This week the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission launched an interactive story map that highlights historic landmarks related to Black history.
The story map, Preserving Significant Places of Black History, includes seventy-five landmarks and thirty-three historic districts across all of New York’s boroughs. Users can search for sites on the map by year of significance, type of building, and year of designation. Each individual landmark is accompanied with an image, a brief description of the landmark, and a link to the landmark designation report. The interactive map is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to the city’s Black history and can be updated with new information and new sites in the future.
The Landmark Preservation Commission described the map as a celebration New York’s African American history, as well as an acknowledgement of the history of segregation and discrimination. The map is also meant to provide greater access to the city’s landmarks. It provides a way to show the interconnectedness of the the city’s landmarks. While the designation reports provide historical context for an individual landmark, they do not explore how a landmark relates to others throughout the city. The interactive story map allows the Commission to put landmarks in conversation with one another.
LPC Chair Sarah Carroll told 6sqft that the story map is a part of the commission’s new equity framework. “LPC recognizes the critically important contributions of African Americans and is committed to telling the complete story of New York City’s African American heritage,” Carrol said.