You may be familiar on how Jackie Kennedy Onassis served as the face for the fight to preserve Grand Central Terminal, but you may not know of Beverly Moss Spatt who was a leader among the coalition of city officials and civic activists who fought Penn Central RR from building a 55-story office tower on top.
From the New York Times' obituary appearing on July 17, 2023:
"It is the most important decision that the preservation movement has ever had,” Ms. Spatt said in 1977, when the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest, handed down the ruling. (The ruling was confirmed by the United States Supreme Court in 1978.) It saved not only Grand Central, she noted, but also the landmark commission itself and the principle of landmark laws: to protect historic and cultural treasures even when it meant economic hardship for an owner.
“Especially when a city is in financial distress, it should not be forced to choose between witnessing the demolition of its glorious past and mortgaging its hopes for the future,” the court declared. “The landmark preservation provisions of the Administrative Code represent an effort to take a middle way.”
Click here to read the full New York Times obituary.