Moses, Robert

Moses, Robert
born Dec. 18, 1888, New Haven, Conn., U.S.
died July 29, 1981, West Islip, N.Y.

U.S. public official.

He began his long career in public service in New York City's bureau of municipal research. In 1919 Gov. Alfred E. Smith appointed him chief of staff of the New York state reconstruction commission and, in 1924, head of both the New York and Long Island state park commissions. For 40 years in these and related positions, Moses supervised the vast expansion of the park system and the construction of numerous roads, bridges, tunnels, and housing projects in and around the city, reshaping it on a grand scale in often controversial ways.

* * *

▪ American public official
born Dec. 18, 1888, New Haven, Conn., U.S.
died July 29, 1981, West Islip, N.Y.

      U.S. state and municipal official whose career in public works planning resulted in a virtual transformation of the New York landscape. Among the works completed under his supervision were a network of 35 highways, 12 bridges, numerous parks, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Shea Stadium, many housing projects, two hydroelectric dams, and the 1964 New York World's Fair. His projects greatly influenced large-scale planning in other cities in the United States. He was also instrumental in bringing the UN complex to Manhattan's East River waterfront.

      Moses studied political science at Yale, Oxford, and Columbia universities. He began a long career of public service for the state and especially for the city of New York in 1913, when he joined the city's bureau of municipal research. His work there led to his appointment in 1919 by Gov. Alfred E. Smith as chief of staff of the New York state reconstruction commission, which sought administrative reforms in the state government.

      In 1924 Smith named Moses head of both the New York and Long Island state park commissions, and for the next 40 years, more or less, through various state administrations at Albany and under various titles, he was virtual tsar of the state's park system. Moses vastly expanded the existing park system and built a network of roads (parkways) that gave the public easy access to the new parks.

      In 1933 Moses was appointed head of the New York City Parks Department (New York City) and head of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. He began a massive building program in the city that included hundreds of new playgrounds and city parks, along with several major bridges, tunnels, and highways. In 1934, in his first and only bid for elective office, Moses ran for governor and lost by the rather large margin of 800,000 votes.

      During the 1940s and 1950s, Moses replaced tenement slums with huge public housing towers, which became less and less attractive to the public. In 1959, his popularity waning, Moses relinquished his city posts and became president of the World's Fair. He lost most of his state jobs in 1962, when Nelson Rockefeller unexpectedly accepted his routine resignation. In 1968 Moses was stripped of his last post.

      Moses was the prototype of the grandiose public builder concerned with immense but impersonal projects. He was able to achieve rapid funding and construction of his projects through his skillful use of the public authority, an autonomous organization that built public works with money raised by issuing bonds—the revenues of which Moses could control and use free from government interference. Moses' approach to urban development gradually became unpopular in the 1950s and '60s as community concern shifted from further expansion of the urban infrastructure to the preservation of existing neighbourhoods by the use of unobtrusive, small-scale development.

Additional Reading
Moses' career and accomplishments are critically analyzed in Robert Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (1974), a massive work; and Joel Schwartz, The New York Approach: Robert Moses, Urban Liberals, and Redevelopment of the Inner City (1993).

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MOSES, ROBERT — (1888–1981), U.S. parks and highways developer. Moses was born in New Haven, Connecticut, to well to do Spanish Jewish parents. He denied his Jewish affiliation. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Oxford University in 1911 and 1913,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Moses,Robert — Moses, Robert. 1888 1981. American public official who planned many important public works and buildings in New York City, including Lincoln Center and the United Nations complex. * * * …   Universalium

  • Moses, Robert — (18 dic. 1888, New Haven, Conn., EE.UU.–29 jul. 1981, West Islip, N.Y.). Funcionario público estadounidense. Inició su dilatada carrera en la oficina de investigación municipal de Nueva York. En 1919 el gob. Alfred E. Smith lo nombró jefe del… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • MOSES — bezeichnet: Mose, Musa oder Moses, die Zentralfigur des „Pentateuch“, führte der biblischen Überlieferung zufolge die Israeliten aus Ägypten in das kanaanäische Land Pentateuch, die „Fünf Bücher Moses“ (440 v. Chr.) in der jüdischen Tora und im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Moses — (18 décembre 1888 à New Haven (Connecticut) 29 juillet 1981) est un urbaniste américain, artisan de la rénovation de New York entre 1930 et 1970. Son père est un commerçant réput …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Moses — Moses, Grandma * * * (as used in expressions) Abba Mari ben Moses ben Joseph Kunstler, William (Moses) Moses ben Maimon Mendelssohn, Moses Moses ben Menachem Moses ben Shem Tov Moses, Edwin Moses, Grandma Moses, Robert Phoebe Anne Moses …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Robert Moses — Infobox Person name = Robert Moses caption = Robert Moses with a model of his proposed Battery Bridge birth date = birth date|1888|12|18 birth place = New Haven, Connecticut, U.S. death date = death date and age|1981|7|29|1888|12|18 death place …   Wikipedia

  • Moses — /moh ziz, zis/, n. 1. the Hebrew prophet who led the Israelites out of Egypt and delivered the Law during their years of wandering in the wilderness. 2. a male given name. /moh ziz, zis/, n. 1. Anna Mary Robertson ( Grandma Moses ), 1860 1961,… …   Universalium

  • Robert — /rob euhrt/, n. 1. Henry Martyn /mahr tn/, 1837 1923, U.S. engineer and authority on parliamentary procedure: author of Robert s Rules of Order (1876, revised 1915). 2. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning glory and bright. * * * (as… …   Universalium

  • Robert — (as used in expressions) Adam, Robert Aldrich, Robert Altman, Robert (B.) Ashe, Arthur (Robert), Jr. Baden Powell (de Gilwell), Robert Stephenson Smyth, 1 barón Bakewell, Robert Baldwin, Robert Ballard Robert D(uane) Bly, Robert (Elwood) Borden,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”