June 6, 2019
A crucial sponsor of the NYC Landmarks Law, Judge Seymour Boyers, passed away on January 7, 2019. A prominent attorney, politician, judge, and former City Council member, Seymour Boyers was one of three sponsors of the Landmarks Law passed by the Council in 1965. In a 2006 interview conducted by the Archive Project, Boyers drew on his personal records to recount the dynamics of the bill’s drafting, the perspectives of organizations and individuals who were consulted during the drafting process, and the political strategies that helped ensure the bill’s passage. The interview also touches on the legal landscape relating to landmarks in the first few years after the law was enacted.
William “Bill” Conklin died on November 22, 2018. Conklin, an architect and former vice chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, chaired the Historic City Committee, assembled to propose possible reforms to the NYC Landmarks Law in the 1980s. Known as the Conklin Report and formally titled “New York: The Historic City,” the committee’s recommendations proposed a redefinition of the Commission, an increase in its budget, and cyclical moratoriums on designation. Conklin is also known for restoring Brooklyn Borough Hall in the late 1980s and designing Butterfield House, considered one of the best examples of a modern infill building in a historic district that was sympathetic to its setting and yet retained its integrity as a modern design.