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Rare Photos of New York's Greatest Landmarks Michael Stewart, "Rockefeller Center," undated. Gelatin silver photograph. New-York Historical Society, Gift of Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel

From a small colonized village to bustling global metropolis, New York has transformed dramatically over the course of history. Much of that change is documented by the city's built environment—including the homes of American icons and legendary skyscrapers. In 1965, the New York City Landmarks law was instituted to protect and preserve buildings and stories where the city's citizens have lived, worked, and worshipped. Since the law was passed, more than 30,000 structures throughout the 5 boroughs have been designated landmarks.

This winter, the New-York Historical Society presents The Landmarks of New York, an exhibition of 90 photographs highlighting the city's historical structures. Included are bright lights in the Big Apple landscape—Rockefeller Center and the Woolworth Building—and important cultural spaces—jazz great Charlie Parker's home, for example—that together form a rich urban tableau and carry the stories of the city's greatest triumphs. 

The exhibition is curated by Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Vice Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts and the longest serving New York City Landmarks Commissioner. 

The Landmarks of New York is on view at New-York Historical Society through February 18, 2013.

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