“Often, when we think of landmarks, we think of exterior architecture,” said NYSID President David Sprouls. “A building’s exterior may be protected, but the interiors are frequently disregarded. This exhibition turns that notion on its head by focusing on the important role that interiors play in our lives.”
So what makes an interior worthy of the protective designation? New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (or LPC, for short) recognizes that “the definition of a landmark could hardly be broader.” The criteria for interiors—a classification established by an amendment in 1973—only requires a space be 30 years or older, have “special historic or aesthetic interest or value,” and be “customarily open or accessible to the public, or to which the public is customarily invited.” But despite the liberal qualifications, only 117 interiors hold the title out of 31,000 total landmarked properties in the city.
The show pays tribute to 20 spaces, dividing the interiors into the three categories of its name: rescued, restored, reimagined. By displaying more than 80 photographs—some archival, some newly commissioned—the exhibition hopes to illustrate that while “interiors are sometimes out of sight, but they should not be out of mind.”
Admission is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., now through April 24. For more info, head over to landmarkinteriors.nysid.net or read on for a few of our favorite spots included in the show.
Should you feel passionately about a space that hasn’t yet made the list, propose a landmark by submitting a request to the LPC to start the evaluation process.