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Coalition Forms to Challenge Landmarks Law

Construction, union and real estate groups have formed a coalition to challenge the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission’s ability to regulate landmarks. The organizations, including the Real Estate Board of New York, New York Building Congress, Community Housing Improvement Program and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, among others have created a website that proposes that the landmark designation process is “broken” by  juxtaposing photos of the city’s most beloved landmarks such as the Chrysler Building and the Dakota with photos of non-contributing buildings in historic districts that could be demolished and replaced. The group suggests that major reforms to the designation process are required so that New York City not “…become a city preserved in amber whose best days are behind it.”  The group’s statements follow on the heels of a hearing at City Council where several of REBNY’s suggestions were offered as bills—with only REBNY speaking in favor. We at MAS believe that historic preservation is a critical component of New York’s vibrancy and is part of the reason that companies and people are attracted to move to the city each year. Thoughtful discussion of these issues is part of the important dialogue about the city’s built environment and MAS would welcome a thorough conversation with all parties. We will keep you posted.