A view of the New Jersey Palisades in Autumn

photo by: Doug Schneider Photography/Moment Open/Getty Images

Success

National Treasures

The Palisades

  • Location: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

The cliffs of the Palisades stand in New Jersey, across the Hudson River from Manhattan, and they were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965. About 12 miles long, 1/2 mile wide, and comprising about 2500 acres of shorelands, uplands, and cliffs, the Palisades Interstate Park provides visual and physical access to natural grandeur for millions in the metro area.

LG Electronics has proposed a new eight-story, 143-foot-high office tower headquarters building atop the Palisades, where it would greatly disrupt views of this long-preserved cultural landscape. The Town of Englewood Cliffs changed local zoning laws to allow this tower to rise above the ridge’s tree-line, higher and much more visible than any other building along the top of this protected area of the Palisades. Further, if construction moves ahead as planned, LG’s tower can be expected to prompt inappropriate development all along the sweeping natural span of this viewshed.

The Palisades’ historic significance lies in its long history as the object of some of the country’s earliest conservation and protection efforts, and as a treasured viewshed for millions living in and traveling through the region. Moreover, Native American tribes, including the Sanhikan, Hackensack, Raritan, and Tappan nations, used the cliffs as shelter and protection for centuries. The lands atop the cliffs were developed during European settlement through the late 19th century, when new quarries and other uses threatened to ruin the landscape. At the turn of the 20th century, a push led by the New Jersey Federation of Women’s Clubs resulted in the creation of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission by New York and New Jersey governors Theodore Roosevelt and Foster Voorhees. An article in the The New York Times on January 5, 1900, reported favorably on Governor Roosevelt’s action to preserve the Palisades from “spoliation of this rare scenic gift which nature has bestowed upon the metropolis.” Later, in the early 1930s, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., acquired and donated the area protected as a park today, with the specific objective of saving the viewshed. LG’s proposed tower would degrade this grand viewshed for all who enjoy it in New York, New Jersey and beyond.

Campaign Goals

  • Provide legal advocacy and assistance in opposition to the project and its permitting
  • Raise national awareness of the threat to the Palisades, and mobilize the public to take action
  • Bring LG, elected officials, and others together around a solution that preserves the Palisades and promotes sensitive development

Success!

In a win-win for historic preservation, the environment, and economic development, a coalition of conservation groups and LG Electronics USA reached a settlement on a new design for the company's American headquarters at the Palisades.

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