Robert Moses And The Dirty Fight For Jones Beach

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Breaking free from summer heat in New York City is a main concern of its inhabitants. Many New Yorkers know that Jones Beach is one option, but what they may not know is that the story of its creation by Robert Moses is filled with grandiose, unfeasible ideas seen to fruition through deceit and bullying.

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Photo courtesy of MTA Bridges and Tunnels Special Archives.

Throughout his career, Moses started projects with false budgets and spent money how he saw fit. He often ran out of cash, but was always able to obtain more funding by appealing to politicians’ desire to avoid accusations of public money wasted on an incomplete project. Jones Beach was one of the first projects wherein he employed this tactic, which he called “driving the stake.”

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August 6, 1934 shot of Commissioner Robert Moses and officials at Jones Beach, Long Island. Credit: Alajos L Schusler, New York City Parks Photo Archive, neg. 36501-1.

His control over the development of New York City is part of the allure Robert Moses holds for historians, writers and filmmakers. The subject of Jones Beach’s history, along with that of Coney Island, is part of a new exhibition at the Long Island Museum of Art, History, and Carriages. Additionally, Moses is the latest subject to fall under the eye of provocative director Oliver Stone, who is working on a biopic for HBO.

Read the full article on Architizer here.

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