Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,300+ case briefs...

Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City

United States Supreme Court
438 U.S. 104 (1978)



In 1965, New York City (defendant) enacted the “Landmarks Preservation Law” to enable the city to designate certain buildings and neighborhoods as historical landmarks. Penn Central Transportation Co. (Penn Central) (plaintiff) owned Grand Central Terminal in New York City which was designated as a historical landmark under the law. In 1968, to increase its income, Penn Central leased the airspace above Grand Central Terminal for fifty years to UGP Properties, Inc. Penn Central expected the lease to provide it with millions of dollars of additional income every year. Penn Central and UGP then submitted two proposals for building designs to the New York City Commission and applied for permission to construct an office building above Grand Central Terminal. After lengthy hearings, the Commission denied this request on the grounds that Grand Central Terminal was a historical landmark. Penn Central brought suit in New York Supreme Court against New York City alleging that the City Commission’s application of the Landmarks Preservation Law which denied its rights to build an office building above Grand Central Terminal and receive revenue from the building constituted a taking of the company’s property without just compensation as required by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The New York Supreme Court granted an injunction to Penn Central, but did not provide damages. The state court of appeals reversed, holding that the Landmarks Preservation Law furthered an important public purpose. Penn Central appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

Dissent (Rehnquist, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 486,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 486,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,300 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial