Justice Charles Ramos

Charitable organization Reed Foundation sought a declaration that park developer Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park breached a contractual obligation to Reed based on the Four Freedoms’ failure to complete an agreed engraving at the park. The parties’ agreements specifically mandated that the construction of a structure called the “Threshold” would include engraved text recognizing Reed for its contribution to the park. Four Freedoms argued its agreement could not be honored without defacing a work of art, asking Reed to agree to recognition text on the “grand stair,” but Reed refused. The court found Four Freedoms materially breached the agreements by refusing to engrave the artwork, and was contractually obligated to do so, and acknowledged the remedy for breach was specific performance. It noted Reed’s expectation at the time of its grant was an engraving in advance of the park’s dedication, and such a unique honorary recognition was not subject to monetary valuation. Thus, the court granted Reed’s petition, directing Four Freedoms to complete the recognition text in accordance with the agreements.