New York City is home to some of the country’s most iconic architecture: Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal, Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building. Its interior architecture is just as spectacular, but at times harder to access, and often lesser known. The city’s most beautiful interiors aren’t lined up for public viewing like the skyscrapers that dot the skyline.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of New York City’s landmark preservation legislation, the New York School of Interior Design is recognizing the city’s best interiors in an exhibit of all 117 New York City interior landmarks. Some of them are famous, like the main concourse of Grand Central. Others are little-known or rarely visited, like the beautiful Art Deco interiors of the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia airport; the lavish, gilded headquarters of Dime Savings Bank in Brooklyn; or the picturesque imperial staircase of City Hall.
The original 1965 landmarks law (inspired by the razing of the old Penn Station) did not recognize the importance of interior design. It wasn’t until 1973 that the Landmarks Preservation Commission gained the authority to conserve the insides of buildings. These hundred-odd works of design have since been protected and restored, recognized for their valuable contribution to preserving the history of the city. However, historic works of interior design are only rarely designated as landmarks. New York City has 31,000 landmarks, but only 117 of them are interiors. The New York School of Interior Design’s exhibition highlights the value in keeping these beautiful works from being destroyed, and making them available to the public. Check out 12 historic interiors not to miss in the slide show above.
“Rescued, Restored, Reimagined: New York’s Landmark Interiors” is on display at the NYSID Gallery until April 24.