Sandy

American Museum of Natural History Memorial Hall restored

Preservationists win legal settlement returning Bertoia pieces to Manufacturers Trust Company interior

2014-present
Bill de Blasio, mayor
Meenakshi Srinivasan, LPC chair

2014
Williamsburgh Savings Bank (Broadway) restored and reopened as special-event space

Next-door construction threatens Merchant’s House Museum structure and interior plasterwork

Rainbow Room reopens as private-event space

Picasso’s “Le Tricorne” removed from Four Seasons restaurant

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CHANGING USE: THE DILEMMA OF LANDMARK INTERIORS

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.

RESCUED, RESTORED, REIMAGINED: NEW YORK’S LANDMARK INTERIORS

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.

FIND MORE LANDMARK RELATED EVENTS @ NYC LANDMARKS50

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 nyclandmarks50.org.