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Leading the Commission

Harmon Goldstone

Harmon Goldstone was the second chair of New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and had an instrumental role in the creation of the New York City Landmarks Law.

Interviewed by Anthony C. Wood
May 12, 1987
People: Albert S. Bard, Ethel Nathalie Smith Dana, James Felt, Talbot F. Hamlin, John V. Lindsay, Robert Moses, Geoffrey Platt, J. Lee Rankin
Places: Castle Clinton, Grand Central Terminal, Greenwich Village Historic District, Sailors’ Snug Harbor
Policy: New York City Landmarks Law, Transfer of Development Rights
Above: Restaurant, Grand Central Terminal, N.Y. Central Lines, New York, ca. 1910; Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

In this 1987 interview, originally published in the Village Views, Harmon Goldstone speaks about how the creation New York City Landmarks Law came about. He describes the famous lunch between himself, Geoffrey Platt, and James Felt where the initial idea was discussed and started being officially pursued. During the drafting and review process of the law, Mr. Goldstone recounts his advocacy for it as a member of the New York City Planning Commission. As the second chair of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, he helped to save many important sites, including Sailor’s Snug Harbor and Grand Central Terminal, and was heading the commission when the Greenwich Village Historic District was designated. He also speaks about how he became involved with the Municipal Art Society as a board member and how the organization grew into a strong preservation advocate.

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