America’s cultural heritage is both rich and richly contested. When New Yorkers won their battle to save Grand Central Terminal, they also won the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of historic preservation laws, the “Penn Central” case, in 1978. This landmark ruling is the lodestar that guides campaigns, large and small, to preserve cultural heritage across all local governments in the United States. The stories in this book highlight how the law functions to decide “what” is historic and whether or not to “save” a site with claims for having cultural significance. The authors recount tales about staving off demolition and saving “old” houses, landscapes, churches, tribal indigenous sites, colonial mansions, art deco improvements and “modern” buildings. They pose tough questions for the future of historic preservation, both from the pressures of real estate development and the disruptions of climate change. Stories and Laws makes otherwise complex legal issues readily accessible as it walks readers through the landscape shaped by six decades of struggles to define and safeguard heritage of our “past” for the benefit of the “future.”
About the authors
Shelby D. Green teaches Historic Preservation, Property, and Real Estate Transactions at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Jay Heritage Center in Rye, N.Y.
Nicholas A. Robinson has taught and practiced historic preservation law since 1978. He actively campaigned to save several historic structures in Westchester County, N.Y., chaired The Historical Society serving the villages of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, N.Y., and was founding chair of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Conservancy. He is Kerlin Professor Emeritus at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.
April 2020, Paperback 212 Pages | Ebook ISBN: 978-1-60042-492-2