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March 3, 2007

Moses to O'Malley, 1953: urban renewal won't support "speculation in baseball enterprises"

Atlantic Yards Report

Master builder Robert Moses, vilified for ignoring neighborhoods and prioritizing the automobile, nevertheless was unwilling to be strongarmed by Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley into supporting significant government subsidy for a privately-run sports facility.

Indeed, a 6/22/53 letter from Moses to O'Malley on exhibit at Columbia University's Wallach Art Gallery puts it plainly. In the letter, part of the "Slum Clearance and the Superblock Solution" exhibit that's one of three segments in Robert Moses & the Modern City, Moses resists O'Malley's entreaty to locate a new stadium in urban renewal land between DeKalb and Myrtle avenues, just east of Flatbush.

(Note: O'Malley primarily wanted a separate site over the Long Island Rail Road station and including land to the east, site of the Fort Greene Meat Market, both north of Atlantic Avenue. That's not the same as the site south of Atlantic Avenue--including the MTA's Vanderbilt Yard and more--planned for the Atlantic Yards project, though Mayor Mike Bloomberg and others have conflated the two. But Forest City Ratner has malls north of Atlantic Avenue and wants to build Atlantic Yards across the road.)

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Posted by amy at March 3, 2007 9:09 AM