He has been called many things; “The Master Builder”; “The Power Broker”; “Racist”; and “Destroyer of Neighborhoods.” Though he was never elected to any of the the offices he held, he managed to shape much of the city as it stands today, more than any other single person. At his best, he introduced public parks and swimming pools when there were few. At his worst, he destroyed communities with highways that favored car owners over public transit riders.
City Planner in training
He was born into privilege in New Haven, Connecticut, and his family moved Manhattan, off Park Avenue at 46th Street when he was 9 years old. He earned a B.A. from Yale University in 1909 and then attended Wadham College, Oxford. He went on to receive a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.
(More to come.)