De Blasio Close to Picking Landmarks Head

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The naming of a new chair for the Landmarks Preservation Commission is imminent, according to Crain’s. The short list includes Kate Daly, who is currently the LPC’s executive director, and Ward Dennis, a partner at historic preservation consulting firm Higgins Quasebarth and Partners, LLC.

The Real Estate Board of New York has been fighting hard to tamp down landmarking, especially in Manhattan, arguing that it will prevent the Mayor’s administration from meeting its affordable housing goals.

In Brooklyn, development activity has picked up in the last year in Bed Stuy, along 4th Avenue, and in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Areas in Bed Stuy and Sunset Park, among others, have been proposed for landmarking.

De Blasio Zeroes in on Landmarks Appointment [Crain's]

2 Comment

  • Montrose Morris

    I know Ward, and like and respect him. He’s an ardent preservationist, and has worked diligently over the years to preserve the waterfront and industrial areas of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, as well as generally, the rest of Brooklyn. He and his students in the Columbia University graduate school of Architecture, through the Historic Preservation program, did an excellent and thorough survey of Bushwick a few years ago, citing not only landmark-worthy areas, but plans for community development and revitilization. I use their research all the time. That study is called the Bushwiki and can be found on line. It shows that preservation, neighborhood revitalization and rebuilding are not just for rich areas, but works everywhere, and is not anti-development, but is pro-neighborhood. It can all work together.

    I think his academic and professional qualifications, that study, and his work at Higgins Quasbarth make him quite qualified to oversee the LPC. I do not think he will be a tool of REBNY, far from it. Kate Daly is also a good choice, as are several of the other people on the list.

    I’m glad DeB. listened to those who urged him to find a new commissioner from amongst the preservation community. In spite of his lack of experience in that regard, Commissioner Tierney became a strong advocate for neighborhood preservation, especially in “the outer boroughs.” Manhattan is a different and much harder story, but even there, he was not the tool of developers that perhaps Bloomberg may have expected him to be. He leaves big shoes to fill, and I wish whoever gets the job the best. It’s going to be quite different, this time around.