Monday, December 4, 2006

Tom Wolfe's Op-Ed Provokes a Rebuttal from Landmarks Commission Chair Robert B. Tierney

Tom Wolfe's New York Times op-ed piece (a two-page spread in the Sunday, November 27, edition) clearly struck its target. And a few nerves. See Tierney's letter to the Times editor below. Nothing that Tierney has to say about the Landmarks Preservation Commission's accomplishments takes away from Wolfe's main point: that the Commission is on a downward spiral, and the "country's strongest landmarks law" is getting weaker by the moment. We truly hope that Tierney's projection of 1,000 additional landmarks in the next year is accurate. The Commission certainly has a lot of work to catch up on. Fewer than 1,000 buildings have been designated during the entire 5-year Bloomberg Administration to date (and only 46 in Fiscal Year 2005!).

December 2, 2006

Landmarks Commission (1 Letter)
To the Editor:
Re "The (Naked) City and the Undead," by Tom Wolfe (Op-Ed, Nov. 26):

Backed by the country's strongest landmarks law, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has protected more than 7,000 historically, architecturally and culturally significant buildings and structures in the last 20 years alone.

The notion that the commission has been "defunct" for two decades simply doesn't hold up.

In total, there are 23,000 designated landmarks in New York City. The commission is slated to designate over 1,000 more in the coming year, including the Crown Heights North section of Brooklyn, a historic district that is poised to become the city's largest designation in more than a

The commission works throughout the five boroughs and in close consultation with communities and other city agencies. This comprehensive approach ensures that we preserve what's distinctive about our great city for future generations, even at a time of tremendous growth.

Robert B. Tierney
Chairman, N.Y.C. Landmarks Preservation Commission
New York, Nov. 27, 2006

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