A new interactive New York City subway planning game created by electrical engineer Jason Wright gives you a chance to try your hand at building the subway system of your dreams. Though based on a similar idea to Dinosaur Polo Club’s Mini Metro, the game goes further and gives players a lot more to work with. “Brand New Subway” lets players start from scratch or use current subway maps, modify historic maps dating as far back as the 1900s or use maps from the future (like the planned 2025 subway system map pictured above) (h/t DNAinfo).
Image via NYU Local
It’s true: Washington Square Park was, in part, Washington Square parking lot. In the 1960s, at the peak of the nation’s car culture fixation, the Greenwich Village park was put into use as a parking lot, until cars were finally banished altogether in the 1970s, when the large circular plaza around the fountain was added. Some say the parking lot was an effort to keep hippies from gathering in the beloved public space.
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.
- Just in time for LGBT Pride Month, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is looking to designate the Stonewall Inn as a city landmark. [NYT]
- Looking back at the Theater District’s 1982 Broadway Massacre. [Ephemeral NY]
- A forthcoming, untitled opera will depict the feud between Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. [NYO]
- This map uses NYPD data to show just how “mean” the streets of New York can be. [CityLab]
- Is this the ultimate beach umbrella? It digs into the sand and provides enough shelter for two beach chairs and a cooler. [Kinja Deals]
Images: Stonewall Inn (L); Robert Moses/Washington Square Park (R)
If you have even the slightest interest in architecture, urban planning, and NYC history, you know Robert Moses. Unforgettably profiled as the “Power Broker” by Robert Caro, Moses was the “master builder” of mid-20th century New York and its environs. He was a larger-than-life character who had very set ways of approaching urban design. He advocated for highways over public transportation (he built 13 expressways through NYC), dense housing towers over low-scale neighborhoods, and communities segregated by race and class over organic, mixed-demographic areas. Of course, there are plenty of much-loved aspects of the city that also came from Moses–Jones Beach, the United Nations, and ten public swimming pools like the one in McCarren Park.
Regardless of your feelings on Robert Moses, though, we can all agree that the city would not be the same without him. But a lot has changed since he lost his post as director of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority in the mid 1960s and even more so since he passed away in 1981. So we can’t help but wonder what he would think of our fair city in 2015. To have a little fun, we planned a present-day tour for the ghost of Robert Moses.
Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs squaring off
Love him or hate him, Robert Moses left an indelible mark on New York City’s urban infrastructure. Most of us formed our opinions on the city’s master planner after reading Robert Caro’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Power Broker.” But if you’re looking for a lighter (in both senses of the word; Caro’s book weighs 3.3 pounds) read on Mr. Moses, you may want to check out the new graphic novel “Robert Moses: The Master Builder of New York City.” Created by French writer Pierre Christin and Chilean artist Olivier Balez, the “anti-hero comic” is the perfect dramatic portrayal of Moses, both celebrating and criticizing his contributions to the city.
Stuyvesant Town Oval via Marianne O’Leary via photopin cc
Any architecture history student or design nerd knows about Le Corbusier (1887-1965), one of the founders of modern architecture and a truly one-of-a-kind urban planner. For those of you who aren’t as familiar with Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris (his given name; he was French-Swiss), one of his most noteworthy urban ideas was concept of “towers in the park.” Part of his Contemporary City plan (and later Radiant City plan) to house three million inhabitants as a way to deal with overcrowding and slums, towers in the park were skyscrapers set in large, rectangular tracts of lands with open space between the buildings.
Whether they were consciously influenced by Le Corbusier or not, many projects in New York City mimic his vision of towers in the park, and we’ve decided to take a look at the most well known of this architectural crop, as well as some other ways the famous architect left his mark on NYC.