New York Landmarks Mapped

New York is the 27th-largest U.S. state by area—yet it’s also the country’s fourth most populous state. Among its nearly 19.7 million residents are thousands of historic buildings, districts, objects, sites, and structures that tell the story of New York and even the country as a whole.

However, there are only 296 National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) in New York. These landmarks are officially recognized by the U.S. government for their outstanding historical significance, and we’re highlighting them on the map below.

View New York Landmarks in a full screen map

The Types of Landmarks in New York

New York’s 296 state landmarks are more than five times that of Washington state’s. So let’s make them easier to digest by going over their five categories (“Type” on the map).

  • Current National Historic Landmarks outside New York City (160 landmarks)
  • Current NHLs in New York City (118)
  • Historic areas in the United States National Park System (13)
  • NHLs formerly located in New York (3)
  • Former NHLs in New York (2)

The majority of current New York landmarks are located outside of the Big Apple (54%). Among these are the New York State Capitol in Albany and Rochester’s Susan B. Anthony House. Meanwhile, 40% reside within New York’s largest city’s limits, including Central Park and the Empire State Building.

Yet neither of these types includes any of the five former landmarks of New York. The three national historic landmarks formerly located in New York are all boats or ships, which have been relocated to Michigan, California, and Massachusetts. The USS Edson, one of two surviving Forrest Sherman-class destroyers that saw action from World War II to Vietnam was located in NYC from 1989 to 2004. However, it was relocated to Michigan in 2013.

The Fir was a lighthouse tender that served on the West Coast. Originally, the Fir was to be a museum ship in New York, but it’s unclear if that ever happened. It did receive the NHL designation, which still puts it on our map. This lighthouse tender was the last of its fleet, from the United States Lighthouse Service, the predecessor of the United States Coast Guard. The Fir and its brethren maintained buoys around lighthouses. It was transferred to Sacramento’s Liberty Maritime Museum in 2002.

Finally, the largest lightship ever built, Nantucket was a vessel that acted as a lighthouse. Originally listed to the NHL while primarily in Maine, she was temporarily stationed in Oyster Bay, New York. The Nantucket later arrived in Boston on May 11, 2010. The last two former NHLs in New York remain in the state, yet they’re no longer designated as such.

With their types in mind, let’s dive more into where most of these landmarks are located in The Empire State.

N.Y.C.’s Landmarks

Brooklyn Bridge by Brooklyn Museum

​New York’s capital city may be Albany, but not too many landmarks are located there compared to another Empire State city. Of course, the city where you can get the most bang for your sight-seeing buck is none other than The Big Apple. Here, you’ll find 118 current National Historic Landmarks, some of the most famous of which include:

  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Central Park
  • Chrysler Building
  • Empire State Building
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • New York Public Library
  • Rockefeller Center
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral

The oldest designated NHL of these is the Brooklyn Bridge, which was designated as an NHL in 1954. Yet it’s certainly not the oldest when you take into account all of the cities in New York.

The Oldest Landmarks in New York

Liberty Island by Don Ramey Logan

New York was established as a state in 1788. Yet The Empire State’s oldest national historic landmark wasn’t designated as such until 1897 (the General Grant National Memorial). The most recent addition was in 2021 (the West Point Foundry Archeological Site). So let’s take a look at some of the the oldest New York state landmarks.

Landmark Year designated
General Grant National Memorial 1897
Statue of Liberty National Monument 1924
Saratoga National Historical Park 1938
Federal Hall National Memorial 1939
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site 1940
Saint Paul’s Church National Historic Site 1943
Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site 1944
Castle Clinton National Monument 1946
Brooklyn Bridge 1954

The list above shows the state’s nine oldest landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty National Monument, home of perhaps the most famous statue in the U.S. Both Liberty (New York) and Ellis Island (New York and New Jersey) make up the Statue of Liberty National Monument. On Liberty Island, is, you guessed it, the Statue of Liberty, along with its museum.

You can also view the ten newest landmarks in The Empire State when you group by “Year designated.” Or, celebrate another state’s birthday with a map of Washington state landmarks, or those in Hawaii.