fd4db44e-37d3-43c1-855e-31c34928731a

The federal battle is over for Stahl York Ave. Co., LLC, owner of the City & Suburban Homes Company First Avenue Estate, an individual landmark.

The buildings, constructed by the City and Suburban Homes Company in 1915, were designated as individual landmarks by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) for the significance of their design and their 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.

LPC denied Stahl’s hardship application, which claimed that the owner suffered an unconstitutional taking as a result of the City’s decision to designate the First Avenue Estate buildings as an individual landmark. In January, the New York State Supreme Court upheld LPC’s denial of this application.

After years of legal battles, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied Stahl an appeal. In September, FRIENDS wrote to you about Stahl’s attempt to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, and now we can happily report that the federal case is closed! 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.

Last year, FRIENDS filed an amicus curiae brief, gathering the support of our elected officials and other preservation organizations, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This case is precedent-setting for other landmark properties in our city and has implications far beyond the First Avenue Estate.


Thanks to YOU for helping make this happen!

FRIENDS is grateful to our partners who joined us in filing the amicus brief:

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

*The Conservancy submitted its own brief.

For more information:

Visit here for updates and a timeline of the case.

“New York City’s Landmarks Commission Wins Important Takings Lawsuit” by Will Cook, National Trust for Historic Preservation, March 29, 2016.

“Responding to Misleading Arguments Against Local Landmark Laws” by David J. Brown, National Trust for Historic Preservation, July 25, 2016.