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Archive for May, 2013

I’m looking to take on some new clients in estate planning. The work offers a great opportunity to help clients while also avoiding some of the bad karma of adversarial work. Its legal issues also overlap with a lot of the property-based considerations in land use. If you know anyone in New Jersey who needs to update his or her estate planning documents — powers of attorney, wills, living wills, or trust documents — please send them along!

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An Update

I’ve been very busy juggling more time-sensitive priorities over the last couple of months, and my postings here have suffered. I apologize to regular readers for being AWOL during that period, and I will try to be more clear about it in the future when things come up. I’m having a little bit of a breather now, so I’m going to begin catching up the New Jersey Land Use Updates. I should also have more general content soon. Thanks for reading. – T.

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Art & Land Use

XKH141353

Ploughed Field. Caspar David Friedrich. Circa 1830.

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Raising the Bayonne Bridge

A video from the Port Authority of N.Y. & N.J. simulates how the travel lanes on the Bayonne Bridge will soon be raised to allow larger container ships to pass underneath. It’s narrated by a great, awkwardly-expert voiceover, to boot.

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Another One

My cousin recently found an apartment near this surviving NYC detached Victorian-type house. The Victorian sits on an oddly shaped corner lot at Briggs Avenue and East 201st Street. The owner seems to like gardening, and there is at least one well-fed cat living in the yard. It’s two blocks down from the Grand Concourse, and it’s in much better shape than most of the similar houses on Woodycrest Avenue in High Bridge. Unfortunately, it’s not part of a cluster. There are some other detached houses nearby, but they’re not of the same style or period.

Update: I’m using Google Maps Engine now to create a database of these houses. Since there are thousands of examples of Victorian architecture in New York City, here are the criteria, for now:

1. The structure must have been built within the legal boundaries of the pre-1898 City of New York. That is, the present-day borough of Manhattan, or the portion of the present-day Bronx that lies west of the Bronx River.

2. For the time being, I’m going to cut off the year of construction (if determinable) in 1910, because there was a burst of this type of construction around the turn of the century. (So, we’re actually looking for Victorian and Edwardian-era houses.) I don’t want to exclude structures that were part of an organic phenomenon, simply because the city’s legal boundaries were expanded to include other, non-NYC-proper phenomena (e.g., Brooklyn, Flushing, etc.). But at some point, I may create separate categories for pre-1898 and post-1898 houses.

3. The structure must be (or show evidence of having once been) a fully-detached house. Evidence could include side-windows and façades, and side yards that are (or clearly were) more than mere alleyways.

4. Finally (the fun part), the structure must show evidence of Victorian-era (especially, American Queen Anne-style) architectural details, such as cones, turrets, towers, stained-glass windows, bays, wraparound porches, asymmetrical façades, and the like — or strong evidence that such features were originally incorporated into the structure, but have since been modified or removed.

And, by all means, please send along any new finds that meet the criteria!

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