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Who was Robert Moses?

Robert Moses was a powerful urban planner who shaped development in and around New York City in a career that spanned the 1920s through the 1960s. Moses built 13 bridges and 35 highways over that time, but the heavy-handed way he bulldozed highways through urban neighborhoods made him a highly controversial figure. His legacy of promoting urban design favoring automobile commuting over mass transit is largely repudiated today in contemporary urban planning.

Moses’ role in the demolition of Pennsylvania Station was considered one of New York’s greatest architectural losses. He suffered a major setback in 1964, when a campaign led by urban activist Jane Jacobs stopped him from putting a highway through Greenwich Village.

Locally, Moses was heavily involved in the development of the Niagara Falls power grid, and for many years controlled the power authority that ran it. Robert Caro won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Moses, “The Power Broker.” Moses died in 1981 at age 92.