St. Francis

The Preservation League of New York State has released their annual “Seven to Save” list of 2022-2023. For more than 20 years, the Preservation League has been publishing an annual list to highlight the most endangered sites in New York state. In order to qualify, each site must be architecturally, culturally, or historically significant, though it doesn’t necessarily have to be landmarked, and its continued existence or integrity must be threatened. In addition, there must be a strong local group advocating for the site’s protection and a leader who can work with the League to determine how it can play a meaningful role. It’s an added bonus if the site represents a broader regional, state, or national preservation issue. Without further ado, here are the seven sites on this year’s list.

1. Penn Station Neighborhood

Penn Station Powerhouse from front

It’s no surprise that the area surrounding Penn Station is on this year’s “Seven to Save” list. Vornado’s Empire Station Complex plan aims to redevelop the blocks surrounding the station into glassy office and commercial buildings. Forty historic buildings and structures are at risk of demolition and thousands of residents and businesses are set to be displaced. The historic Hotel Pennsylvania designed by McKim, Mead & White is already being demolished and many other historically significant buildings are at risk, including the Penn Station Powerhouse.

The destruction of historic buildings surrounding Penn Station is especially ironic, as the demolition of the original station by McKim, Mead & White was the very thing that birthed the preservation movement in New York City. Referring to the Empire Station plan, our Chief Experience Officer Justin Rivers wrote, “Of course, New York wants a better transit hub but I, like many, advocate for a thoughtful station rehabilitation that integrates the historical structures within and around it.”