In 1963, Penn Station was demolished, sparking a public outcry that led to the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. A New York Times editorial in October of 1963 lamented “Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves. Even when we had Penn Station, we couldn’t afford to keep it clean. We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.”
Almost 50 years later, what kind of city do we deserve? How has five decades of preservation affected the city’s landscape and social fabric? In 2012, more than 1100 individual buildings in New York’s five boroughs have been declared landmarks, and there are more than 80 historic districts throughout the city. How do we need to think today about what to save, and what needs to be torn down to make way for the new?
On May 2, Studio 360 host Kurt Andersen will lead a conversation about the shape of New York present and future. His guests include Bonnie Burnham, president of the World Monuments Fund and an expert in the protection and preservation of cultural heritage; Paul Goldberger, who has written about architecture and NYC for almost 30 years and teaches at the New School and David Mohney, a Professor of Architecture at the College of Design at the University of Kentucky, following 14 years as Dean.