Friday, December 12, 2008

July, 1969: Louis DeSalvio And The Rare Defeat Of Robert Moses

Louis DeSalvio was born in New York City and resided in Manhattan. He was married to Elvira Mongillo. As a Democrat DeSalvio served as a member of the New York State Assembly from 1941 to 1977,the longest-serving member in history. He represented the following: New York County 2nd District 1941-1965, 66th District 1966, 60th District 1967-1972, 62nd District 1973-1977. DeSalvio was a Catholic, a member of the Elks, and a member of the Knights of Columbus. DeSalvio died in 2004. In 1962, DeSalvio urged against the construction of the Lower Manhattan Expressway through Soho: "Except for one old man, I’ve been unable to find anyone of technical competence who is for this so-called expressway. And this old man is a cantankerous, stubborn old man who has done many things which may have, in their time, been good for New York City. But I think it is time for this stubborn old man to realize that too many of his dreams turn out to be nightmares for the city. And this board must realize that if it does not kill this stupid example of bad city planning, that the stench of it will haunt them and this great city for many years to come." The 'old man' DeSalvio was referring to was the project's mastermind, NYC Parks commissioner Robert Moses. The LME was defeated by a neighborhood coalition led by Jane Jacobs.

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