The Real Deal New York

Identical “custom” homes rise on Long Island

A couple is now suing their architect
July 09, 2016 03:00PM


A custom home should be one of a kind. But after discovering a home identical to theirs one town over, a Long Island couple is suing an architect. They allege that the architect copied the blueprints of their home on Auerbach Lane in Lawrence.

The Lawrence residents, Seth and Rivka Fortgang, are suing to block the construction of a mansion on Villa Place in Cedarhurst. The home is nearly identical their Auerbach Lane home, one mile away, according to the New York Post.

The Fortgangs “constructed their unique home from the ground up, creating a visually distinctive and unique exterior stucco façade” in 2005 and copyrighted the original architectural drawings under the name “Fortgang Residence I,” according to the suit.

Architecture firm Pereiras Architects Ubiquitous and property owners Daniella and Ari Schwartz are accused of using those exclusive plans without permission.

However, a lawyer for Daniella Schwartz argues that the two designs are different.

“We note that the exterior façade of the Fortgang resident consists of several windows, rather generic gables, and entry way doors,” attorney Daniel Schloss wrote in a court filing. He added that the residence is in a different town.

Construction has temporarily been halted. [NYP]Christopher Cameron