“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Babylon in Suffolk County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Robert Moses

Robert Moses Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, October 28, 2018
1. Robert Moses Marker
Robert Moses, (1888-1981), was responsible for more building than any single person since the pharoahs ruled Egypt. Between 1924 and 1968, Moses was the dominant and sometimes controversial force in the creation of extraordinary public work in New York City and New York State. A resident of Thompson Avenue in Babylon Village, Moses is world-renowned for creating the modern concepts of the state park and the super highway. With an eye to the future, Moses preserved the integrity of the Long Island shoreline while creating a legacy for future generations.
Erected 2003.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureCharity & Public Work. A significant historical date for this entry is December 18, 1888.
Location. 40° 41.748′ N, 73° 19.576′ W. Marker is in Babylon, New York, in Suffolk County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street and Carll Avenue, on the left when traveling east on West Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 153 W Main Street, Babylon NY 11702, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Babylon Library (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Babylon Village Fountain (about 300 feet away); Captain Joel Cook Monument (about 600 feet away); Babylon Town Hall
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(about 600 feet away); Auto Races (approx. 0.2 miles away); Babylon World War I Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Babylon's Heros World War I Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Suffrage Study Club (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Babylon.
Also see . . .
1. Robert Moses (Wikipedia). Robert Moses (December 18, 1888 – July 29, 1981) was an American public official who worked mainly in the New York metropolitan area. Known as the "master builder" of mid-20th century New York City, Long Island, Rockland County, and Westchester County, he is sometimes compared to Baron Haussmann of Second Empire Paris, and was one of the most polarizing figures in the history of urban development in the United States. His decisions favoring highways over public transit helped create the modern suburbs of Long Island and influenced a generation of engineers, architects, and urban planners who spread his philosophies across the nation despite his not having trained in those professions. Moses would call himself a "coordinator" and was referred to in the media as a "master builder".

Moses held various positions throughout his more than forty-year long career. He at times held up to 12 titles simultaneously, including New York City Parks Commissioner and Chairman of the Long Island State Park Commission. Having worked closely with New York Governor Al Smith early in his
Robert Moses Marker - wide view image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, October 28, 2018
2. Robert Moses Marker - wide view
The marker is visible here embedded in the lawn, directly in front of the statue
career, Moses became expert in writing laws and navigating and manipulating the inner workings of state government. He created and led numerous semi-autonomous public authorities, through which he controlled millions of dollars in revenue and directly issued bonds to fund new ventures with little outside input or oversight.

Moses's projects transformed the New York area and revolutionized the way cities in the U.S. were designed and built. As Long Island State Park Commissioner, Moses oversaw the construction of Jones Beach State Park, the most visited public beach in the United States,[6] and was the primary architect of the New York State Parkway System. As head of the Triborough Bridge Authority, Moses had near-complete control over bridges and tunnels in New York City as well as the tolls collected from them, and built, among others, the Triborough Bridge, the Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel, and the Throgs Neck Bridge, as well as several major highways. These roadways and bridges, alongside urban renewal efforts that saw the destruction of huge swaths of tenement housing and their replacement with large public housing projects, transformed the physical fabric of New York and inspired other cities to undertake similar development endeavors.

Although he was well-regarded throughout most of his career, Moses's reputation was damaged with the publication of Robert Caro's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography The Power Broker (1974). Casting doubt on the supposed benefits of many of Moses's projects, The Power Broker painted a picture of Moses as a power-hungry and vindictive man who
Robert Moses statue, sculpted by Jose I. Fernandez, 2003 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, October 28, 2018
3. Robert Moses statue, sculpted by Jose I. Fernandez, 2003
The plaque visible behind the statue is a donor/city councilmember plaque.
was not above questionable ethics and wielded excessive power. Caro's book further cast Moses as racist, highlighting the damage to black and other minority communities inflicted by many of Moses's urban renewal and highway construction projects. In large part because of The Power Broker, Moses is today considered a controversial figure in the history of New York City.
(Submitted on November 1, 2018.) 

2. Protesters demand removal of Robert Moses statue in front of Babylon Village Hall. Long Island Newsday website entry (Submitted on December 11, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
Robert Moses image. Click for full size.
Photo courtesy of the New York Public Library
4. Robert Moses
Credits. This page was last revised on December 12, 2022. It was originally submitted on November 1, 2018, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California. This page has been viewed 954 times since then and 196 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week December 11, 2022. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 1, 2018, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California.

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May. 23, 2024