Robert Moses was “… a villainous figure who, through his control of federal slum clearance and highway money, was able to trample tens of thousands of lives, uprooting entire neighborhoods in a quest to impose his megalomaniacal vision: a city of dehumanizing superblocks strangled in ribbons of expressways.”
New York Times, February 2, 2007: B29.**
- Destroyed the urban fabric of New York City and vicinty with fascistic “take no prisoners” urban planning.
- Loved to run a freeway right through your living room.
- Despised public transportation.
- The automobile vs. the human being? Ford and GM wins every time. The cost? Brooklyn, The Bronx, the Yankees, Coney Island, you name it, he ruined it.
- Total pompous ass. Arrogant to a fault. Listened to no one, thought he was always right.
- Accepted status as token Jew at Yale. Overcompensated by becoming swimming champ.
**Ouroussof is summarizing Robert A. Caro’s characterization of Moses in his biography Power Broker. Note also that Ouroussof’s title is a play on Robert Venturi’s groundbreaking Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, a book that could, in part, be called the antidote to America’s post-Moses crisis in urban design and architecture.