”˜Stop the Bridge’ Inspires Exhibit at Planting Fields
Written by D.F. Karppi
Friday, 24 June 2011 00:00
”˜Robert Moses on LI 1925-1975’
Robert Moses built bridges, roadways, parks, and beaches that transformed Long Island forever. As chairman of the Long Island State Parks commission (1924-1963), he created 15 major parks and 175 miles of parkways. His work, favoring automobiles over mass transit, helped create our modern suburbs. The exhibit, “Robert Moses on LI 1925-1975,” in Coe Hall at Planting Fields Arboretum is open now through Sept 30.
Because Moses changed entire neighborhoods by building roads and bridges, and mostly managed to avoid legislative and public approvals, his vast projects remain extremely controversial. One of Moses’ last proposed bridges, in Oyster Bay, to cross the Island Sound to Rye (originally called the Bayville-Rye Bridge), was finally abandoned in 1973, with the help of vociferous local opposition.
When Bette Midler in 2004, was awarded the LI Parks Robert Moses Builder’s Award for her work with/for parks and highway cleanups, she refused unless the name was changed – which it was. She deplored the loss of some New York parks as a result of Mr. Moses’ highway designs.
The previous Robert Moses Master Builder Award recipients included Ted Turner, Charles Dolan, Martha Stewart, Oleg Cassini, Sarah Hughes and James Watson.
The exhibition traces the course of Moses’ Long Island work using original maps, documents and artifacts that highlight Moses’ extraordinary passion, vision and power in the creation of Long Island’s world-class state parks and beaches.
The exhibition is based on the Robert Moses archive, owned by the State of New York, part of which is deposited at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park. It is housed in a specially designed archive room, which was recently created as part of the renovation of the Hay Barn.
Artifacts for the exhibition have been generously lent by the Levittown Historical Society; Levittown Public Library; MTA Museum, Bridge and Tunnel Archive; New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, Long Island Regional Office.
The exhibition hours: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily at Coe Hall, admission $3.50 per person; members and children under 12 are free; $8 per car parking fee at the Park Gate.