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LPC Backlog 95 update: Aaltos’ Kaufmann Conference Center interior prioritized for consideration 

March 25, 2016

On a Tuesday in late February, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission met to decide the fate of 95 backlogged properties that had been calendared for designation since prior to 2010. Of the 95 properties, 30 were prioritized for designation by the end of 2016, including Alvar and Elissa Aalto’s Edgar J. Kaufmann Conference Center at the United Nations Plaza. While DOCOMOMO NY/Tri-State is pleased with the Commission’s decision, designation of this important and rare Modern interior is not a done deal. Items prioritized for designation will have a new hearing at which the Commission will vote. The agency has historically been reluctant to designate properties without the support of the owner. That of the Kaufmann Conference Center, the Institute for International Education (IIE), has not expressed support.

As for the remaining 65 properties, the Commission voted to remove them from the calendar, most without prejudice, meaning they could be reconsidered at a future date.

More information about the Kaufmann Conference Center, including DOCOMOMO NY/Tri-State’s public testimony at the special Backlog 95 hearing for the space HERE



Photo by Wijnanda Deroo
Photos from DOCOMOMO NY/Tri-State's A Modern Affair fundraising event, held in 2014 in the Kaufmann Conference Center. Bottom photo: Michael Trencher, a professor of architecture and an expert on Alvar Aalto, describes the room's significance. Event photos by Andrew Hinderaker.