Mike's Reviews > The Merritt Parkway

The Merritt Parkway by Bruce Radde
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Jul 05, 12

Read in June, 2012

Well-researched and well-written. Radde an art history prof from CA. Visiting prof at Ct. College, New London, and the U of Hartford.

notes:
Robert Moses influence, NY work. (Caro, the Power Broker)
Graft & insider trading on land acquisitions. Led to prison term.
Cost-cutting designs:
--lack of accel/decel lanes
--pinched bridges
--double-loaded ramps
Dunkleberger bridge facade designs
--good humored character, touch of fantasy, likable, offbeat
Borglum, the scrappy sculpture of Stone Mtn & Mt Rushmore, threatened trouble if the bridge near his Rippowam River home wasn't veneered with stone.
44..design not purist about Art Deco...zig-zag, streamlined, WPA Moderne
84..H Ross, NYer, built retreat on 11 acres (bought from Borglum)..fought public picnic areas nearby
90..the acres of grass costly to maintain, versus usual hwy landscape. Hwy engineers worked with lawncare companies to perfect new types of power mowers. 65% reduction in cutting costs. Led to better home mowers.
115..1940 pulling out of Depression..workers got $4k/yr...Hitler's Autobahn 1935 Frankfurt (aside: Eisenhower was impressed, and that influenced design of interstate hwy)
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