Recognizing New York City’s Landmark Buildings

Martha Yuan Tao, Metrofocus | March 2, 2015

Historic Landmarks Preservation Center Cultural Medallion Ceremony

For more than 15 years, the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center (HLPC) has recognized New Yorkers’ contributions to the arts, sciences, the law, business, education, sports and politics through its Cultural Medallion Program. The medallions are placed on buildings associated with notable people or occurrences.

Many of these buildings have been preserved thanks to the Landmark Preservation Law enacted in 1965 by then mayor Robert Wagner. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the law, HLPC created the NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Committee. The committee aims to further spotlight historically significant buildings, events, and personalities that helped shape New York City into what it is today.

“There isn’t a neighborhood in New York that hasn’t been transformed by this remarkable law,” said Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, chair of Landmarks50 and of HLPC.

The NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Committee includes leaders of many of New York’s corporate, cultural and art organizations and the most recent medallion installation ceremony was held last month at 312 W. 77th street, where the legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis lived and worked from 1960 to 1983.

Students from Harlem School of the Arts Advanced Jazz Combo, Dominique Gervais (drums), Matthew Whitaker (keyboard), Franklin Rankin (guitar), and Oren Maximov (bass) perform at an event honoring jazz legend Miles Davis and his former home on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Over the next two years, the committee will host a series of such installations to record the lasting influence of more city icons, informing and engaging the public in the city’s rich cultural heritage.

“It’s important to preserve these because the spirit of the people are still within those walls,” said Gary Bartz, Grammy award-winning saxophonist and clarinetist. “Hopefully this will continue and there will be other monuments around.”

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