Here's What New York Could Have Looked Like if Lower Manhattan Expressway Was Built

Some unbuilt plans are inarguably, impossibly utopian. But Robert Moses’ proposal for a Lower Manhattan Expressway (LOMEX) through the heart of NYC was either a dynamic vision of the future or an uncompromising act of community-destroying gentrification, depending on how you saw it. Moses – a long-term figure on New York’s city planning scene – was notoriously pro-car (he never invested a dime in mass transit) however his visionary elevated highway never got to run through Greenwich Village, SoHo, and Washington Square Park as planned.

Due to the campaigning of journalist and activist Jane Jacobs, over 800 businesses and 2000 families were saved from displacement. Moses’ proto-Brutalist structure, flanked by stepped living and working towers, would certainly have been of architectural interest, but this time human interest won the day.

These renderings from the team at Net Credit show what the LOMEX could have looked like had they been built. In reality, they probably would not have looked so cool, and would have been covered in advertisements.

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