Since the preservation of Brooklyn Heights as New York City's first historic district in 1965, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has designated more than 100 neighborhoods. In a series of papers with colleagues at the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, this project investigates the impact of historic preservation on property values, demographic change and development capacity in New York City neighborhoods. Our research has been published in the Journal of Urban Economics and the Journal of the American Planning Association.
In a recent report, we compare the development characteristics, housing stock, demographic characteristics, and commercial characteristics between historic districts and areas that are not regulated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). In In the report, we find that New York City’s historic districts have similar population and built density to non-LPC regulated areas, but they also contains a higher proportion of market-rate housing. Residents of the city’s historic districts are also higher-income, more highly educated, and more likely to be white.