Designate Aalto's Edgar J. Kaufmann Conference Center


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In an attempt to deal with the enormous backlog of properties awaiting designation, the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission has created the "Backlog 95 Initiative." As part of that initiative, the Commission is hearing testimony and public comments on whether to designate or remove 95 calendared buildings, interiors and sites that were placed on the Commission's calendar prior to 2010, some which have been on the docket over 20 years. The Edgar J. Kaufmann Conference Center designed by Alvar and Elissa Aalto is one of the 95 properties being considered and support is needed as time is running out. 

Credit: Wijnanda Deroo

On November 12, 2015, Docomomo US NY/Tristate and others testified in front of the Landmark Preservation Commission in support of designating The Edgar J. Kaufmann Conference Center. Docomomo US NY/Tristate Board Member Caroline Rob Zaleski, testified that “The rooms were carefully designed to accommodate the public in a contained facility with its access separated from the office floors below via an elevator; furthermore, there is an elevator vestibule with a reception desk, a coatroom, restrooms, and a small kitchen for catering services. These amenities have allowed the IIE to promote the conference center as an event venue to select not-for-profit groups. Ongoing public access has been the case since the center opened in 1964 to much national and international press acclaim.”

Though the interior is one of three works Aalto designs in the United States and his only work in New York City it may not be designated if it fails to receive enough support. Please join Docomomo US, Docomomo US NY/Tristate, and others in submitting a letter of support to the Landmarks Preservation Commission

Docomomo US Letter of Support
Docomomo US NY/Trisate Letter of Testimony
The Commission is accepting letters of support through November 26, 2015.
Letters can be mailed to:
ATTN: Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, Municipal Building
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor North
New York, NY 10007
Or emailed to: backlog95(AT)