Volume 76, Number 50 | May 9 -15, 2007

Flashback

From the pages of The Villager

May 9, 1957

Robert Moses couldn’t make the Washington Square Association’s May 14, 1957, meeting to discuss a proposed Fifth Ave. thoroughfare through Washington Square Park. But he sent a top representative. 

Stuart Constable, Moses’ chief deputy, began by stating: “I am not here to discuss the controversial issue of how Fifth Avenue will get through Washington Square.” He relayed that Moses, who held the positions of Parks commissioner, City Construction coordinator and chairman of the City Slum Clearance Committee, was powerless in the matter.  

“The Power Broker” relayed through Constable that all power over the park, in fact, rested with Borough President Hulan E. Jack. 

Former president Harry S. Truman dropped by Vanderbilt Hall to address N.Y.U. grad students in a speech on the presidency. He expressed sentiments for his successor, Dwight D. Eisenhower. “My sympathy is with him,” said Truman. “I know what he’s up against.” 

Cameras popped and a crowd swelled as Truman departed. But not even glancing up, the park’s chess players sat engrossed in their games. It was reported they didn’t miss a single move. 


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