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Member Tour: Skyscraper Museum, SKYMARKS – LANDMARKS

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About the Event

The New York Landmarks Conservancy is very pleased to offer its members a curated tour of the Skyscraper Museum’s latest exhibition, SKYMARKS | LANDMARKS. Carol Willis, Skyscraper Museum founder and director, will lead the tour.

July 12, 5:00 – 6:00 PM
Skyscraper Museum
39 Battery Place, Manhattan

The meaning of “sky mark,” a phrase invented for this show, seems self-explanatory, sounding a lot like “skyline.” But what is a “landmark?” Conventionally, it’s a notable or historic building, but in New York City since 1965, Landmark refers to buildings or districts that have been officially designated for protection and regulation by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC).

SKY MARKS | LANDMARKS looks at all the structures in New York designated as individual Landmarks that are “skyscrapers.” We count about 84. Just as the LPC definition of characteristics that qualify a building to be a Landmark is fairly vague – architectural, historical, or cultural significance – our definition of skyscraper is somewhat subjective. “Significantly taller than a cube” is a baseline, but a minimum number of stories is not. The earliest high-rises of the 1880s to 1900s that were ten to twenty stories were clearly skyscrapers in their day and so are included. Today the 102-story Empire State Building is the city’s tallest individual Landmark.

Context matters. The poetic name for tall buildings – skyscrapers – resides in their relationship to the space around them. Skyscrapers and New York are synonymous. The evolving skyline is evidence that neither the energy of the city nor its image can be frozen. But our Landmarks should be protected and treasured.

Contact Matthew Marani at matthewmarani@nylandmarks.org or 212-995-5260, with any questions.

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