Robert Moses, the “master builder,” was arguably the most influential individual in the development of New York City’s politics and physical structure. He’s widely known for his hand in creating New York State’s massive parkway network (he built 13 expressways through NYC) and erecting large public housing complexes in low-scale neighborhoods (many of which were segregated), and has therefore been named as the source of many of the city’s gentrification and urban decline issues still present today. Regardless of this criticism, his breath of knowledge and experience was unparalleled (we can also thank him for Lincoln Center, Jones Beach, and countless public swimming pools) and is the subject of this 15-minute television program called Longines Chronoscope that aired in 1953, at the height of his heyday.
In the short interview, Moses speaks about the country’s need to expand their plans for road building to account for the lull in development caused by WWII, as well as the growing output of cars. He also touches on issues related to city parks and playgrounds and has to deliver the unfortunate news that there’s little to be done to resolve traffic between 125th street and Battery Park.
The series was sponsored by Longines Watches, and ran on CBS from 1951-1955. The show aired on Monday nights until it was expanded to include Tuesday-Friday after the first season. During its four- year run, CBS produced over 600 episodes interviewing notable people of the time such as Eleanor Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Joseph McCarthy and many more.
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