Robert Moses

Moses in 1939 with a model of his proposed [[Battery Bridge]] Robert Moses (December 18, 1888 – July 29, 1981) was an American urban planner and public official who worked in the New York metropolitan area during the early to mid 20th century. Despite never being elected to any office, Moses is regarded as one of the most powerful and influential individuals in the history of New York City and New York State. The grand scale of his infrastructural projects and his philosophy of urban development influenced a generation of engineers, architects, and urban planners across the United States.

Moses held various positions throughout his more than forty-year long career. He at times held up to 12 titles simultaneously, including New York City Parks Commissioner and chairman of the Long Island State Park Commission. Having worked closely with New York governor Al Smith early in his career, Moses became expert in writing laws and navigating and manipulating the inner workings of state government. He created and led numerous semi-autonomous public authorities, through which he controlled millions of dollars in revenue and directly issued bonds to fund new ventures with little outside input or oversight.

Moses's projects transformed the New York area and revolutionized the way cities in the U.S. were designed and built. As Long Island State Park Commissioner, Moses oversaw the construction of Jones Beach State Park, the most visited public beach in the United States, and was the primary architect of the New York State Parkway System. As head of the Triborough Bridge Authority, Moses had near-complete control over bridges and tunnels in New York City as well as the tolls collected from them, and built, among others, the Triborough Bridge, the Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel, and the Throgs Neck Bridge, as well as several major highways. These roadways and bridges, alongside urban renewal efforts that saw the destruction of huge swaths of tenement housing and their replacement with large public housing projects, transformed the physical fabric of New York and inspired other cities to undertake similar development endeavors.

Moses's reputation declined following the publication of Robert Caro's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography ''The Power Broker'' (1974), which cast doubt on the purported benefits of many of Moses's projects and further cast Moses as racist. In large part because of ''The Power Broker'', Moses is today considered a controversial figure in the history of New York City. Provided by Wikipedia
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    by Moses, Robert, 1888-1981
    Published 1914
    HeinOnline Legal Classics Library
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