The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)-designated Photo Collection is a digital photographic archive of New York City's designated historic monuments and districts. It allows the public to easily search and explore high-resolution images of designated buildings and sites in all five boroughs. One of these sites is Parkchester, located in the Bronx, which is adorned with more than 1,000 terracotta sculptures of firefighters, mermaids and steelworkers. But is there a plan to protect them?\In 1978, the staff of the commission on historic monuments drafted a survey report on the Bronx in which five potential historic districts were identified, with Parkchester at the top of the list.
Jeffrey Kroessler, professor of historic preservation at Columbia University, worked on the 1978 Bronx survey and later wrote the book on historic districts to commission the first edition of the “New York City Guide to Monuments”. To honor his work, the Historic Districts Council (HDC) recently announced the creation of the Jeffrey Kroessler Student Research Award. This annual jury award rewards original graduate research on topics related to the historic preservation of New York City.\New York has no national parks, but there are 20 other National Park Service areas that mainly protect historic sites. The Department of Transportation has also provided funding to New York City to help reimagine the highway that crosses the Bronx and bring this project closer to its goal.
In addition, government programs for historic preservation range from federal ownership and active operation of sites (such as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York Harbor) to grants and subsidies provided by the state government, municipal support for museums and interpretive exhibits (such as plaques next to roads and city history websites).\Andrew Dolkart, director of Columbia University's Historic Preservation Program, said that Parkchester and Castle Village in Manhattan were the first housing projects in the United States to implement modernist precepts of park towers established by Le Corbusier, an influential Swiss-born architect. The New York City Historic Monuments Preservation Commission was founded (following the demolition of the original Penn Station building) to identify and preserve New York City's monuments. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) works with governments, the public, and educational and nonprofit organizations to raise awareness about historic preservation, instill in New Yorkers a sense of pride in their state's unique history, and encourage heritage tourism and community revitalization.\Recently, New York City Mayor Eric Adams began a major community-driven study to reimagine the highway that crosses the Bronx. This includes an examination of the feasibility of covering sections of the road.
Quasi-governmental organizations such as the New York State Highway Authority and Thousand Island Bridge Authority (which have historic sites on their properties) also play an important role. The LPC features two historic district headstones that commemorate Manida Street in South Bronx and its designation as a historic district. Furthermore, a RAISE grant will help bring this project to life and make a lasting impact in the Bronx for decades.\With these initiatives in place, it is clear that there are plans to preserve historical landmarks as part of these projects in Bronx, New York.