Real Estate Terms Dictionary

Landmark Designation

Definition of 'Landmark Designation'

A landmark designation is a special status added to a place or building officially recognizing the outstanding historical, cultural, or aesthetic value of that place.

What does Landmark Designation mean for home buyers and sellers:

It is very important to know if a property was given landmark status or if it is part of a historic district as there are significant restrictions concerning the development rights.

Landmarks are officially recognized by the Landmarks Preservation Commission and are protected under the Landmarks Law. This means that any changes to the building (excluding normal repairs due to expected ware and tare) need prior approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The main reason that the Commission needs to review landmark building alterations is to ensure that the building and district preserve their architectural and historical character.


Here's a real-life example from one of the properties researched on PropertyShark:

Landmark designation - example

This property was registered as a landmark designation with the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission on March 28, 2012.



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The glossary is intended to provide real estate professionals and home buyers with a basic understanding of various specialized terms related to legal rights over a property. All terms appear in public records such as ACRIS. We do not take responsibility for the legal accuracy of the definitions provided and ask that use of these explanations in a legal setting be made only after checking with a lawyer or another specialist in the field.