Special Lincoln Square District Zoning NYC

by | Last updated Dec 28, 2019 | NYC Zoning

The Special Lincoln Square District is a Special Zoning District in New York City.  This district includes Lincoln Center and some of the surrounding area including the intersection of Broadway and Columbus Ave.


Special Lincoln Square District Zoning NYC

New York City has many special districts. In the Special Lincoln Square District the Special District rules supersede the normal zoning regulations. Below we will outline some of the zoning issues within the Special Lincoln Square District.

The Special Lincoln Square District is broken into 3 Subdistricts:

  1. Subdistrict A
  2. Subdistrict B
  3. Subdistrict C


Lincoln Square Special Zoning Regulations

There are Certain Special Regulations for the Lincoln Square District below are some examples of these special codes:

  • Arcades
  • Subway and Transit
  • Use Restrictions
  • Street Wall Transparency
  • Signs
  • Floor Area
  • Street Walls


Lincoln Square Arcades

In this special district buildings can have Arcades on the following streets:

  • The east side of Broadway between West 61st and West 65th Streets
  • The east side of Columbus Avenue between West 65th and West 66th Streets

Arcades should be the full length of the zoning lot. On the east side of Columbus Avenue the arcade can end 40 feet south of West 66th Street. Columns for the Arcades must be at the street line. Arcades must be 15 feet deep and at least 20 feet high.

The arcades should be open and clear except for the following:

  • Cafes
  • Structural Columns

Subway and Transit

Any development at 59th st or 66th street subway stations must relocate the subway entrance onto the zoning lot of the property if the lot is 5,000 square feet or more.

On the east side of Broadway between West 66th Street and West 67th Street developments must provide an easement for access to the subway mezzanine or station as required by the New York City Transit Authority

Use Restrictions

Within 30 feet of Broadway, Columbus Avenue or Amsterdam Avenue on the ground floor building use is restricted to the following Use Groups:

Street Wall Transparency 

There are special regulations for how much glass must be used at street level for buildings.


Signs are allowed in this special district but there are restrictions on sign location.

Floor Area

In the C4-7 Zoning District there are restrictions on the total floor area for developments.

There are also Special Permits that can be obtained for additional floor area to proposed developments.

There are also regulations on bulk distribution which restrict how square footage is distributed within a building.

Street Walls

Location and the height of building street walls are regulated by the Special Lincoln Square District regulations. Certain recesses and fenestration are required. Certain Areas within the Lincoln Square District are designated for Front Lot Line Street Walls where the building wall must be built to the property line.


Special Lincoln Square District Zoning Regulations

As an architect I study Building Codes and Zoning Codes closely, but these are complicated and quite involved issues. In this article we reviewed some of the basic concepts with regards to The Special Lincoln Square Zoning District. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview of the topic.


Thank you for reading our blog post on Lincoln Square Zoning Special District Requirements.

I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect you can Contact Fontan Architecture directly.


Jorge Fontan

Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.