Mary Spearing


New York City local laws, Landmark Preservation Act of 1965


This Note examines the effectiveness of the 1965 New York City Landmark Preservation Act with respect to its ability to confront the conflict between the desire to preserve the city's history and the individual's constitutional right to use and control her own property, with particular attention to the unprotected status of the tax-exempt property owner. The author argues that the legislation fails to mesh the two conflicting goals of preservation and just compensation to property owners. She suggests that in order to do so, perhaps a different standard of value should be placed on landmark preservation that focuses on non-economic measures, such as aesthetics and historical value. Finally, she concludes that the Landmarks Act will never work unless the community and the courts decide that the community is being served by preservation.



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