How to Know if a Building is a Landmark

Official city landmark designation is granted through the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), which “is responsible for protecting New York City's architecturally, historically, and culturally significant buildings and sites by granting them landmark or historic district status, and regulating them once they're designated.”  Today, there are over 31,000 landmarked properties in the five boroughs.  This includes individual landmarks—a standalone, historically significant structure like the Flatiron Building—and those properties included within historic districts—entire neighborhoods, like the Greenwich Village Historic District, that are landmarked.  

The quickest way to determine the landmark status of a building is to visit the Department of Buildings (DOB) website.  Here, you can enter the address of any building in the five boroughs.  When you arrive at the Property Profile Overview page (shown in the screen capture), the field for “Landmark Status” will either say “L- Landmark,” meaning it is in fact a landmarked building (either an individual landmark or in a landmarked district), or it will be blank when there is no landmark designation.  If the former is true for a home, that building will need to apply for special permits through the Landmarks Preservation Commission before doing work to the building.  

There is a third possible “Landmark Status” option, which is “C- Calendared.”  This means that the building is being considered as a landmark and is scheduled to be reviewed by the LPC.  A calendared building is not yet an official landmark, but it may receive the designation after the LPC public hearing.  

Another way to find out if a building is a landmark is by using the city’s handy NYCityMap tool.  When you arrive at the site, simply enter the address in the search toolbar.  A map will appear, highlighting the lot in red.  Be sure to check off the landmark options in the search field by clicking “Show Additional Data on Map” (shown above).  This will show you not only the building’s individual property details, but whether or not it is included in an historic district.  In this screen capture, we can see that 41 West 10th Street is within the boundaries of the Greenwich Village Historic District (highlighted in blue).  You can also find out information like the year the building was constructed, how many floors it has, and its total square footage.  

The city also offers another option for determining landmark status.  On the LPC’s website you can access all historic district maps, as well as maps for proposed districts, and see at a glance if your building falls within the district’s boundaries (the Upper East Side Historic District map is shown above).  

Let us know what you discover about your building. 

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