In New York City, historic preservation is a serious thing. The Landmarks Preservation Commission, tasked with deciding which buildings are worth safeguarding, is engaged in dozens of preservation battles all the time, and people are constantly seeking landmark status for new places. Most of these 200 yearly requests are for the usual old building or falling-apart warehouse, but some people really like to think outside the historical box. The Times recently talked with the LPC's director of research about the most unusual requests, and here now, we have the top five:
1) Larry King's childhood home in Bensonhurst. Borough president Marty Markowitz made the request, which the current home owner finds "dubious," in 2003.
2) A grove of trees in Kissenna Park, Queens. This didn't make the cut because "trees die, unfortunately."
3) A white brick wall on Third Avenue in Gowanus. It's been thought that the wall was part of the original Dodgers' stadium, but it turns out that the wall was used for a lesser known team, the Brooklyn Tip Tops.
4) Manhole covers. They can't be landmarked because they can be picked up and carried away. "Their mobility would make them difficult to protect."
5) A collection of benches and railings called the Brooklyn Banks, which the Times describes as "a cheerless little spot underneath a bridge." The area is mostly used as a skate park, but the LPC doesn't designate sites just because they serve a particular function.
· Larry King's Boyhood Home? No, Not a Landmark [NYT]