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30 Under 30: The Watch List of Future Landmarks

When, many years from now, we look back at the close of the 20th century, which buildings will we select to tell our story?

An independent jury appointed by the Municipal Art Society of New York has just released a of 30 contemporary buildings that it believes to be potential future landmarks. 30 Under 30: The Watch List of Future Landmarks includes residential, cultural, religious and industrial buildings constructed between 1974 and 2004 . The list begins chronologically with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Grace Building and its sibling 9 West 57th Street, completed in 1974; and ends with Richard Meier’s 173/176 Perry Street Condominium Towers, completed in 2002.

Spearheaded by the Society’s Kress Fellow for Historic Preservation, Vicki Weiner, work on the Watch List of Future Landmarks began shortly after Mr. Meier’s 1977 Bronx Developmental Center disappeared under a radical alteration in 2002. Despite an international reputation as a late Modern masterpiece, the building was not yet 30 years old and therefore ineligible for landmark status and protection. The loss of the building served as a wake-up call for the Society to monitor — watch — these buildings today so they will survive long enough to help tell the story of the late 20th century.

Over 150 buildings were nominated to the Watch List by design professionals and the public. The jury used a set of established criteria to judge the buildings based on their artistic, technological, historical and canonic merits, and weighed the influence they had on design and culture in the city and worldwide. Sherida Paulsen, an architect who was chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission from 2001 to 2003, chaired the jury, which included: Paola Antonelli, a curator at the Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA; New York magazine architecture critic Joseph Giovannini; interior designer Kitty Hawks; Paul Makovsky, senior editor of Metropolis Magazine; architect Greg Pasquarelli of the firm SHoP; architectural historian Nina Rappaport; David Sokol, managing editor of I.D. Magazine; and Jacob Tilove, architectural historian at Robert A.M. Stern Architects.