In the Shadow of the Highway: Robert Moses’ Expressway & the Battle for Downtown (October 27 – March 15, 2016)

Copresented by the Below the Grid Lab, Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, and NYC Department of Records & Information Services.

NYC Records Visitor Center, Surrogate Courts Building
31 Chambers Street (entrance just west of Centre Street)
Accessible entrance on Reade Street between Elk and Centre Streets

What would have happened if protesters had not been successful and Robert Moses was able to build the Lower Manhattan Expressway (LOMEX) through downtown Manhattan? We revisit that fate-filled moment of New York City’s past to glean the issues that are still with us in today’s battles over displacement, loss, and change.

The Lower Manhattan Expressway (LOMEX) was first proposed in 1929 as a small part of a plan to build highways throughout the region, then included in a 1941 National Defense proposal drafted by Robert Moses, it was envisioned as a key connection between Long Island and the interstate system. This ten-lane expressway, would cut across the heart of Lower Manhattan and stretched from the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges to the Holland Tunnel, rising over Broome Street.

In 1962, the NYC Board of Estimate decided not to relocate neighborhood residents to build LOMEX. The expressway was ultimately de-mapped in 1969 due to activism and advocacy on the part of neighborhood residents.

In the Shadow of the Highway: Robert Moses’ Expressway and the Battle for Downtown focuses on various aspects of the proposed highway: architectural, political and personal.

 

Related programs:

In the Shadow of the Highway: Robert Moses’ Expressway & the Battle for Downtown Pop-up
A collaboration with the NYC Department of Records and Information Services, the Below the Grid Lab, and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, in association with miLES and FABnyc.

In the Shadow of the Highway: Robert Moses’ Expressway and the Battle for Downtown will be on view May 9-15, 2016 at 103 Allen Street. Viewing hours are Monday-Thursday, 11AM-6PM and Friday-Sunday, 12PM-9PM.