Society for Ethical Culture v. Spatt
New York Court of Appeals
415 N.E.2d 922 (1980)
The New York City Landmark Preservation Commission (defendant) designated the Meeting House of the Society of Ethical Culture of the City of New York (the society) (plaintiff) as a landmark. The society was a religious and charitable organization. The commission designated the society’s meeting house as a landmark because the house was the country’s first building of the art nouveau architecture style, which was pioneered by Robert Kohn, who was also the president of the society. The combination of these factors led to the designation, with the commission deeming the meeting house “a tangible symbol of the Society’s permanent social contribution and a rich architectural element of the fabric of our City.” The society brought suit, claiming that the designation and concomitant building restrictions constituted an unconstitutional restriction on the use of property without compensation. Given its size and the size of the meeting house, the society wished to demolish the building, as well as the one next to it on the property, and rebuild to fully maximize the value of the property. The trial court ruled in favor of the society. The appellate court reversed. The society appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wachtler, J.)
What to do next…
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 725,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 725,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 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.