Donald Albrecht

Saving Place:
50 Years of New York City Landmarks

Museum of the City of New York

Co-curated with Andrew Dolkart and Seri Worden

Presented in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of New York’s landmarks law, Saving Place comprised an illustrated timeline outlining preservation in New York from the end of the 19th century to today, with a display of models, drawings, and building components exploring restoration and new architecture in historic districts. The exhibition underscored that the landmarks law culminated decades of advocacy by citizens, journalists, and civic groups who sought to preserve the city’s patrimony within the context of an ever-changing metropolis. The law gave the new agency the power to protect individual buildings andentire districts of architectural, historical, or cultural significance. A few years later, that power was expanded to include important interiors and scenic landscapes. Over the years, architects and developers have designed additions to historic buildings and built new structures of varying styles inhistoric districts. Everything about preservation has been, and is, a matter of comment and debate. Indeed, the definition of what a landmark is has evolved and is evolving, just as approaches to architectural modification and restoration have changed. Whatever the future holds, the past shows that the landmarks law has transformed the city, fostering a mix of old and new buildings that contributes to the vibrant urbanism that characterizes New York City for both its citizens and the millions of tourists who visit every year. Accompanied by a 208-page catalog, with photographs by Iwan Baan.

Working with co-curators Andrew Dolkart and Seri Worden, Mr. Albrecht developed the themes of the show, selected all artifacts, wrote exhibition text, and worked with the design team. He was responsible for selecting Iwan Baan, whose specially commissioned photographs are featured in the exhibition and catalog.

>See exhibition catalog


Coverage in the New York Daily News via Associated Press,,, and live segment on New York 1

Sam Roberts, New York Times, April 23, 2015

“A revealing new exhibition”
Alex Traub, New York Review of Books Daily, July 12, 2015

Exhibition designer: Studio Joseph
Exhibition graphic designer: Studio NR2154
Catalog graphic design: Pentagram
Photographer: Thomas Loof

Donald Albrecht