The Public Interest

Landmarks preservation in New York

Joseph B. Rose

Winter 1984

NO current discussion of cities can avoid addressing the issue of historic preservation. Twenty-five years ago, the solution to the “urban crisis” was said to be the demolition of cramped obsolete structures and their replacement with ordered modern towers in a pristine environment free from clutter; today, urban planners want to save older buildings as a means “to justify an increasingly dismal existence in a rapidly deteriorating urban environment.” 1 What 50 years ago was the sole province of wealthy dowagers has become the latest weapon of urban reformers, who argue that:

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