"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Sunday, July 08, 2018

A "Monumental" Video of Grand Central Terminal in New York City (as once saved by a U.S. Supreme Court decision on NYC Landmarks Law) (or) Choose Your Justices Wisely

"... the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people," [emphasis added by LawPundit]

In retrospectively assessing the goodness of U.S. Supreme Court Justices, Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, 438 U.S. 104 (1978) is an interesting precedential case on regulatory takings ...

Excerpt from a Grand Central Terminal video transcript (as cited below) .... :

"The preservation battle to keep [Grand Central Terminal] standing was extremely important in the history of historic preservation generally. It was a Supreme Court decision that upholding New York City's Landmarks Preservation Law kept the terminal standing."

Read about the U.S. Supreme Court decision at the New York Times at Tower Over Grand Central Barred As Court Upholds Landmarks Law
Watch the Grand Central Video at Architectural Digest ....

The "good guys" who saved Grand Central Terminal from private property greed and doctrine and from sheer architectural folly were majority Justices
Justice Brennan, Justice Stewart, Justice White, Justice Marshall, Justice Blackmun, and Justice Powell.

The majority opinion was written by Justice William J. Brennan Jr.,whose opinion footnotes 1 and 2 (here excerpted) read as follows:

"[Footnote 1]

.... Congress has determined that "the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people," [ "hear, hear !" emphasis added by Lawpundit] National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, 80 Stat. 915, 16 U.S.C. § 470(b) (1976 ed.), and has enacted a series of measures designed to encourage preservation of sites and structures of historic, architectural, or cultural significance....

[Footnote 2]
Over one-half of the buildings listed in the Historic American Buildings Survey, begun by the Federal Government in 1933, have been destroyed. [emphasis added by Lawpundit] See Costonis, The Chicago Plan: Incentive Zoning and the Preservation of Urban Landmarks, 85 Harv.L.Rev. 574, 574 n. 1 (1972), citing Huxtable, Bank's Building Plan Sets Off Debate on "Progress," N.Y. Times, Jan. 17, 1971, section 8, p. 1, col. 2. 

The "bad guys" in the case were Justice Rehnquist in dissent, as joined by Chief Justice Burger and Justice Stevens.

"Conservative" well-meant intentions, especially regarding the "proper" extent of "property" rights, do not always lead to good results.

In this case, it was the liberal wing of the Supreme Court who saved the wondrous architecture of U.S. traditional past for posterity, not the right wing.

One must be careful in choosing Supreme Court Justices. The Justices must protect the rights of all, not just the rights of the few.

As a political centrist, we are " Just sayin' ".

Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1 :
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2 :
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.


    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically
    in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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