Events & News

Past Leaders Look to the Future: The Former Chairs of the Landmarks Preservation Commission Look to the Agency’s Future

April 25, 2013
6:30 p.m.
The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen

Nearly 50 years ago the New York City Landmarks Law was passed and the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) was established. In the years since, the LPC has become an integral part of the city’s administration with the Commission’s Chairs at the helm, charged with safeguarding the city’s historic, aesthetic, and cultural heritage. Before long a new Chair will join their ranks.

During this enlightening panel discussion, “Past Leaders Look to the Future: The Former Chairs of the Landmarks Preservation Commission Look to the Agency’s Future,” four former Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairs–Beverly Moss Spatt, Kent Barwick, Laurie Beckelman, and Sherida Paulsen–explored the unique challenges they faced during their tenures and the responsibilities of the position. Most interestingly, these past Chairs discussed the leadership qualities that will be required of the successor of current Chair Robert B. Tierney to help the agency navigate the future of the Landmarks Law. The panel was moderated by Liz McEnaney, who has been interviewing the former Chairs as part of a large-scale oral history initiative undertaken by the Archive Project and funded by the Robert A. & Elizabeth R. Jeffe Foundation. The event was an illuminating reflection upon administering nearly 50 years of the Landmarks Law and a look forward to the new Chair’s role in shaping the future of preservation in New York City.

The Archive Project thanks the Historic Districts Council, the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, the Fine Arts Federation, and the General Society for Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York for co-sponsoring this program. This panel was part of NYC Landmarks50, the multi-year celebration of the 50th anniversary of New York City’s Landmarks Law.

The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen
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Above: Promotional image for "Past Leaders Look to the Future" panel; Courtesy of the New York Preservation Archive Project