Understanding the Complicated Landscape of Civil War Monuments

19 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2018

See all articles by Jessica Owley

Jessica Owley

University at Buffalo Law School; Universidad Pontificia Comillas (ICADE)

Jess R. Phelps

Dinse P.C.

Date Written: October 2017


This essay examines the controversy regarding confederate monuments and attempts to contextualize this debate within the current preservation framework. While much attention has been paid to this topic over the past year, particularly with regard to “public” monuments, such discussion has generally failed to recognize the varied and complicated property law layers involved—which can fundamentally change the legal requirements for modification or removal. We propose a spectrum or framework for assessing these resources ranging from public to private, and we explore the messy space in-between these poles where most monuments actually fall. By highlighting these categories, we provide an initial introduction of a typology for evaluating confederate monuments, serving as a foundation for an exploration into the nature of property law and monument protection.

Keywords: civil war monuments, monuments, land use, historic preservation, easements

Suggested Citation

Owley, Jessica and Phelps, Jess R., Understanding the Complicated Landscape of Civil War Monuments (October 2017). 93 Indiana Law Journal Supp. 15 (2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3183707

Jessica Owley

University at Buffalo Law School ( email )

School of Law
528 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716-645-8182 (Phone)
716-645-2064 (Fax)

Universidad Pontificia Comillas (ICADE) ( email )

Alberto Aguilera 23
Madrid, Madrid 28015

Jess R. Phelps (Contact Author)

Dinse P.C. ( email )

209 Battery Street
Burlington, VT 05401
United States

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