Saving Place: April 21 - Sept. 13, 2015

Many believe New York’s pioneering Landmarks Law, enacted in April 1965, was the key factor in the rebirth of New York in the final quarter of the 20th century. It fostered pride in neighborhoods and resulted in neighborhood preservation in every borough, connecting and motivating residents and bringing new economic life to older communities. It ensured that huge swaths of the city remain a rich complex of new and old. It also ensured the creative re-use of countless buildings. At the same time, a new body of important architecture has emerged as architects, clients, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission devised innovative solutions for the renovation of landmark buildings and for new buildings in historic districts. The law spawned creativity in architects’ responses to building preservation that has enhanced the cityscape in all five boroughs.

Presented to celebrate the law's 50th anniversary, Saving Place will be organized by Donald Albrecht, the City Museum's Curator of Architecture and Design and Andrew S. Dolkart, the Director of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University, with consulting curator Seri Worden, currently a consultant with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Exhibition Co-chairs: Frederick Bland, Jim Hanley, Hugh Hardy, William Higgins, John J. Kerr, Esq., Richard Olcott, Raymond Pepi, Frank Sciame, Michael Sillerman

Honorary Chairs: Kent Barwick, Laurie Beckelman, Gene Norman, Sherida Paulsen, Jennifer Raab, Beverly Moss Spatt, Meenakshi Srinivasan, Robert B. Tierney

Read the press release

Read more from curator Donald Albrecht on our blog.

Public Programs

Redefining Preservation for the 21st Century: A Symposium
Monday, April 20 at 5:30 pm
Join us for a multi-disciplinary symposium exploring the challenges and the opportunities of the preservation movement today and in the future.

Preserving the Fabric of Our Neighborhoods
Tuesday, May 26 at 6:30 pm
Join a group of leading experts as they explore the intersections between historic preservation and affordable housing.

The Reach of the Landmarks Law: A Balancing Act
Thursday, June 18 at 6:30pm
Join a group of preservation experts as they will explore the possibilities, limitations, and challenges of the landmarks law.

Educator Programs

Free Educator Open House: Saving Place: Fifty Years of New York City Landmarks
Wednesday, April 22 from 5:00 - 6:30 pm
Explore this exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Landmarks Law, which resulted in neighborhood preservation in every borough.

Educator Workshop: Saving Place: Engaging Students with New York City Landmarks
Saturday, May 9 OR Wednesday, May 13 from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Join leading historians and museum educators for a day dedicated to celebrating the 50th anniversary of New York’s pioneering Landmarks Law.

Group Tours

Interested in booking a group tour? Click here to learn about opportunities to join Museum scholars and curators for a closer look.

Walking Tours

The Museum will present a series of walking tours in collaboration with Municipal Art Society’s “50 for the 50th!” Tours.

Exploring Elmhurst, Queens
Saturday, April 25 at 2:00 pm
Join tour guide, Linda Fisher, 30-year Queens resident and urban explorer and learn to see the borough as more than just its sitcoms.

Around Washington Square: 1965-2015
Sunday, April 26 at 2:00 pm
Join us on this new walking tour with architectural historian Francis Morrone, to examine the effects of historic district designation and the many changes--physical, economic, social--that have come over a neighborhood that, for all its Old New York charm, seems to acquire an entirely new character every quarter century or so.

STORE FRONT: The Disappearing Face of New York
Sunday, April 26 at 2:00 pm
Join guides and MAS Summit speakers James & Karla Murray, the photographers and authors of "STORE FRONT: The Disappearing Face of New York and New York Nights," as they visit some of the remarkable East Village and Lower East Side storefronts documented in their books, and remember those which have disappeared.

Celebrating the Brooklyn Heights Historic District: The Southern Route
Friday, May 1 at 2:00 pm
Join us on this walking tour with architectural historian Matt Postal, that focuses on this handsome tree-lined historic neighborhood south of Montague Street, including the charming enclave called “Willowtown.”

Generations in Flatbush, Brooklyn
Sunday, May 10 at 2:00 pm
Join guide and journalist Norman Oder for a brisk slalom through this zone south of Prospect Park, which contains remarkable contrasts: bustling, West Indian Flatbush Avenue, with landmarks like Erasmus High School and the revived Loew's Kings Theater, and a corridor of apartment houses to rival the Bronx's Grand Concourse.

A Stroll with the Bronx County Historical Society
Tuesday, May 12 at 12:00 pm
Join Angel Hernandez of the Bronx County Historical Society on a historic stroll through the neighborhood as he highlights the historic sites and much more.

Crown Heights North in Brooklyn
Saturday, May 16 at 11:00 am
Join tour guide Suzanne Spellen, writer and architectural historian, aka columnist "Montrose Morris" on and Morgan Munsey, architect, historian, and expert on the architecture of Bedford Stuyvesant; to explore all of the architectural treasures found in Crown Heights North, one of Brooklyn's most beautiful, but underappreciated neighborhoods.

All Around Snug Harbor, Staten Island: Part 2
Saturday, May 23 at 11:00 am
Join Staten Island native and popular guide Georgia Trivizas on this two part tour that will examine the area's continued ties to culture and the arts, how this area connected, for example, to a nation's struggles in the Civil War through Robert Gould Shaw, and also how, through shipping and the industry of various eras, this part of Staten Island connected to the world.

Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem
Sunday, May 24 at 1:00 pm
Join independent historian Eric K. Washington, winner of the Municipal Art Society's 2010 MASterworks Award and author of the book, "Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem," for an overview of this area's eventful, yet often unsung, past.

Preserving Medical Structures on Roosevelt Island: Part 1
Sunday, May 24 at 2:00 pm
Join guide Judith Berdy, president of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, on a walking tour that explores what happened to these structures and their use now that they are NYC designated landmarks.

Three and a Half Historic Districts in Chelsea
Friday, May 29 at 2:00 pm
This new tour with journalist and guide Judy Richheimer begins with Lamartine Place, which, comprised of just twelve buildings, is among the smallest of New York's historic districts.

Williamsburg's Changing Landscapes
Saturday, May 30 at 11:00 am
Join us on this walking tour starting near the Williamsburg Bridge, with journalist and guide Norman Oder. We'll look at sections of Williamsburg that include repurposed banks, new galleries, eateries, and retail outlets, blocks stabilized by nonprofit/city investment, and a waterfront rezoned for towers.

  • Press

    • "Exhibition highlights 50-year-old New York City Landmarks Law" Associated Press
    • "New Exhibit–Saving Place: Fifty Years of NYC Landmarks at MCNY: Interview with the Curators" Untapped Cities
    • "Discover 50 Years of New York City's Historic Landmarks" Architectural Digest


    J.M. Kaplan Fund
    Con Edison
    Extell Development Company
    Robert A. & Elizabeth R. Jeffe Foundation
    New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation
    Sciame/Frank Sciame
    Taconic Builders/Jim Hanley
    Two Trees Management Company/David Walentas

    42nd Street Development Corporation
    O. Kelley Anderson
    Beyer Blinder Belle
    The Brodsky Organization
    Carolyn S. Brody Family Foundation
    David F. and Frances A. Eberhart Foundation
    Ennead Architects
    John J. Kerr and Nora Wren Kerr
    L & L Holding Company
    New York Preservation Archive Project
    Peter Pennoyer Architects
    Reilly Windows & Doors/Michael Reilly
    Robert A.M. Stern Architects
    Howard L. Zimmerman Architects

    Artistic Doors & Windows Manufacturing
    Authentic Window Design
    Bentel & Bentel, Architects/Planners
    BKSK Architects
    Françoise Bollack and Thomas Killian
    Bone Levine Architects
    Brisk Waterproofing Company
    Building Conservation Associates/Raymond M. Pepi
    Catherine Cahill and William Bernhard
    Carnegie Hill Neighbors
    William and Robin D. Hubbard
    Suzanne Davis and Rolf Ohlhausen
    Deerpath Construction Corporation
    Ferguson & Shamamian Architects
    H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture/Hugh Hardy
    Higgins Quesebarth & Partners
    Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti
    E. William Judson
    Stephen S. Lash
    Brenda Levin
    Empire State Realty Trust
    James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation
    Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects
    The Nanz Company
    Old Structures Engineering
    Thomas Phifer and Partners
    Platt Byard Dovell White Architects
    Polart Group/Wesley Armatowski
    Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects
    Encarnita and Robert Quinlan
    G.P. Schafer Architect
    SHoP Architects
    The Stonbely Family Foundation
    Skyline Windows/Peter Warren
    Barbara and Donald Tober Foundation
    Cynthia Wainwright and Stephen Berger
    West New York Restoration of CT
    Roy J. Zuckerberg Family Foundation/Lloyd Zuckerberg


    Mr. and Mrs. Oscar K. Anderson III
    Patricia Begley and George H. Beane
    Stephen G. Berliner/Savills Studley
    Lucienne and Claude Bloch
    Joan H. Geismar, Ph.D.
    Jeanne Giordano and Robert Frasca
    Linda Yowell Architects
    Nicholson & Galloway Inc.
    Nancy and Otis Pearsall
    Nicholas Quennell
    Annabelle Selldorf
    Linda Yowell Architects

    With public support from:

    Honorable Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, City Council
    Honorable Helen Rosenthal, City Council Member

    Saving Place is also made possible by:

    The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.