Paul Rudolph Lower Manhattan Expressway Plan
In the 1950s and 60s the powerful Robert Moses famously planned to build highways through the heart of Manhattan before a storm of protest helped by the writer Jane Jacobs convinced city officials of the folly of such plans. But ideas have a way of sticking around and after the Lower Manhattan Expressway was officially dead the Ford Foundation asked architect Paul Rudolph to take a hypothetical look at the road to see if and urban expressway could be better integrated into the city. What Rudolph came up with was just as audacious as trying to bulldoze Soho: build a futuristic city above the highway with soaring towers around the Manhattan and Williamsburg Birdges. The entire linear city would be mixed use with innovative sloping residential modular housing units (making the towers look like something out of Space Invaders) and all connected by a pod-like monorail system. The project was never a serious proposal and by the time Rudolph finished planning it the city was in dire straits financially and had no appetite for such utopian visions.