Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What were they smoking back in 1946?

I don't even know where to begin with this one. So I will just allow this 1946 article from The American City to speak for itself.

(Although I will add that I showed this to a buddy of mine and he informed me that this is where the municipal lots came from. They ONLY condemned and demolished the blocks where the black folk were concentrated - then moved them to the Bland and Leavitt projects. Yes...Bob Moses strikes again!)


Anonymous said...

Once in the 70's my father expansively gestured at some surrounding marshland in the Jamaica Bay area and informed me, "Someday the Army Corp. of Engineers will drain all of these swamps."

We know how that turned out. What idiocies and cants are we mouthing now? This is a very humbling article.

Anonymous said...

I discovered this article 35 years ago while researching a paper I was writing on city planning.

In the late 1940's Robert Moses proposed the placement of the new United Nations in Flushing Meadows.

He detailed a site with multiple structures housing U.N. executive branches. There were renderings depicting architectural concepts drawn up by various firms such as S.O.M.

He also proposed designating a portion of LaGuardia Airport as an international airport.

No sooner than his plans appeared, developers started to buy property in the most desirable adjoning neighborhoods containing good transit links.

Many sites were purchased in downtown Flushing anticipating growth near the U.N. property.

Great new urban planning and architectual concepts started to evolve.

When New York won the competition for the UN headquarters on the East River site, (A whole other story), there began the wholesale dumping of these aquired properties in downtown Flushing.

This, due to new zoning laws being enacted in the early 1960's,led to the large scale creation of huge uninsipiring brick apartment buildings in the area.

Downtown Flushing could have been an extraorinary example of postwar architectural design had history taken a different course.

Taxpayer said...

Imagine. Back in 1946, to contemplate converting 25 acres into such a commercial enterprise.

ALL with PRIVATE investment.

All with NO eminent domain.

All with $50,000,000 in 1946 dollars. What would that be today? $500 BILLION?

So, if the private investors weren't convinced of the usefulness or profitability, or if the PURCHASE cost of the land were too high, then PRIVATE investors would go elsewhere.

Wow! Who would get all the kickbacks?

What property owners would get punished by cheesy politicians through private property seizures? How did politicians get rich back then?

Oh! My God! Those people were soooo old fashioned back then!

Anonymous said...

An early example of this rooftop vehicular parking concept was actually built into the R.H. Macy's Jamaica Department Store in the late 1940's.

This store had a very modern interior design that Macy's also designed into their Flatbush and Parkchester stores.

Anonymous said...

I think this included Bill Zeckendorf Senior's plan to buy the RKO Keith's site back in the 1940s from what we heard.

Anonymous said...

To think of it, if Wellington Chen were around then he would have f----d up the town worse than it is today!

Anonymous said...

If they'd built it you'd wind up having Taiwanese and Chinese
trampling each other on several levels instead of just one.

In other words, a multi level third world slum!

Does John Liu really live in his district or in Connecticut.

That's an old Stavisky trick...
maintaining a false address within the district.

Like that old apartment they kept in
Linden Hill or was or Mitchell Gardens near the North Flushing Swim Club?

Hello out there Evan...piss your pants yet?