Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Litigation Over Compensation for Pelham Property Owners Whose Lands Were Taken by New York City for the New Pelham Bay Park

During the late 1880s, New York City was engaged in taking lands from Pelham citizens for the creation of the new Pelham Bay Park. Some believed the compensation proposed to them for payment by the city for the taking of their properties was inadequate. Litigation resulted.

Below is the text of an article on the topic that appeared in the March 16, 1889 issue of the New-York Tribune.






In the General Term of the Supreme Court yesterday Presiding Justice Van Brunt and Justices Barrett and Cullen listened to argument on the application made on behalf of the city for the confirmation of the report presented by the Commissioners of Estimate for the new parks above the Harlem River, except as to certain portions of it. The total awards made by the Commissioners amount to about $9,000,000. The larger portion of the awards were confirmed in December. Since then eleven of the property-owners who had objected have withdrawn their objctions [sic]. Among those whose protests are still before the court are Dr. C.S. Wood, whose award was $96,126 for 137 acreas taken for the Pelham Bay Park, which, he claims, are worth over $400,000; Ann Bolton, whose award was $202,089 for land, water-power, buildings and bleachery and tape-mill machinery taken for Bronx Park, and Gouverneur Morris, who claims that the nominal damages awarded for the road-beds taken for St. Mary's Park are entirely inadequate.

In support of the application, Franklin Bartlett, the special counsel for the city, said that he had but three objections to raise. One of these was to the award of $25,504 to A.C. Chandler for sixteen lots taken for the Bronx Park. This was more than double the estimate of the owner's experts and was a manifest error. He also objected to the awards of $8,000 to the town of Pelham for the Pelham Bay Bridge, and $20,000 to 'unknown' for Pelham Bridge Highway, which is claimed by the town of Pelham and by Westchester County. For the objecting property-owners J. Alfred Davenport, John C. Shaw, John Berry, ex-Judge C. P. Daly, Thomas Allison, Prescott Hall Butler and others appeared as counsel. Decision was reserved."

Source: The Courts. Payment for New Park Lands, New-York Tribune, Mar. 16, 1889, p. 4, col. 1.

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