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Adolf Placzek

Architectural historian and former New York City Landmarks commissioner, Adolf Placzek, speaks about the influence Talbot F. Hamlin and Alan Burnham had on preservationists in the early days of the preservation movement.

Interviewed by Christabel Gough and Anthony C. Wood
October 15, 1987
People: Alan Burnham, Talbot F. Hamlin, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, James Marston Fitch, Carroll L.V. Meeks, Robert Moses, James Grote Van Derpool
Organizations: Society of Architectural Historians
Places: Larkin Administration Building, New York Public Library Main Branch, Pyne-Davison Row
Above: Metropolitan [New York Public] Library, New York, c. 1907; Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Adolf Placzek was an architectural historian and served as a commissioner on the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission from 1984 to 1993. In this interview, originally published in the Village Views, Placzek speaks about the early preservation movement in New York and how architectural historians started to become aware of and value Nineteenth Century American Architecture. A member of the Society of Architectural Historians, he recollects the collective shift towards valuing more mundane styles of buildings such as train stations. He also shares his memories of Talbot F. Hamlin, his list of architectural landmarks and his influence the early members of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

To request a copy of this oral history, please contact info@nypap.org.