New York is a city full of historic landmarks. From the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building over to the Brooklyn Bridge, these and hundreds of other historic structures located throughout the five boroughs require regular maintenance and occasional restorative investments to remain standing in good condition.
For the majority of the city’s lesser-known landmark buildings, it’s these efforts towards preservation and restoration that contribute to their continued existence. Other notable buildings – those lacking the fame or free-market incentive needed to keep them upright – are now nothing but memories.
Driving much of the energy and initiative behind preserving historic buildings are New York’s leading property developers and investment firms. For example, HFZ Capital is a Manhattan-based real estate investment and development firm with a history of buying and renovating landmark buildings throughout the city. Some of the more notable historic structures under their ownership and management include The Astor and The Belnord, two residential buildings built in the early 1900s.
In fact, the history of HFZ’s connection to The Belnord is an interesting one. According to an interview from 2017, the company’s founder took ownership once in 1994 and then again in 2015. The landmark building was so nice, he bought it twice.
Though not the only type of real estate deal they’re willing to pursue, historical preservation projects are a chief source of pride among New York’s leading property developers. They consider it a way to protect New York’s history and, in doing so, help give something back to the greatest city on earth.
There’s no denying the incredible and oftentimes awe-inspiring atmosphere experienced in many of New York’s finely preserved historic buildings. For instance, one is easily transfixed by the appearance of the grand lobby of the Manhattan Surrogate Courthouse, something which would not be possible if it weren’t for the arduous and tedious efforts towards preserving its historic interior.
While they play a critical role in the preservation and restoration of historic structures throughout New York City, investors and developers aren’t the only entities responsible for ensuring these significant buildings remain standing. Nonprofits like the New York Landmarks Conservancy are also critical players involved in protecting the city’s architectural treasures.
Additionally, many government policies and programs at the municipal, state, and federal level are aimed at promoting the preservation and continued use of historic buildings. Much of this comes in the form of tax breaks, tax credits, and other incentives meant to encourage redevelopment and restoration.
Lastly, the generosity of corporations and individuals is often what helps fuel projects aimed at protecting New York’s historical structures. The most famous example of this is the conservation-restoration of the Statue of Liberty in the mid-1980s. A fundraising effort netted almost $100 million in the first few months, with $230 million ultimately collected, mostly from businesses and ordinary folks motivated by nothing more than an interest in helping restore Lady Liberty to her full glory.
There’s no shortage of world-famous historic landmarks spread across the City of New York. These structures remain standing because of the efforts of countless individuals and organizations over the years dedicated to preserving and restoring their historical charm and significance.