Jane Jacobs’ birthday on May 4 is marked throughout the world as an occasion to celebrate one’s own city — its history, diversity, and continued vitality. “Jane’s Walks” are conducted across the country to encourage average citizens to appreciate and engage the complex and dazzling ecosystems which make up our cityscapes (Here in NYC, MAS is hosting 200+ free walks throughout the city from today through Sunday). But there’s no place better to appreciate all things Jane Jacobs than Greenwich Village, the neighborhood in which she lived and which so informed and inspired her writings and activism, in turn helping to save it from destruction.
Lower Manhattan Expressway
If there’s one thing most people attribute to Robert Moses it’s highways. The master planner built 13 expressways throughout New York, including the Cross Bronx Expressway, Brooklyn Queens Expressway, the FDR Drive, and the West Side Highway. Love him or hate him, this was a pretty profound feat of urban planning. But had he been granted free rein, Moses would’ve constructed even more highways. The two failed attempts that remain most notorious are the Lower Manhattan Expressway, which would’ve cut east-west along the residential areas of Broome Street, as well as a Mid-Manhattan Expressway, a proposed six-lane elevated highway along 30th Street.
After mapping these aforementioned Moses proposals, cartographer Andrew Lynch decided to take his project one step further and create a map series of all the never-built highways in NYC, both from Moses and others.