October 2008
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Archive for October, 2008

Preserving Industrial Heritage has “tangible economic and environmental benefits”

red hook graving dock floor

An MAS panel last Wednesday night spoke to the multitude of merits of preserving industrial heritage, says the New York Times. In addition to the social significance of industrial factories and work life in American history, the panel pointed out the economic and environmental benefits of preserving industrial buildings and infrastructure, such as providing critical blue collar jobs and reducing construction waste.

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Demolition=Wasteful; Reuse=Green

Joining founder of the Waterfront Preservation Alliance of Greenpoint and Williamsburg Ward Dennis were: moderator and president of the Society for Industrial Archaeology Mary Habstritt; MAS director of advocacy and policy Lisa Kersavage; president & chief operating officer of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Andrew Kimball; and preservation consultant to the Austin, Nichols, warehouse rehabilitation Robert Powers.

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Catholic Church & Paint Factory New City Landmarks

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) had a full day yesterday in which it first ruled on the St. Vincent’s hardship case, then focused its attention on increasing the number of designated landmarks in the City. As a result, New York City now has two new individual landmarks — St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church on East 28th Street in Murray Hill, and the Devoe Paint Factory, 110 Horatio Street, in the Far West Village.

As announced on this site on Monday, the Commission also held a public hearing on the proposed Prospect Heights Historic District, a district in the shadows of the Atlantic Yards Development and widely supported by the neighborhood.

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MAS Encourages LPC to Search for Alternative Locations for St. Vincent’s Hospital

st vincents building exterior overbite

Yesterday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted to approve St. Vincent Hospital’s hardship case, clearing the path for the demolition of the O’Toole Building.  While there are further approvals that must be garnered before the building can be demolished, MAS President Kent Barwick reminded the New York Times that the Landmarks Preservation Commission still has it within their purview to search for an alternative site for the hospital.

In other news, the Landmarks Preservation Commission also designated two new landmarks in Manhattan – St. Stephen’s Church and the F. W. Devoe & Company Factory. (New York Times)

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MAS to Hold CLE Course on Eminent Domain

For the lawyers out there: on Monday, November 3 at 8:30 am, the Municipal Art Society is holding a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) course, titled “Public Use After Kelo: The Continuing Debate Over 5th Amendment Takings Jurisprudence.”

This course will discuss the evolution of the public use clause of the 5th Amendment, tracing its evolution up through the Supreme Court’s now famous 2005 decision in Kelo v. City of New London. Panelists include Matthew Brickerhoff, who argued for the plantiffs in Goldstein vs. Pataki, the eminent domain case dealing with the Altantic Yards development.

The panel will revisit Kelo, as well as the implications of Justice Stevens’ reminder that “nothing in [the Court’s] opinion precludes any State from placing further restrictions on its exercise of the takings power.” Panelists will discuss legislative responses to the Supreme Court’s ruling, as well as recent public use litigation in state and lower federal courts. The program will conclude with a discussion of what changes, if any, should be made to New York’s own law of eminent domain.

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