178 Mass. 199 (1901), Parker v. Com.

Citation178 Mass. 199, 59 N.E. 634
Opinion JudgeHOLMES, C.J.
Party NamePARKER COMMONWEALTH; PARKMAN BRINTON v. COMMONWEALTH; PARKMAN BRINTON v. COMMONWEALTH. COMMONWEALTH; PARKMAN BRINTON v. COMMONWEALTH.
Attorney[59 N.E. 634] A. D. Hill, R. Homans, J. L. Thorndike, E. R. Thayer, Reginald Foster, and W. D. Turner, for petitioners. H. M. Knowlton, Atty. Gen., Frederick N. Nash, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Franklin T. Hammond, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the Commonwealth.
Case DateMarch 01, 1901
CourtSupreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

Page 199

178 Mass. 199 (1901)

59 N.E. 634

PARKER

COMMONWEALTH; PARKMAN BRINTON v.

COMMONWEALTH; PARKMAN BRINTON v.

COMMONWEALTH.

COMMONWEALTH; PARKMAN BRINTON v.

COMMONWEALTH.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk.

March 1, 1901

COUNSEL

Page 203

[59 N.E. 634] A. D. Hill, R. Homans, J. L. Thorndike, E. R. Thayer, Reginald Foster, and W. D. Turner, for petitioners.

H. M. Knowlton, Atty. Gen., Frederick N. Nash, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Franklin T. Hammond, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the Commonwealth.

OPINION

HOLMES, C.J.

These are petitions by owners of land affected by St. 1899, c. 457, to have the amount of damages assessed which have been sustained by them in their property by reason of the act. The statute in question limits the height of buildings on a small tract west of the state house to seventy feet, and allows these petitions if and in so far as the act, or proceedings to enforce it, may deprive the petitioners of rights existing under the constitution. The cases are reported upon demurrer and agreed facts.

[59 N.E. 635] In some of the arguments addressed to us it was assumed that the only view which it was possible to take of this statute was that it was intended to benefit the state house considered as a dominant estate, and to annex to it an easement or quasi easement, whether for prospect or security it does not matter. Manifestly this is not true. It may be argued that the statute was passed at least as much in the interest of the public at large as travelers on the highway as it was in the interest of the commonwealth as an owner of property--that one object at any rate was to save the dignity and beauty of the city at its culminating point for the pride of every Bostonian and for the pleasure of every member of the state. It is on this footing that it is argued for the commonwealth that the act is a valid exercise of the police power; that a building law would be valid within reasonable limits; Attorney General v. Williams, 174 Mass. 476, 478, 55 N.E. 77; People v. D'Oench, 111 N.Y. 359, 361, 18 N.E. 862; 1 Lewis, Em. Dom. (2d Ed.) § 156; that a limitation to seventy feet is reasonable, and that such a law is no less valid when passed to satisfy the love of

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beauty than when passed to appease the fear of fire. 174 Mass. 479, 480, 55 N.E. 77.

It will be observed that this argument avoids the...

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5 practice notes
  • A REQUIEM FOR REGULATORY TAKINGS: RECLAIMING EMINENT DOMAIN FOR CONSTITUTIONAL PROPERTY CLAIMS.
    • United States
    • Environmental Law Vol. 49 Nbr. 2, March 2019
    • March 22, 2019
    ...the height of buildings around the Boston State House conferred a benefit that would require compensation. See Parker v. Commonwealth, 178 Mass. 199, 205-06 (187) Lucas, 505 U.S. at 1060-61. (188) See Joe Gelt, Abandoned Farmland Often is Troubled Land in Need of Restoration (Aug., 1993) (u......
  • 242 Mass. 30 (1922), Ayer v. Commissioners on Height of Buildings in Boston
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • June 28, 1922
    ...Attorney General v. Williams, 174 Mass. 476 , S. C. 178 Mass. 330, affirmed in Williams v. Parker, 188 U.S. 491. Parker v. Commonwealth, 178 Mass. 199 . Welch v. Swasey, 193 Mass. 364; S. C. 214 U.S. 91. The respondents, pursuant to the authority conferred by Spec. St. 1915, c. 333, gave no......
  • 178 Mass. 111 (1901), Wilson v. Hale
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • March 1, 1901
    ...and disgrace of said arrest, and was put to great expense, annoyance, and trouble in order to obtain his liberty.' COUNSEL Page 112 [59 N.E. 634] J. E. Hannigan, for plaintiff. William P. Hale, pro se. OPINION Page 113 LORING, J. This suit was prematurely brought. The plaintiff is right in ......
  • 193 Mass. 364 (1907), Welch v. Swasey
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 1, 1907
    ...constitutional. See 1 Abbott, Mun. Corp. 237; 2 Tiedeman on State and Federal Control, 754. There is nothing in Parker v. Com., 178 Mass. 199, 59 N.E. 634, against the validity of the statutes now before us. That case was decided upon the construction given by the court to the legislative a......
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4 cases
  • 242 Mass. 30 (1922), Ayer v. Commissioners on Height of Buildings in Boston
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • June 28, 1922
    ...Attorney General v. Williams, 174 Mass. 476 , S. C. 178 Mass. 330, affirmed in Williams v. Parker, 188 U.S. 491. Parker v. Commonwealth, 178 Mass. 199 . Welch v. Swasey, 193 Mass. 364; S. C. 214 U.S. 91. The respondents, pursuant to the authority conferred by Spec. St. 1915, c. 333, gave no......
  • 178 Mass. 111 (1901), Wilson v. Hale
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • March 1, 1901
    ...and disgrace of said arrest, and was put to great expense, annoyance, and trouble in order to obtain his liberty.' COUNSEL Page 112 [59 N.E. 634] J. E. Hannigan, for plaintiff. William P. Hale, pro se. OPINION Page 113 LORING, J. This suit was prematurely brought. The plaintiff is right in ......
  • 193 Mass. 364 (1907), Welch v. Swasey
    • United States
    • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 1, 1907
    ...constitutional. See 1 Abbott, Mun. Corp. 237; 2 Tiedeman on State and Federal Control, 754. There is nothing in Parker v. Com., 178 Mass. 199, 59 N.E. 634, against the validity of the statutes now before us. That case was decided upon the construction given by the court to the legislative a......
  • 252 S.W. 404 (Mo. 1923), In re Proceeding to Restrict use of Property Along Gladstone Boulevard
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • May 22, 1923
    ...254, p. 504; 20 C. J. 558, sec. 40; Township Board v. Hackmann, 48 Mo. 243; County Court v. Griswold, 58 Mo. 176; Parker v. Commonwealth, 178 Mass. 199; Laws 1921, pp. 177, 178, 481, 510. (2) If the purpose and object be a public use as distinguished from a private use the necessity and exp......
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