NYS Appellate Division Rules in Favor of LPC in First Avenue Estate Hardship Case!

Hundreds of Thousands of 1940’s Tax Photos are Now Available to View Online!

Last spring FRIENDS led the effort of local and national preservation groups, along with elected officials, to file an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the City of New York in the ongoing battle to stop the demolition of two historic buildings, part of the City and Suburban Homes First Avenue Estate. The full block complex of tenement buildings was constructed in 1915 by the City and Suburban Homes Company, and designated as an individual landmark for the significance of its design and pioneering role in social housing reform. Home to longtime tenants of modest income, these buildings continue to be a source of affordable housing on the Upper East Side.

This week the New York State Appellate Division ruled in favor of the City and the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), upholding the lower court’s ruling and the LPC’s denial of the hardship application in 2014. Once again, the decision refutes Stahl’s arguments that it could not make a viable profit from the two buildings in the complex along York Avenue. Stahl had also attempted to appeal the case at the federal level, but was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court in November 2016. Like the groundbreaking Penn Central case of 1978, this opinion affirms the City’s right to regulate landmark-designated properties as a benefit to “all New York citizens… and quality of life in the city as a whole.”

FRIENDS is proud of its longstanding leadership role in this issue, and we are grateful to the many partners who joined us in filing the
latest amicus brief and contributing to this victory!

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney
State Senator Liz Krueger
State Asssembly Member Rebecca Seawright
City Council Member Benjamin Kallos
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Preservation League of New York State
The Municipal Art Society of New York
New York Landmarks Conservancy
Historic Districts Council
Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
Landmark West!
Friends of the First Avenue Estate

We are also enormously grateful to the tenants, neighbors, advocates, and elected officials who have worked tirelessly over many years on this hardship case. Thanks especially to those who contributed financially to our effort.

For more information, visit FRIENDS’  First Avenue Estate web page 
for a timeline of this ongoing case and links to additional articles about this site.