Monumental Places

Henry Hudson Parkway

The Henry Hudson Parkway was one of the earliest built examples of the “20th century landscape vision” to “bring the county to town” by erasing the lines delineating urban and natural spaces. Robert Moses couched the expressway core of the Henry Hudson in a thick band of trees and greenspace, named “Riverside Park.”

Old West Durham, North Carolina

Old West Durham, formerly known as Hayti, is a typical example of the negative effects of urban renewal on African-American neighborhoods. In 1957, the North Carolina General Assembly approved a bill to build the Durham Freeway, a large highway that ran directly through the neighborhood. Not only did the plan cost millions of dollars and take over 14 years, but it displaced more than 4,000 and irreparably destroyed the commercial viability and social cohesiveness of an entire community. Today, the Hayti area remains one of the most economically neglected and exploited areas in all of Durham.

Bucharest Civic Center

Built in the 1980s under the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu, Bucharest’s Civic Center is a massive socialist-realist corridor of apartment blocks and tree-lined sidewalks meant to convey the awesome power of Socialist Romania. Ceausescu was inspired by his 1971 trip to North Korea, where he was impressed with the development under Kim-il Sung and his Juche ideology.

World Trade Center

The original WTC superblock marked the end of Robert Moses-era urban planning where whole neighborhoods were demolished to make room for monumental public works. It came to symbolize American dominance in the global economy, and in its destruction and rebuilding, it continues to symbolize strength, resilience, and power.

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