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More than anyone else in recent history, Robert Moses shaped the physical infrastructure of Brooklyn. We drive on his roads, stroll through his parks, live in his housing developments and are surrounded by his influence at every turn. From the 1920s through the late ’60s, Moses molded New York City like clay, creating a legacy of projects that are greatly used, while being loved, hated and controversial, even today.

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Image source: Neotint on Flickr

Take advantage of the last official days of summer with this bike tour of the Rockaways (here’s the starting point – GMAP), focusing on the area’s history, especially the contributions by Robert Moses. Sponsored by the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, the ride will last 1-3pm, and run 10 miles along the Rockaway boardwalk east to Jacob Riis Park and the Marine Parkway Bridge. Although bikes are available for loan, they’re on a first-come-first-serve basis, so be sure to RSVP beforehand.

Robert Moses Bike Tour of the Rockaways

Saturday, September 15th, 2012
1-3pm | FREE!

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of this story.

During the lean years of the Great Depression, New York City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses set out an ambitious goal to build swimming pools to relieve the summer heat for New York’s overheated masses. Armed with funds from the Works Progress Administration, a federally funded New Deal infrastructure program, Moses took on the herculean task of building a record number of pools and recreation centers, all to be ready by the summer of 1936.

In Brooklyn, four centers opened: McCarren Park, in Greenpoint, Red Hook Recreation Center in Red Hook, Sunset Park Center, Sunset Park, and the Betsy Head Center in Brownsville. All of the swimming pools in these centers were enormous, the largest being the McCarren pool, which could hold 6,800 people. They were all state of the art facilities, designed by famed architect Aymar Embury II, and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke.