22 May 2007

The Five Greatest Urban Proposals That Never Happened

1. West Side Highway Goes Underground, 1995 - Unimpeded parkland all the way down to the river between 59th Street and 72nd Street? More green, less traffic? What a stupid, stupid idea. The day the island of Manhattan isn’t entirely girded by the highways of Robert Moses is the day we move to Pittsburgh.

2. The West Side Stadium, 2005 - Tailgating in Times Square, anyone? Nope, it just wasn’t meant to be…

3. The Lower-Manhattan Expressway, 1962 - Wow. Imagine it: Robert Moses’ giant, loud, eight-lane beast of an elevated highway slouching its way across our beloved SoHo… forget about the artistic explosion of the 1970s and 80s… forget about the commercial explosion of the 1990s… forget about the glorified galleria for Eurotrash of the 2000's… Thank you, Jane Jacobs.

4. Buffalo Field at Ground Zero, 2003- In a 2003 cinematic collaboration between Richard Linklater and Speed Levitch, Mr. Levitch suggested that instead of skyscrapers and consensitized memorials, Ground Zero be converted into a 16-acre park filled with roaming buffalo. We love this idea. Is there still time to vote?

5. The Olympic Village Housing Project, 2005 - Ecstatic visions of beach volleyball in Brooklyn, eight-man sculling in Queens, and crippling debt for a generation were cruelly dashed on July 6, 2005 when the International Olympic Committee gave the 2012 Olympiad to London, effectively putting an end to all development on the East River. Ha!

Honorable mention to the proposed Staten Island NASCAR racetrack! Wow.



Meirav said...

2nd avenue subway, bitch!

Anonymous said...

2nd avenue subway line IS happening, it's under construction
Construction work began on 2nd Avenue between 91st and 96th Streets on April 23, 2007 (though the ceremonial groundbreaking was held on April 12, 2007).