Robert Moses with a model of his proposed Battery Bridge
December 18, 1888|
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
|Died||July 29, 1981
West Islip, New York, U.S.
Cause of death
|Alma mater||Yale University,
Wadham College, Oxford University,
Columbia University (Ph.D.)
|Spouse(s)||Mary Sims Moses (1915–1966)
Mary Alicia Grady Moses (1966–1981)
Robert Moses (December 18, 1888 – July 29, 1981) was the "master builder" of mid-20th century New York City, Long Island, Rockland County, and Westchester County, New York. As the shaper of a modern city, he is sometimes compared to Baron Haussmann of Second Empire Paris, and was arguably one of the most polarizing figures in the history of urban planning in the United States. His decisions favoring highways over public transit helped create the modern suburbs of Long Island and influenced a generation of engineers, architects, and urban planners who spread his philosophies across the nation. One of his major contributions to urban planning was New York's large parkway network.
Although Moses was never elected to any public office (his only attempt at public office is when he ran for governor of New York as a Republican in 1934 and lost by a significant margin), he was responsible for the creation and leadership of numerous public authorities which gave him autonomy from the general public and elected officials. It is due to Moses that New York State has a greater proportion of public benefit corporations than any other US state, making them the prime mode of infrastructure building and maintenance in New York, accounting for 90% of the state's debt. As head of various authorities, he controlled millions in income from his projects' revenue generation, such as tolls, and he had the power to issue bonds to borrow vast sums, allowing him to initiate new ventures with little or no input from legislative bodies. This allowed him to circumvent the power of the purse as it normally functioned in the United States, and the process of citizen comment on major public works.
Moses's projects were considered by many to be necessary for the region's development after being hit hard by the Great Depression. During the height of his powers, New York City participated in the construction of two World's Fairs: one in 1939 and the other in 1964. Moses was also in large part responsible for the United Nations' decision to headquarters in Manhattan, as opposed to Philadelphia, by helping the state secure the money and land needed for the project.
- 1 Early life and rise to power
- 2 Influence
- 3 Death
- 4 Criticism
- 5 Legacy and lasting impact
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life and rise to power
Moses was born to assimilated German Jewish parents in New Haven, Connecticut. He spent the first nine years of his life living at 83 Dwight Street in New Haven, two blocks from Yale University. In 1897, the Moses family moved to New York City, where they lived on East 46th Street off Fifth Avenue. Moses's father was a successful department store owner and real estate speculator in New Haven. In order for the family to move to New York City, he sold his real estate holdings and store, and then retired from business for the rest of his life. Bella, Moses's mother, was active in the settlement movement, with her own love of building.
After graduating from Yale and Wadham College, Oxford, and earning a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University, Moses became attracted to New York City reform politics. At this time a committed idealist, he developed several plans to rid New York of patronage hiring practices, including being the lead author of a 1919 proposal to reorganize the New York state government. None went very far, but Moses, due to his intelligence, caught the notice of Belle Moskowitz, a friend and trusted advisor to Al Smith.
Moses rose to power with Smith, who was elected as governor in 1922, and set in motion a sweeping consolidation of the New York State government. During that period Moses began his first foray into large scale public work initiatives, while drawing on Smith's political power to enact legislation. This helped create the new Long Island State Park Commission and the State Council of Parks. This centralization allowed Smith to run a government later used as a model for Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal federal government. Moses also received numerous commissions that he carried out extraordinarily well, such as the development of Jones Beach State Park. Displaying a strong command of law as well as matters of engineering, Moses became known for his skill in drafting legislation, and was called "the best bill drafter in Albany". At a time when the public was used to Tammany Hall corruption and incompetence, Moses was seen as a savior of government. Shortly after President Franklin D. Roosevelt's inauguration in 1933, the federal government found itself with millions of New Deal tax dollars to spend, yet states and cities had few projects ready. Moses was one of the few local officials who had projects planned and prepared. For that reason, New York City was able to obtain significant Works Progress Administration (WPA), Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and other Depression-era funding. Moses was a great political talent who demonstrated great skill when constructing his roads, bridges, playground, parks, and house projects.
During the 1920s, Moses sparred with Franklin D. Roosevelt, then head of the Taconic State Park Commission, who favored the prompt construction of a parkway through the Hudson Valley. Moses succeeded in diverting funds to his Long Island parkway projects (the Northern State Parkway, the Southern State Parkway and the Wantagh State Parkway), although the Taconic State Parkway was later completed as well.
During the Depression, Moses, along with Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, was responsible for the construction of ten gigantic swimming pools under the WPA Program. Combined, they could accommodate 66,000 swimmers. This extensive social works program is sometimes attributed to Moses being an avid swimmer (who swam a mile at the end of each day into his 80s). One such pool is McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn, formerly dry and used only for special cultural events but has since reopened to the public. Robert Moses helped build Long Island's Meadowbrook Parkway. It was the first fully divided limited access highway in the world.
Close associates of Moses claimed that they could keep African Americans from using pools in white neighborhoods by making the water too cold. He actively precluded the use of public transit that would have allowed the non-car-owners to enjoy the elaborate recreation facilities he built.
Although Moses had power over the construction of all New York City Housing Authority public housing projects and headed many other entities, it was his chairmanship of the Triborough Bridge Authority which gave him the most power.
The Triborough Bridge (now officially the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge) opened in 1936 and connects the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens via three separate spans. Language in its Authority's bond contracts and multi-year Commissioner appointments made it largely impervious to pressure from mayors and governors. While New York City and New York State were perpetually strapped for money, the bridge's toll revenues amounted to tens of millions of dollars a year. The Authority was thus able to raise hundreds of millions of dollars by selling bonds, making it the only one in New York capable of funding large public construction projects. Toll revenues rose quickly as traffic on the bridges exceeded all projections. Rather than pay off the bonds Moses sought other toll projects to build, a cycle that would feed on itself.
Brooklyn Battery Bridge
In the late 1930s a municipal controversy raged over whether an additional vehicular link between Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan should be built as a bridge or a tunnel. Bridges can be wider and cheaper to build but tall bridges use more ramp space at landfall than tunnels. A "Brooklyn Battery Bridge" would have decimated Battery Park and physically encroached on the financial district. The bridge was opposed by the Regional Plan Association, historical preservationists, Wall Street financial interests, property owners, various high society people, construction unions (presumably since a tunnel would give them more work), the Manhattan borough president, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, and governor Herbert H. Lehman.
Despite this, Moses favored a bridge, which could both carry more automobile traffic and serve as a higher visibility monument than a tunnel. More traffic meant more tolls, which to Moses meant more money for public improvements. LaGuardia and Lehman as usual had little money to spend, in part due to the Great Depression, while the federal government was running low on funds after recently spending $105 million on the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and other City projects and felt it had given New York enough. Awash in Triborough Bridge tolls, Moses deemed that money could only be spent on a bridge. He also clashed with chief engineer of the project, Ole Singstad, who preferred a tunnel instead of a bridge.
Only a lack of a key federal approval thwarted the bridge project. President Roosevelt ordered the War Department to assert that bombing a bridge in that location would block East River access to the Brooklyn Navy Yard upstream. Thwarted, Moses dismantled the New York Aquarium on Castle Clinton in apparent retaliation and moved it to Coney Island in Brooklyn, based on specious claims that the proposed tunnel would undermine Castle Clinton's foundation. He also attempted to raze Castle Clinton itself, the historic fort surviving only after being transferred to the federal government.
Moses was forced to settle for a tunnel connecting Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel (later, officially the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel). A 1941 publication from the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority claimed that the government had forced them to build a tunnel at "twice the cost, twice the operating fees, twice the difficulty to engineer, and half the traffic," although engineering studies did not support these conclusions, and a tunnel may have held many of the advantages Moses publicly tried to attach to the bridge option.
This had not been the first time Moses tried pressed for a bridge over a tunnel. He also clashed with Ole Singstad and tried to upstage the Tunnel Authority when the Queens-Midtown Tunnel was being planned. He raised the same arguments, which failed due to their lack of political support.
Post-war city planning
Moses's power increased after World War II after Mayor LaGuardia retired and a series of successors consented to almost all of his proposals. Named city "construction coordinator" in 1946 by Mayor William O'Dwyer, Moses became New York City's de facto representative in Washington, D.C.. Moses was also given powers over public housing that had eluded him under LaGuardia. When O'Dwyer was forced to resign in disgrace and was succeeded by Vincent R. Impellitteri, Moses was able to assume even greater behind-the-scenes control over infrastructure projects.
One of Moses's first steps after Impellitteri took office was halting the creation of a city-wide Comprehensive Zoning Plan underway since 1938 that would have curtailed his nearly unlimited power to build within the city and removed the Zoning Commissioner from power in the process. Moses was also empowered as the sole authority to negotiate in Washington for New York City projects. By 1959, he had overseen construction of 28,000 apartment units on hundreds of acres of land. In clearing the land for high-rises in accordance with the tower in a park project, which at that time was seen as innovative and beneficial, he sometimes destroyed almost as many housing units as he built.
From the 1930s to the 1960s, Robert Moses was responsible for the construction of the Throgs Neck, the Bronx-Whitestone, the Henry Hudson, and the Verrazano Narrows bridges. His other projects included the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the Staten Island Expressway, the Cross-Bronx Expressway, the Belt Parkway, the Laurelton Parkway, and many more. Federal interest had shifted from parkway to freeway systems, and the new roads mostly conformed to the new vision, lacking the landscaping or the commercial traffic restrictions of the pre-war highways. He was the mover behind Shea Stadium and Lincoln Center, and contributed to the United Nations headquarters. Though Los Angeles is considered the "freeway city", the New York Metro Area actually has more miles of highway.
Moses had influence outside the New York area as well. City planners in many smaller American cities hired him to design freeway networks in the 1940s and early 1950s. Few of these projects were actually ever built, postponed initially for lack of funding, then scuttled by awakening citizen-led opposition in the 1960s.
Contrary to popular belief, Moses knew how to drive an automobile, but he did not have a valid driver's license. Instead, he relied on limousines. Moses' view of the automobile harkened back to the 1920s, when the car was seen as a vehicle more for pleasure than the business of life. Moses's highways in the first half of the 20th century were parkways, curving, landscaped "ribbon parks," intended to be pleasures to travel and "lungs for the city". The Post–World War II economic expansion and notion of the automotive city brought freeways, most notably the giant Federally funded Interstate Highway System network.
Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley wanted to build a new stadium to replace the outdated and dilapidated Ebbets Field. O'Malley determined the best site for the stadium was on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn (adjacent to the Barclays Center, home of the NBA Brooklyn Nets) near the Long Island Rail Road. O'Malley urged Moses to help him secure the property through eminent domain, but Moses refused since he had already decided to use the land to build a parking garage. O'Malley's plan for the city to acquire the property at a cost several times what O'Malley had originally announced the Dodgers were willing to pay was rejected by both pro- and anti-Moses officials, newspapers, and the public as an unacceptable government subsidy of a private business enterprise.
Moses envisioned New York's newest stadium being built in Flushing Meadows on the former (and as it turned out, future) site of the World's Fair in Queens; he envisioned the stadium eventually hosting all three of the city's then-current major league teams. O'Malley was vehement in his opposition to Moses's plan, citing the team's Brooklyn identity. Moses refused to budge, and after the 1957 season the Dodgers left for Los Angeles and the New York Giants left for San Francisco.
Moses was later able to build the 55,000 seat multi-purpose Shea Stadium in Queens on the site he had planned for stadium development, with construction beginning in October 1961 and ending (after delays) in April 1964. The stadium attracted an expansion franchise, the New York Mets, who played at Shea until 2008. The New York Jets football franchise also played its home games at Shea Stadium from 1964 until 1983, after which the team moved its home games to the Meadowlands Sports Complex in New Jersey.
End of the Moses era
Moses's reputation began to fade during the 1960s as public debate on urban planning began to focus on the virtues of intimate neighborhoods and smallness of scale. Around this time, Moses' political acumen began to fail him, as he unwisely picked several controversial political battles he could not possibly win. For example, his campaign against the free Shakespeare in the Park received much negative publicity, and his effort to destroy a shaded playground in Central Park to make way for a parking lot for the former, expensive Tavern-on-the-Green restaurant earned him many enemies among the middle-class voters of the Upper West Side.
The opposition reached a crescendo over the demolition of Pennsylvania Station, which many attributed to the "development scheme" mentality cultivated by Moses even though it was the impoverished Pennsylvania Railroad that was actually responsible for the demolition. This casual destruction of one of New York's greatest architectural landmarks helped prompt many city residents to turn against Moses's plans to build a Lower Manhattan Expressway, which would have gone through Greenwich Village and what is now SoHo. This plan and the Mid-Manhattan Expressway both failed politically. One of his most vocal critics during this time was the urban activist Jane Jacobs, whose book The Death and Life of Great American Cities was instrumental in turning opinion against Moses's plans; the city government rejected the expressway in 1964.
Moses's power was further eroded by his association with the 1964 New York World's Fair. His projections for attendance of 70 million people for this event proved wildly optimistic, and generous contracts for fair executives and contractors made matters worse economically. Moses' repeated and forceful public denials of the fair's considerable financial difficulties in the face of evidence to the contrary eventually provoked press and governmental investigations, which found accounting irregularities. In his organization of the fair, Moses's reputation was now undermined by the same personal character traits that had worked in his favor in the past: disdain for the opinions of others and high-handed attempts to get his way in moments of conflict by turning to the press. The fact that the fair was not sanctioned by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), the worldwide body supervising such events, would be devastating to the success of the event. Moses refused to accept BIE requirements, including a restriction against charging ground rents to exhibitors, and the BIE in turn instructed its member nations not to participate. The United States had already staged the sanctioned Century 21 Exposition in Seattle in 1962. According to the rules of the organization, no one nation could host more than one fair in a decade. The major European democracies, as well as Canada, Australia, and the Soviet Union, were all BIE members and they declined to participate, instead reserving their efforts for Expo 67 in Montreal.
After the World's Fair debacle, New York City mayor John Lindsay, along with Governor Nelson Rockefeller, sought to direct toll revenues from the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority's (TBTA) bridges and tunnels to cover deficits in the city's then financially ailing agencies, including the subway system. Moses opposed this idea and fought to prevent it. Lindsay then removed Moses from his post as the city's chief advocate for federal highway money in Washington.
The legislature's vote to fold the TBTA into the newly created Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) could technically have led to a lawsuit by the TBTA bondholders, since the bond contracts were written into state law it was unconstitutional to impair existing contractual obligations, as the bondholders had the right of approval over such actions. However, the largest holder of TBTA bonds, and thus agent for all the others, was the Chase Manhattan Bank, headed then by David Rockefeller, the governor's brother. No suit was filed. Moses could have directed TBTA to go to court against the action, but having been promised a role in the merged authority, Moses declined to challenge the merger. On March 1, 1968, the TBTA was folded into the MTA and Moses gave up his post as chairman of the TBTA. He eventually became a consultant to the MTA, but its new chairman and the governor froze him out—the promised role did not materialize, and for all practical purposes Moses was out of power.
Moses had thought he had convinced Nelson Rockefeller of the need for one last great bridge project, a span crossing Long Island Sound from Rye to Oyster Bay. Rockefeller did not press for the project in the late 1960s through 1970, fearing public backlash among suburban Republicans would hinder his re-election prospects. Ironically, a 1972 study found the bridge was fiscally prudent and could be environmentally manageable, but the anti-development sentiment was now insurmountable and in 1973 Rockefeller canceled plans for the bridge. In retrospect, NYCroads.com author Steve Anderson writes that leaving densely populated Long Island completely dependent on access through New York City may not have been an optimal policy decision.
The Power Broker
Moses's image suffered a further blow in 1974 with the publication of The Power Broker, a Pulitzer Prize–winning biography by Robert A. Caro. Caro's 1,200-page opus (edited from over 3,000 pages long) severely tarnished Moses's reputation; essayist Phillip Lopate writes that "Moses's satanic reputation with the public can be traced, in the main, to...Caro's magnificent biography". For example, Caro describes Moses' lack of sensitivity in the construction of the Cross-Bronx Expressway, and how he disfavored public transit. Much of Moses's reputation today is attributable to Caro, whose book won both the Pulitzer Prize in Biography in 1975, the Francis Parkman Prize (which is awarded by the Society of American Historians), and was named one of the 100 greatest non-fiction books of the twentieth century by the Modern Library.
Caro's depiction of Moses's life gives him full credit for his early achievements, showing, for example, how he conceived and created Jones Beach and the New York State Park system, but also shows how Moses's desire for power came to be more important to him than his earlier dreams. Indeed, he is blamed for having destroyed more than a score of neighborhoods, by building 13 expressways across New York City and by building large urban renewal projects with little regard for the urban fabric or for human scale. Yet the author is more neutral in his central premise: the city would have been a very different place—maybe better, maybe worse—if Robert Moses had never existed. Other U.S. cities were doing the same thing as New York in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Boston, San Francisco and Seattle, for instance, each built highways straight through their downtown areas. The New York City architectural intelligentsia of the 1940s and 1950s, who largely believed in such prophets of the automobile as Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, had supported Moses. Many other cities, like Newark, Chicago and St. Louis, also built massive, unattractive public housing projects.
But Caro also points out that Moses demonstrated racist tendencies. He, along with other members of the New York city planning commission, was a vocal opponent to allowing black war veterans to move into Stuyvesant Town, a Manhattan residential development complex created to house World War II veterans.
People had come to see Moses as a bully who disregarded public input, but until the publication of Caro's book, they had not known damning details of his private life, for instance, that his brother Paul had spent much of his life in poverty. Paul Moses, who was interviewed by Caro shortly before his death, claimed Robert had exerted undue influence on their mother to change her will in Robert's favor shortly before her death. Caro notes that Paul was on bad terms with their mother over a long period and she may have changed the will of her own accord. Caro suggested that Robert's subsequent treatment of Paul may have been legally justifiable but was morally questionable.
During the last years of his life, Moses concentrated on his lifelong love of swimming and was an active member of the Colonie Hill Health Club.
Moses was of Jewish origin, but was raised in a secularist manner inspired by the Ethical Culture movement of the late 19th century. He was a convert to Christianity and was interred in a crypt in an outdoor community mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx following services at St. Peter's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Bay Shore, New York.
Moses's critics claim that he preferred automobiles to people. They point out that he displaced hundreds of thousands of residents in New York City, destroying traditional neighborhoods by building expressways through them. That contributed to the ruin of the South Bronx and the amusement parks of Coney Island, caused the departure of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants Major League baseball teams, and precipitated the decline of public transport due to disinvestment and neglect. His building of expressways hindered the proposed expansion of the New York City Subway from the 1930s well into the 1960s, because the parkways and expressways that were built served, at least to some extent, the purpose of the planned subway lines; the 1968 Program for Action, which was never completed was hoped to counter this.
Legacy and lasting impact
The bridges of Robert Moses are a hotly disputed topic in the social construction of technology, because Langdon Winner in his acclaimed essay Do Artifacts Have Politics? used Moses' bridges to make his point that artifacts do have politics. Winner uses Robert Caro's biography of Moses pointing to a passage where Caro interviews Moses' co-worker. The co-worker all but implies that Moses purposefully built 204 bridges on Long Island too low for buses or trucks to clear. Due to poorer minorities being largely dependent on public transit, this becomes a testimony to Moses's racism. This allegation, however, has since been disputed by Bernward Joerges in his essay Do Politics Have Artefacts? On page 8 he writes that “at the time of the parkway building (beginning 1924), Long Island was already considerably well developed in terms of transport. The Manhattan-Long Island railway operated since 1877, and a rather dense system of ordinary roads was in place, parallel and across the parkways. The Long Island Expressway, a true Autobahn intended to relieve traffic congestion on the Island, was built by Moses alongside the Parkways.” Hence, as a segregationist measure, those bridges would be utterly ineffectual. Joerges goes on to give multiple reasons for the bridges' nature, for example that “[i]n the USA, trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles were prohibited on all parkways. Moses did nothing different on Long Island from any parks commissioner in the country.”
While the overall impact of many of Moses's projects continues to be debated, their sheer scale across the urban landscape is indisputable. The peak of Moses's construction occurred during the economic duress of the Great Depression, and despite that era's woes, Moses's projects were completed in a timely fashion, and have been reliable public works since—which compares favorably to the contemporary delays New York City officials have had redeveloping the Ground Zero site of the former World Trade Center, or the technical snafus surrounding Boston's Big Dig project.
Three major exhibits in 2007 prompted a reconsideration of his image among some intellectuals, as they acknowledged the magnitude of his achievements. According to Columbia University architectural historian Hilary Ballon and assorted colleagues, Moses deserves better. They argue that his legacy is more relevant than ever and that people take the parks, playgrounds and housing Moses built, now generally binding forces in those areas, for granted even if the old-style New York neighborhood was of no interest to Moses himself & were it not for Moses' public infrastructure and his resolve to carve out more space, New York might not have been able to recover from the blight and flight of the 1970s and '80s and become the economic magnet it is today.
“Every generation writes its own history,” said Kenneth T. Jackson, a historian of New York City. “It could be that The Power Broker was a reflection of its time: New York was in trouble and had been in decline for 15 years. Now, for a whole host of reasons, New York is entering a new time, a time of optimism, growth and revival that hasn't been seen in half a century. And that causes us to look at our infrastructure,” said Jackson. “A lot of big projects are on the table again, and it kind of suggests a Moses era without Moses,” he added.
Politicians, too, are reconsidering the Moses legacy. In a 2006 speech to the Regional Plan Association on downstate transportation needs, Eliot Spitzer, who would be overwhelmingly elected governor later that year, said a biography of Moses written today might be called At Least He Got It Built. “That's what we need today. A real commitment to get things done.”
Various locations and roadways in New York State bear Moses's name. These include two state parks, Robert Moses State Park – Thousand Islands in Massena, New York and Robert Moses State Park – Long Island, and the Robert Moses Causeway on Long Island, the Robert Moses State Parkway in Niagara Falls, New York, and the Robert Moses Hydro-Electric Dam in Lewiston, New York. There is also a hydro-electric power dam in Massena, New York which bears Moses' name. These supply much of New York City's power. Moses also has a school named after him in North Babylon, New York on Long Island; there is also a Robert Moses Playground in New York City. There are other signs of the surviving appreciation held for him by some circles of the public. A statue of Moses was erected next to the Village Hall in his long-time hometown, Babylon Village, New York, in 2003, as well as a bust on the Lincoln Center campus of Fordham University.
During his tenure as chief of the state park system, the state's inventory of parks grew to nearly 2,600,000 acres (1,100,000 ha). By the time he left office, he had built 658 playgrounds in New York City alone, plus 416 miles (669 km) of parkways and 13 bridges.
- Car culture
- Federal Power Commission v. Tuscarora Indian Nation
- Modernist architecture
- Transportation in New York City
- Urban sprawl
- Goldberger, Paul (July 30, 1981). "Robert Moses, Master Builder, is Dead at 92". The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
- "Mary Grady Moses, 77". The New York Times. September 4, 1993. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
- "New York's 'shadow government' debt rises to $140 billion". The Post-Standard (Syracuse). Associated Press. September 2, 2009. Retrieved December 16, 2010
- Caro, Robert. The Power Broker
- Caro, page 29
- DeWan, George (2007). "The Master Builder". Long Island History. Newsday. Archived from the original on December 11, 2006. Retrieved April 4, 2007.
- Gutfreund, Owen. "Moses,Robert".
- Caro, Robert A. (July 22, 1974). "Annals of Power". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- Leonard, Wallock (1991). The Myth of The Master Builder. Journal of Urban History. p. 339.
- "Taconic State Parkway". NYCRoads.com. Retrieved May 25, 2006.
- "McCarren Park & Pool". New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved September 1, 2008.
- Powell, Michael (May 6, 2007). "A Tale of Two Cities". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2010. "As for the pool-cooling, Mr. Caro interviewed Moses's associates on the record (“You can pretty well keep them out of any pool if you keep the water cold enough,” he quotes Sidney M. Shapiro, a close Moses aide, as saying)."
- Carion, Carlos. "Robert Moses".
- "Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel (I-478)". Nycroads.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- "Queens-Midtown Tunnel". NYCRoads.com. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
- Asimov, Isaac (1979). "Eccentricities". Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts. New York: Grosset & Dunlap. p. 105. ISBN 0-448-15776-4.
- Henry D. Fetter (Winter 2008). "Revising the Revisionists: Walter O'Malley, Robert Moses, and the End of the Brooklyn Dodgers". New York History (New York State Historical Association).
- Murphy, Robert (June 24, 2009). "OMalley-vs-Moses". Huffington Post.
- Lopate, Phillip (March 13, 2007). "Rethinking Robert Moses". Metropolis Magazine. Retrieved October 9, 2010.
- Kay, Jane Holtz (April 24, 1989). "Robert Moses: The Master Builder" (PDF). The Nation 248 (16): 569. Retrieved October 9, 2010
- "Environmental and Urban Economics: Robert Moses: New York City's Master Builder?". Greeneconomics.blogspot.com. May 6, 2007. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- "Oyster Bay-Rye Bridge". NYCRoads.com. Retrieved May 25, 2006.
- Lopate, Phillip (February 11, 2007). "A Town Revived, a Villain Redeemed". The New York Times. Section 14, col. 1. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
- Glaeser, Edward (January 19, 2007). "Great Cities Need Great Builders". The New York Sun. Retrieved October 9, 2010.
- Caro, Robert. The Power Broker, p.510, p. 514
- Chaldekas, Cynthia (March 16, 2010). "Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City". New York Public Library. Retrieved October 9, 2010.
- Purnick, Joyce (August 1, 1981). "Legacy of Moses Hailed". The New York Times. Section 2, col. 1, p. 29. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
- Joerges, Bernward (1999). "Do Politics Have Artefacts?" (PDF). Retrieved February 26, 2010.
- Glaeser, Edward (January 19, 2007). "Great Cities Need Great Builders". The New York Sun. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
- Pogrebin, Robin (January 28, 2007). "Rehabilitating Robert Moses". The New York Times. p. 1, Section 2, col. 3. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
- Spitzer, Eliot (May 5, 2006). "Downstate Transportation Issues Speech" (PDF). Regional Plan Association. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
- "Robert Moses, Master Builder, is Dead at 92". Nytimes.com. July 30, 1981. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- "Moses is racist because of his designs where the highway passed through Harlem."
- "That Moses was highhanded, racist and contemptuous of the poor draws no argument even from the most ardent revisionists. But his grand vision and iron will, they say, seeded New York with highways, parks, swimming pools and cultural halls, from the Belt Parkway to Lincoln Center, and thus allowed the modern city to flower."
- Ballon, Hilary, Robert Moses and the Modern City:The Transformation of New York(NY: Norton, 2007).
- Caro, Robert A., The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the fall of New York, New York: Knopf, 1974. hardcover: ISBN 0-394-48076-7, Vintage paperback: ISBN 0-394-72024-5
- Berman, Marshall, All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity, New York: Viking Penguin, 1988.
- Jameson W. Doig, "Regional Conflict in the New York Metropolis: The Legend of Robert Moses and the Power of the Port Authority," Urban Studies Volume 27, Number 2 / April 1990 pp 201–232
- Kenneth T. Jackson and Hillary Ballon, eds. Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York (W. W. Norton, 2007)
- Lewis, Eugene, Public Entrepreneurship : toward a theory of bureaucratic political power—the organizational lives of Hyman Rickover, J. Edgar Hoover, and Robert Moses, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1980.
- Rodgers, Cleveland, "Robert Moses: An Atlantic Portrait", The Atlantic, February 1939
- Rodgers, Cleveland, Robert Moses, Builder for Democracy, New York: Holt, 1952.
- Krieg, Joann P. Robert Moses: Single-Minded Genius, Interlaken, New York: Heart of the Lakes Publishing, 1989.
- Moses Robert. Public works: A dangerous trade. McGraw Hill. 1970. Autobiography
- Vidal, Gore. "What Robert Moses Did to New York City" New York Review of Books, October 17, 1974. Also found in "United States: Essays 1952-1992" Gore Vidal, Random House, 1993.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Robert Moses|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robert Moses.|
- Robert A. Caro's Jan. 5, 1998 New Yorker article on Robert Moses and the writing of The Power Broker
- New Yorker review by Paul Goldberger Feb, 5, 2007
- Robert Moses's reply to The Power Broker
- New York Times Obituary
- Online letters of Moses
- Expansive Public Parks, Beaches and Travel Routes Created by Robert Moses for Long Island, New York. iLongIsland.com
- 1973 audio interview of Robert Moses by Don Swaim of CBS Radio, RealAudio at Wired for Books.org
- Robert A. Caro talks to Richard D. Heffner about Robert Moses on the Open Mind, 1998
- "The Triborough Bridge: Robert Moses and the Automobile Age" exhibit at the New York Transit Museum (through April 2008)
- "Robert Moses and the Modern City" exhibit February 2007 thru May 2007 at 3 New York City museums
- "Looking Back at Moses" a trio of New York museums explores the voluminous works of controversial urban planner Robert Moses
- Photographs from the Museum of the City of New York exhibit
- nywf64.com - The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair website
- Robert Moses at Find a Grave
- A film clip "Longines Chronoscope with Robert Moses (February 11, 1953)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
Florence E. S. Knapp
|Secretary of State of New York
Edward J. Flynn
|Party political offices|
William Joseph Donovan
|Republican Nominee for Governor of New York