By Al Barbarino
During a career that spanned five decades, Mr. Lindenbaum helped shape New York’s skyline as an advisor to the city’s leading developers and institutions, and he is remembered for his creative and insightful interpretation of the city’s complex zoning and land use laws.
Mr. Lindenbaum served as Counsel to Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP since 2002.
“We deeply mourn the passing of our beloved counsel, mentor and inspiration, Sandy Lindenbaum,” the law firm said in a statement. “Sandy was Counsel to our firm and graced our practice with his brilliance, creativity and dedication.” Mr. Lindenbaum worked on New York icons like the Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art, the Hearst headquarters and the Bloomberg building.
Among a long list of clients, he worked with William Macklowe, Harry Helmsley, Donald Trump, Steven Roth, and Larry Silverstein; and institutions such as Carnegie Hall, the Whitney and Guggenheim museums, MoMA, and the Archdiocese of New York.
He played a vital role in helping Mr. Trump secure the rights to raise the Trump World Tower on the East Side, and he consulted Mr. Macklowe on the process leading up to his installation of the now-famous glass cube Apple store under the General Motors Building.
More recently, he helped win approval for the MoMA mixed-use building on West 53rd Street, Columbia University’s Manhattanville campus expansion in West Harlem, and the Weill Cornell College Medical building.
His legacy includes a passion for public service and philanthropy, having served on the boards at MoMA, the Association for a Better New York, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged, Central Synagogue, and the Real Estate Board of New York.
“Sandy was our industry’s leading land use and zoning attorney and provided the highest level of professional advice for many of our city’s most prominent commercial and residential developments as well as New York’s cultural, religious and educational institutions,” a statement from REBNY read.
Mr. Lindenbaum was a REBNY member for over 36 years, serving on the Board of Governors since 1988 and on the Executive Committee as vice president since 1994.
He received two of REBNY’s most prestigious awards — the Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award in 1999, and the Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award in 2010.
Born and raised in Crown Heights, Mr. Lindenbaum’s first job was as a tax lawyer on Wall Street, and his professional career began almost simultaneously with the adoption of New York City’s transformative Zoning Resolution in 1961, fueling a lifelong interest in the complex zoning laws that govern the city.
He was a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.
Mr. Lindenbaum is survived by his wife, Linda, and their family.