The Landmarks of New York, Fifth Edition

An Illustrated Record of the City's Historic Buildings

By Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel

Subjects: Architectural History/architecture, New York/regional
Series: Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Hardcover : 9781438437699, 760 pages, September 2011

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Table of contents

The Landmarks of New York, 1965–2011
Individual Landmarks
Lampposts, Bracket Lights, and Sidewalk Clocks
Historic Districts
Photography Credits

The definitive resource on the architectural history of New York City.


As the definitive resource on the architectural history of New York City, The Landmarks of New York, Fifth Edition documents and illustrates the 1,276 individual landmarks and 102 historic districts that have been accorded landmark status by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission since its establishment in 1965. Arranged chronologically, by date of construction, the book offers a sequential overview of the city's architectural history and richness, presenting a broad range of styles and building types: colonial farmhouses, Gilded Age mansions, churches, schools, libraries, museums, and the great twentieth-century skyscrapers that are recognized throughout the world.

That so many of these structures have endured is due, in large measure, to the efforts of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Since the establishment of the commission, New York City has become the leader of the preservation movement in the United States, with more buildings and districts designated and protected than in any other city.

Included here are such iconic structures as Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Carnegie Hall, as well as those that may be less well known but are of significant historical and architectural value: the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House in Brooklyn, the oldest structure in New York City; the Bowne House in Queens, the birthplace of American religious freedom; the Watchtower in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem; the New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx; and Sailors Snug Harbor on Staten Island. In addition to completely updated maps and descriptions of each landmark and historic district included in the previous editions, the fifth edition adds 183 new individual landmarks and 39 new historic district maps.

Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, writer, interviewer, and activist, is widely known for her involvement in the fields of architecture and the arts. Actively engaged in the cultural life of New York City, she is the chairperson of the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center and vice-chair of the New York State Council on the Arts, a commissioner of the American Battle Monuments Commission, and a director of the Trust for the National Mall. A former White House assistant, she served as the first director of the Office of Cultural Affairs of New York City, and was the longest-serving commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, having served from 1972 to 1987, under four mayors. The first woman vice-chair of the United States Commission of Fine Arts, she was also appointed to the Public Design Commission of the City of New York and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Council in Washington, D.C. The author of nineteen other books, she has conducted numerous television interviews with leaders in the arts, architecture, and design for A&E and other networks, many of which can be viewed on YouTube. The recipient of many honors and awards, she was elected an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects. In addition to her earned doctorate from New York University, she is the recipient of three honorary doctorates: from Longwood University in Virginia, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Pratt Institute in New York City. She serves on a wide range of cultural, education, and social services boards in the United States and abroad; Diamonstein-Spielvogel lives in New York City and is married to the international business executive Ambassador Carl Spielvogel.


"…vividly chronicles the work of the Landmarks Preservation Commission since 1965 … Since the fourth edition was published, in 2004, Diamonstein-Spielvogel has expanded discussion of modern landmarks, adaptive reuse, and the integration of green technology into existing buildings." — ARTnews

"To read this book from cover to cover is to reread the past 400 years of New York history. [Diamonstein-Spielvogel] has written an excellent introduction … Highly recommended." — Library Journal

"…this hefty compendium connects past to present, promoting a greater appreciation of our architectural heritage." — Veranda

"A spectacular book … Diamonstein-Spielvogel has proven that New York City cares deeply about its past and its connection to the present and future." — Gotham Magazine

"…a classic primer … The latest edition, four years in the making, expands the beloved volume by some 200 pages and offers masses of new photographs." — Architectural Digest

"Witty, wise, and a joy to read, Landmarks of New York takes the reader through the landmarks movement and the city's rich history while maintaining a focus on the present and future possibilities. This is a must-have for New Yorkers and history buffs alike both as a reference guide and for its inherent value as a well-crafted and oftentimes funny, insightful book." — Hampton Sheet magazine