First they defaced our landmarks, now they want to tear them down.


10/07/19: The U.S. Supreme Court has DENIED Stahl’s petition for writ of certiorari seeking permission to appeal the case to the nation’s highest court. Following the NYS Court of Appeals’ denial to appeal the case in December 2018, this route was the last legal option available to Stahl in its years-long battle to demolish and develop the City & Suburban Homes First Avenue Estate site.

Like the groundbreaking Penn Central case of 1978, this legal victory 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.”

The future of the First Avenue Estate is now safe!

12/13/18: The NYS Court of Appeals has denied Stahl’s motion for permission to further appeal the case. The very brief decision stated the appeal was dismissed “upon the ground that no substantial constitutional question is directly involved.” This is the final level of the NYS court system, and this victory upholds the lower court and the LPC’s denial of the hardship case. Though the federal case has been over since November 2016, Stahl may now seek to appeal the state case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

5/22/18: The NYS Appellate Division has upheld the lower court ruling and the LPC decision on the hardship case. The decision reads, “First, the extension of the FAE landmark designation to include the two buildings in question did not result in any further economic impact on Stahl beyond that resulting from preexisting legal restrictions limiting Stahl’s use of the property even absent landmark status, such as rent control and rent stabilization. Second, Stahl’s reasonable investment-backed expectations were not destroyed by the inclusion of the two buildings within the FAE landmark designation. As the LPC determined, the buildings in question are capable of earning a reasonable return, limiting the designation’s economic impact on petitioner. Third, the character of the government action in question favors the LPC, since, as the Court in Penn Central found, the ‘preservation of landmarks benefits all New York citizens and all structures’ and ‘improv[es] the quality of life in the city as a whole’ (id. at 134).”

3/29/17: Although the federal case is over, Stahl continues to push on at the state level and has filed an appeal to the New York State Appellate Division. Read FRIENDS’ amicus curiae brief.

11/1/16: The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Stahl the chance to appeal, which means that the federal case is over! The New York State case is still pending, but experts are confident that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision will have a direct impact on the outcome of the State case.

1/8/16: The NYS Supreme Court has upheld the LPC’s denial of the hardship application and refuted the claim that the City’s action was an unconstitutional taking. The decision reads, “Stahl has not met its burden of demonstrating that respondents acted arbitrarily or capriciously or in violation of law by denying Stahl’s hardship application. Stahl has not set forth a cause of action for an unconstitutional taking and thus has no viable claim either for money damages, costs, or attorneys’ fees.”

5/21/15: The Federal Court has dismissed Stahl’s lawsuit for “failure to state a cause of action for a substantive due process violation.”

2/19/15: Download the City’s Reply Memo of Law in Further Opposition.

1/29/15: Download Stahl’s Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss and Reply Memo of Law in Support of Petition, along with the Affidavit of Jeremy Stern in Support of Stahl’s Reply Memo.

1/26/15: Read the Amicus Curiae Brief from FRIENDS.

12/17/15: Read the City’s Motion to Dismiss Stahl’s petition.

10/1/14: Download Stahl York Avenue’s petition to overturn the LPC’s decision: the Notice of Petition, the State Court Challenge, and Federal Counterpoint to the State Court Challenge.

THE LPC HAS VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO DENY THE FIRST AVENUE ESTATE HARDSHIP APPLICATION!! FRIENDS praises the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission for voting unanimously to deny Stahl York Avenue’s request to demolish landmark affordable housing on the Upper East Side. A hearty round of applause goes to tenants, neighbors, advocates, and elected officials who have worked tirelessly over the last four years on this hardship case. Thanks especially to those who contributed financially to our effort, as well as the following champions of this cause: Former Council Member Jessica Lappin, Council Member Benjamin Kallos, the Historic Districts Council*, Friends of the First Avenue Estate, Concerned Citizens of East 64th & East 65th Streets-First to York Avenues, Residents of 429 East 64th & 430 East 65th Streets, and, of course, the Landmarks Preservation Commission for making the right decision!*FRIENDS is thrilled to be included in the Coalition to Save the First Avenue Estate, recipients of a 2014 Grassroots Award from the Historic Districts Council!!

5/20/14: Read the final decision and transcript from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

2/6/14: Download the most recent response from Stahl York Avenue.

1/9/14: Download correspondence from this winter between Stahl York Avenue and the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

11/12/13: Download yet another submission from Stahl York Avenue, in response to questions posed by the Landmarks Preservation Commission at the October public meeting.

10/29/13: Download the Landmarks Preservation Commission staff submission to the record and an official transcript of the meeting.

10/10/13: Download the latest submission from Stahl York Avenue, in advance of a public meeting on Tuesday, October 29th.

6/11/13: View Stahl York Avenue’s presentation and read public testimony from FRIENDS, elected officials, preservation organizations, and members of the public.

2/21/13: Download Stahl York Avenue’s response to questions from the Landmarks Preservation Commission following last year’s hearing.

10/22/12: Download latest submission to the Landmarks Preservation Commission from Stahl York Avenue Co., LLC., including:

1/24/12: View Stahl York Avenue’s presentation and read over 200 pages of testimony  from FRIENDSelected officials, preservation organizations, and members of the public.

7/1/11: Download the finalized submission to the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

10/1/10: Download the original Hardship Application Form, the 2010 Comparative Economic Feasibility Study 2010, and the 2009 Comparative Economic Feasibility Study.

Learn more about our ongoing fight to save these landmark buildings: