March 22, 1988
A New Face for Landmarks

The City Council should approve the nomination of Lee Weintraub to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Mr. Weintraub is a distinguished landscape architect eminently qualified to assist the commission in the next important stage of its development: managing existing landmarks.

Mr. Weintraub would take the place of Anthony Tung, who won the thanks of the landmarks constituency for his devotion to architectural preservation. The appointment of Mr. Weintraub reflects inevitable change in the landmarks agenda.

For 22 years the commission has identified and sought to protect the most significant structural treasures in the city. It developed the concept of historic districts, in which it exercises control over structural changes, and won the power to regulate interiors.

By its own efforts, the commission has already shortened the list of buildings deserving landmark status. Now it must devote more energy to the delicate task of keeping a firm but sympathetic hand on the buildings already designated.

A major issue—one in which Commissioner Tung unfortunately showed little interest—involves owner-proposed changes in landmark buildings. Mr. Weintraub, who has demonstrated an ability to work cooperatively with civic and neighborhood groups, would seem well suited to evaluating these proposals. The commission will benefit from Lee Weintraub's taste and skill.