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NYC seeking to appeal Kalikow landmark decision.

Corporation Counsel for the City of New York last week said the legal entity would seek to appeal the state appeals court decision to restore landmark status to four residential buildings that developer Peter Kalikow wanted to tear down to make way for a luxury residential project.

The unanimous ruling by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Manhattan reversed the 1990 Board of Estimate decision to remove landmark status from the four most eastern buildings of the 14-building City and Suburban York Avenue Estates, between 78th and 79th Streets, on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

The turn-of-the century structures, owned by Kalikow, were landmarked in April 1990 not because of architectural significance, but because they were considered the first humane tenements built for the city's working poor -- "landmarks to affordable housing." The now-defunct Board of Estimate withdrew the four buildings from the designation four months later. In August of last year, the board's move was upheld by Justice Charles E. Ramos of State Supreme Court.

Lastweek, Presiding Justice Francis T. Murphy and four other justices struck down that ruling.

Leonard Koerner, chief of appeals, Corporate Counsel, said Friday they were "disturbed" by the decision and they will seek leave to take their objection to a court of appeals.

Martin McLaughlin, spokesperson for Kalikow, said earlier that the city was the lead plaintiff and the developer was waiting to see what the city's next move will be.

The suit was filed against the city by the Coalition to Save City and Suburban Housing and the tenants association of the York Avenue Estate, represented by Edward Costikyan of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

Betty Cooper Wallerstein, head of the Coalition to Save City and Suburban Housing, said, she thought it was "awkward" that the city's counsel should support something that the mayor, city planning, the comptroller, and the borough president do not.

Koerner's reply was: "We understand that, but we support the process." If the City Counsel is the body that will review existing landmark designations, Koerner said, what type of review that will be should be explored.

The ruling shows, Wallerstein said, that the a landmark is "not up for grabs and pieces of it are not up for grabs. n

If developers are permitted to "tear away" pieces of landmarks, Wallerstein said, the landmark laws cease to protect the important architectural and historical sites in the city.
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Title Annotation:Corporation Counsel for the City of New York in New York, New York seeks appeal of court decision restoring landmark status to residential buildings sought by developer Peter Kalikow
Author:Fitzgerald, Therese
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 27, 1992
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