New York City’s rich history is revealed through its buildings. This week, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designated 826 Broadway, home to the Strand Bookstore, and six adjacent buildings as individual landmarks. These buildings were identified in a thorough historical study of the neighborhood. The building is both architecturally and culturally significant, both as the home of the Strand bookstore and its historic association to the garment industry.
LPC successfully regulates thousands of buildings with businesses of all sizes throughout the city, supporting thriving commercial districts such as the Upper East Side’s Madison Avenue, SoHo, Ladies’ Mile, and Greenwich Village. The Commission recognizes that in this retail environment, businesses need the flexibility to adapt quickly. We recently released storefront guidelines to help business owners get faster approval for their work.
I have personally met with the owner of the Strand building over the last nine months to understand her concerns over designation and the types of changes she is planning for the building. Our regulatory system is efficient and flexible, and I am confident that designation will not impact plans for the Strand Bookstore. In fact, the type of work she has described is typical for commercial storefronts and permits can often be issued quickly by staff.
In my 25 years working for the Commission, I have seen first-hand the power of preservation to revitalize communities, to support economic development and bring pride of place across all five boroughs. Preserving landmarks like these is what helps keep the history of New York alive.
By Sarah Carroll, Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission