Document Type



This article offers a legal history of the northwest corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, the plot of land that, among other things, was the source of dispute in Meinhard v. Salmon, one of the leading business law cases in American history. Using the Meinhard case as a lens, the paper explores New York’s changing ethnic, social, and economic environment – the rise and fall of industries, the booms and busts of business conditions, the dispersal and commercialization of landed estates, the influence of immigrants, the role of yachting, horse racing, art collecting and charitable work in establishing social standing, and the importance of family and heritage in the development of New York City during the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries.

Date of Authorship for this Version

September 2007