David Alan Richards legal papers
Language of Materials
Proceedings handled by real estate lawyer Richards of the 1980 transfer of air rights above Tiffany and Company's building at 727 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, to neighboring Trump Tower, then under construction, and for the 2005 and 2012 donations of the High Line, the abandoned elevated freight railway on Manhattan's west side, by its owner, CSX Transportation, Inc., to the City of New York for use as a park.
Biographical / Historical
Literary, social, and legal historian David Alan Richards (b. 1945), author of The History of the New York Yacht Club (1974), Skulls and Keys: The Hidden History of Yale's Secret Societies (2017), and several bibliographical studies of Rudyard Kipling, is, by vocation, a real estate lawyer in New York City.
Between 1977 and 1982, while at the firm of Coudert Brothers, Richards brokered the sale of air rights above Tiffany and Company's flagship store at 727 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, to the Trump-Equitable Fifth Avenue Company. This purchase ensured no other developer could erect on the Tiffany site a building taller than 58-story Trump Tower, then under construction next door at 721-725 Fifth Avenue.
Between 2000 and 2013 Richards was a partner in the firm McCarter & English, where he shepherded the 2005 and 2012 donations to the City of New York by CSX Transportation, Inc., the abandoned High Line—an elevated freight railway on Manhattan's west side running from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street—for use as a public park.
For more on Richards's pursuits visit the biographical section of his website.
The six volumes are split physically between the boxes based on their size and weight to preserve the groupings of each legal proceeding: 1980 (1 volume in Box 1), 2005 (3 volumes in Box 2), 2012 (2 volumes in Box 1).
Scope and Contents
The collection contains six bound volumes of legal proceedings (with some tipped-in documents and email printouts) by real estate lawyer David Alan Richards on behalf of
(1) Coudert Brothers, counsel to Tiffany and Company for the 1980 merger of Tiffany's building air rights above 727 Fifth Avenue to Trump-Equitable Fifth Avenue Company;
(2) McCarter & English, counsel to CSX Transportation, Inc. for the donations in 2005 and 2012 to the City of New York of CSX's abandoned High Line elevated railway on Manhattan's west side for use as a public park.
Open to qualified researchers.
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This collection is owned by the New-York Historical Society. The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials. Unpublished materials created before January 1, 1978 cannot be quoted in publication without permission of the copyright holder. Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.)
This collection should be cited as: David Alan Richards Legal Papers, MS 3143, The New-York Historical Society.
Location of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of David A. Richards, June 2019 (accession no. MS-2019-031).
About this Guide
Archivist Joseph Ditta arranged and described this collection in October 2019.