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UNITED STATES v. 5.77 ACRES

October 14, 1943

UNITED STATES
v.
5.77 ACRES OF LAND, MORE OR LESS, IN BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN, KINGS COUNTY, et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BYERS

BYERS, District Judge.

It is necessary to fix the so-called fair market value as at September 25, 1941, of pier 44, Brooklyn, which was condemned pursuant to 40 U.S.C.A. § 258a, by the federal government for use by the United States Navy.

The damage map shows the somewhat unusual make-up of the property, which embraces upland containing an office building, the upland being bulkheaded and embracing a space covered by concrete blocks, and the pier itself, which rests upon land under water, and dredged slips on both sides of the pier, and also a small dock or bulkhead which adjoins pier 45 lying southerly from pier 44.

 The pier is composed of substructure and superstructure, and is 560 feet long by 90 feet in width. The superstructure or pier shed is of corrugated iron of standard type with steel frame and trusses giving a clear span on the pier. The height from the deck of the pier is 22 feet, and the roof, which is carried on trusses, is 12 or 15 feet higher.

 There are twenty-eight 20-foot bays within in pier, and mechanically operated doors occupying every other bay, built of structural steel and wood with patent mechanism for folding and raising the doors.

 The roof is of tar and gravel on a felt base. The structural steel frame consists of columns and trustees, each column being anchored into the concrete deck by two 1 1/2 inch bolts.

 The substructure of the pier and the bulkheads are of the same type of construction; namely, "low water cutoff platform," with a concrete base wall along the front and fill behind that. This means that the piles are cut off about one foot above low water, and are capped in rows, and decking is placed longitudinally on top of the caps.

 As to the pier, the piling, which has been described, provides for a solid filled in element which is 50 feet wide, extending outshore under the center of the deck of the pier, the space within the piles being filled in with cinders, etc., so as to constitute a solid base to support the deck of the pier, 50 feet in width; this means that on either side of that center strip there is 20 feet of pier construction supported by piles.

 On the upland there are the following buildings:

 One 1-story office building, constructed of 8-inch concrete block walls up to the window sills, above which there is 8-inch terra-cotta construction to the roof line. The roof is asphalt covered and of wood construction, and is pitched and forms a small attic. The building is 83 feet, 10 inches long by 17 feet, 4 inches wide, and rests upon a 12-inch concrete footing of 4 feet below ground level; it has an 8-inch concrete floor, wood covered, and the building is divided into six rooms, including a boiler room. The ceilings and walls are plastered in all the rooms except the boiler room.

 There is also a 1-story frame building, 22 feet by 25 feet, called the paint shop, the interior of which is covered with galvanized iron sheeting.

 All of the bulkhead and upland between the office and the pier is paved with asphalt blocks on 6-inch concrete base.

 The pier is constructed on land under water and extends out to the pier-head line adopted by the War Department on April 4, 1907. On the southerly side of the pier, the damage map shows ownership of land under water, of about 145 feet in width, with a diagonal cutoff at the outer end to indicate the theoretical position of the line of sea wall, outshore of which the title to the land under water is not vested in the claimant but in the State of New York.

 On the northerly side the land under water is very much wider at the outer end of the pier than inshore, although ownership on the part of the claimant does not extend beyond the line of sea wall which has been mentioned; however, there is no impediment to the use of both slips of the pier to its ful extent by reason of the ownership on ...


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