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New York RecenteredBuilding the Metropolis from the Shore$
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Kara Murphy Schlichting

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226613024

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226613161.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 30 July 2021

Designing a Coastal Playland around Long Island Sound

Designing a Coastal Playland around Long Island Sound

(p.120) 4 Designing a Coastal Playland around Long Island Sound
New York Recentered

Kara Murphy Schlichting

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines how newly-professionalized park planners addressed mounting regional park needs from the 1880s through the 1930s. Planners in New York’s environs rethought the city-suburb relationship, conceptualized a recreating public, and facilitated the germination of planning theory through regional park and beach plans. The territory for which regional park systems were planned comprises the ring of counties north and east of Manhattan in New York State. Regional park planning began with the vanguard 1884 Bronx park system. In the 1920s and 1930s, planners refined this ideology in plans for Westchester County and its municipal amusement park Rye Playland, on Long Island, and in the city. Planners valued parks as a form of environmental management and boasted that their work reserved open space from development. They also valued the capacity of large reserves to segregate and control both land use and public recreation. Overlapping appointments empowered regional park planners with a border-crossing perspective situated not in the city center but on the edge. Most famously, Robert Moses simultaneously headed the city department, the Long Island State Park Commission, the State Council of Parks, and additional public works authorities, becoming the most powerful non-elected official in New York’s City history.

Keywords:   Rye Playland, Robert Moses, Long Island State Park Commission, Westchester County, parks, beaches, public recreation, regional planning

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