Penn Central — The Never Ending Story

We have had occasion recently to note the latest round of litigation over the air rights above Grand Central Terminal in New York. This controversy has the potential of becoming a highly significant court decision. Right now, the city’s motion to dismiss is fully briefed and pending. So stand by.

If you are interested in regulatory takings in general and the wretched Penn Central controversy in particular, we recommend the summary of this litigation by our fellow blogger, Michael Rikon, the foremost eminent domain lawyer in New York. See Bulldozers at Your Doorstep, . This blog post will give you a detailed summary of the parties’ respective arguments.

 The original Penn Central case was decided by the US Supreme Court in 1978 — 38 years ago, and the end of this controversy is still nowhere in sight. For our own grand overview of the Penn Central mess, see our article Making Laws and Sausages: A Quarter-Century Retrospective on Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of New York, 13 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 679* (2005). It reviews in detail the decisions of all four courts that decided that case.


* There was a printing error in the production of that issue of that Journal, so your hard copy of this article may show that the article begins at p. 653. But the correct page of the article’s beginning is 679.