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February 3rd, 2010
BLUEPRINT AMERICA
The Next American System
[VIDEO] The Master Builder (1977)

”Those who can, build,” Robert Moses said. ”Those who can’t, criticize.” From the Public Television archives at THIRTEEN/ WNET in New York, an hour long interview from 1977 with Robert Moses, the “master builder” of modern day New York City. Moses, for 44 years — from 1924 until 1968 — held several appointive offices in New York State and once occupied 12 positions simultaneously, including that of New York City Parks Commissioner, head of the State Parks Council, head of the State Power Commission and chairman of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.

Moses built highways, bridges, tunnels, parks, playgrounds, housing, beaches, zoos, civic centers, exhibition halls and the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair — at a cost of $27 billion. In a city of mass transit, he surrounded it and divided it with highways — at the time, putting in more miles of highways than that of Los Angeles.

Only a bureaucrat — not an architect, a planner, a lawyer or a politician — he managed to change the physical environment of New York City and State. More than just New York, Moses set an example nationwide of how to build the American City of the 20th Century.

  • Richard C. DeArmond

    This guy was one of the masters intent upon destroying the great cities of North America.

  • Mike Stanton

    He designed the curvy parkways when cars only reached 40 MPH and thought curves would be a motoring experience.Now his parkways are permanant death roads as cars can reach high speeds and curves can really ruin gas milage and when wet can cause cars to slide.The parkways are the laughing stock of the rest of the country.So sad..A guy who never drove a car designing highways.

  • jon

    wow this is a great vintage video.

    someone get that curmudgeon a non-swivel chair!!!!

    “Moses built highways, bridges, tunnels, parks, playgrounds, housing, beaches, zoos, civic centers, exhibition halls and the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair — at a cost of $27 billion.” And who also proposes a bridge across LI Sound, but says we cant afford subways!?!?!?!

  • gerryg

    Well Jones Beach was an accomplishment, the only metro beach in the world without commercial development. Oh and the Fair was cool.Worst act was the expy that wrecked the Bronx . Could have been worse, he wanted to do a cross Manhatten exxpy through the Village.

  • Joerg Sattler

    He might have been thought of as a visionary. It was never recognized or understood that he was extremely myopic, nearly blind in the sense that he was unable to have a clear understanding history proved that the only way to go forward was to recognize that change is inevitable.

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