In 1965, in the wake of the destruction of Penn Station and with Grand Central Terminal threatened, Mayor Robert F. Wagner signed New York City’s groundbreaking Landmarks Law, the first legislation of its kind in the country intended to protect and preserve historically significant buildings. In 1973, with the owners of Grand Central still eager to gut the building’s beloved interior, a set of amendments to the original law granted the Landmarks Preservation Commission the authority to designate interior spaces as historic landmarks as well.
Over the course of 2015, well over a hundred arts, cultural, and civic organizations have joined the NYC Landmarks50 Alliance to organize an incredible array of public programs, ranging from exhibitions and festivals to walking tours and lectures, in celebration of the Landmarks Law’s 50th anniversary.
What qualifies an interior as a historic landmark? Like all landmarks, an interior must be at least thirty years old and have significant historic or aesthetic interest or value. In the cases of interiors, they must also be “customarily open or accessible to the public, or to which the public is customarily invited,” and the designation applies to the “architectural style, design, general arrangement and components,” but does not include movable furnishings.
Except where noted, all Interior Landmarks are Open Access and may be visited during the days and hours listed in the OHNY Weekend Event Guide. To make Advance Reservations for sites that require them, please visit ohny.org/reservations on Wednesday, October 7 at 11am.
570 Lexington Avenue Lobby
Midtown, Manhattan. Built 1931, designated 1985.
72nd Street IRT Station (Reservations required)
Upper West Side, Manhattan. Built 1904, designated 1979.
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
Financial District, Manhattan. Built 1909, designated 1979.
AT&T Long Distance Building Lobby
Tribeca, Manhattan. Built 1932, designated 1991.
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx. Built 1942, designated 1991.
Bronx General Post Office (Reservations required)
Lower Concourse, Bronx. Built 1937, designated 2013.
Brooklyn Historical Society
Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn. Built 1881, designated 1982.
Civic Center, Manhattan. Built 1812, designated 1976.
Cunard Building Lobby
Financial District, Manhattan. Built 1921, designated 1995.
Federal Hall National Memorial
Financial District, Manhattan. Built 1842, designated 1975.
Midtown, Manhattan. Built 1967, designated 1997.
Four Seasons Restaurant
Midtown, Manhattan. Built 1959, designated 1989.
General Grant National Memorial
Morningside Heights, Manhattan. Built 1897, designated 1975.
Gould Memorial Library
University Heights, Bronx. Built 1899, designated 1981.
King Manor Museum
Jamaica, Queens. Built 1730, designated 1976.
Marine Air Terminal
LaGuardia Airport, Queens. Built 1940, designated 1980.
Morgan Library & Museum
Murray Hill, Manhattan. Built 1906, designated 1982.
Washington Heights, Manhattan. Built 1765, designated 1975.
The New School Art Collection
Greenwich Village, Manhattan. Built 1931, designated 1997.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center
Randall Manor, Staten Island. Built 1878, designated 1982.
Thurgood Marshall Courthouse (Reservations required)
Civic Center, Manhattan. Built 1936, designated 1975.
Woolworth Building Lobby (Reservations required)
Civic Center, Manhattan. Built 1913, designated 1983.
OHNY thanks and applauds the owners of these participating sites for making public access possible, as well as for their ongoing stewardship of the city’s most significant interior spaces.
Images (from top): Four Seasons Restaurant/Jennifer Calais Smith; The New School Art Collection/The New School; The Morgan Library & Museum/Graham S. Haber; Woolworth Building/Nicolas Lemery Nantel; Bronx Post Office/Studio V Architecture; Cunard Building/Cipriani