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January 24, 2007

Robert Moses revisionism, Atlantic Yards "reconstruction," and the Times

Picketing Henry Ford's Stuart Schrader remarked this week, "At times this blog nearly writes itself."

One could say the same about Atlantic Yards Report where journalist/blogger Norman Oder had to put another hurtin' on The New York Times for their reference to "the reconstruction of Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn," in this weekend's article about Robert Moses.

NoLandGrab: It remains to be seen if the Times will run a correction. "Atlantic Yards," the name of Bruce Ratner's redevelopment plan, currently does not exist and certainly cannot be "reconstructed" as you can see in the image below. Click here to see the footprint of the "Atlantic Yards" project with the railyard portion highlighted.

AtlanticVanderbilt.jpg

Author Robert Caro also gets in on the action in his 1,269-page biography of Moses entitled, "The Power Broker," which goes to show that history really does repeat itself:

From The Power Broker (p. 460):

Mrs. Sulzberger [wife of the publisher] believed that Moses came "close to our ideal of what a Park Commissioner should be"; the Times evidently believed so, too. Its reporters and editors may never have been directly ordered to give Moses special treatment but, during the Thirties as during the Twenties, they were not so insensitive as not to know what was expected of them. Moses' press releases were treated with respect, being given prominent treatment and often being printed in full. There was no investigating of the "facts" presented in those press releases, no attempt at detailed analysis of his theories of recreation and transportation, no probing of the assumptions on which the city was building and maintining recreational facilities and roads. The Times ran more than one hundred editorials on Moses and his programs during the twelve-year La Guardia administration--overwhelmingly favorable editorials.

Oder goes on to explain to anyone who will listen at the New York Times why "Atlantic Yards" is a poor example for current large-scale redevelopment projects in NYC, due to the special use of the State (instead of City) review process.

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Posted by lumi at January 24, 2007 9:31 AM