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That park had been a disaster ever since 1935, when Moses
decided to do it over. He raised the level about five or six feet.
Then the design had a lot of bushes, and paths, and a lot of hidden
areas and so on. It was designed for crime, really, and there had
been a lot of crime there!
So we had to do something about that, and I thought that was
probably a simple idea. We got a designer to give us a new design.
We decided the only way to solve the problem was to use a Jane
Jacobs' theory. Jane Jacobs was a great urbanist, and she was the
one who propounded the theory that the only way you can make a street
safe is if you have somebody always watching, i.e. shops, preferably
shops that are open until midnight, something like that, because you
will never have enough police to police all of the city. The city
has to police itself to a considerable extent. So, we dreamt up the
idea, “What would be the thing that would be kept operating day and
night?” Obviously a restaurant. So we cast around, we proofed a
lot of restaurateurs, it finally came down to three, and then picked
one, Werner Le Roy, who designed us a great marvelous sort of crystal
palace restaurant that would be against the back wall of the Library.
Well even though I'd had a pert job made of all the steps that
would be involved--pert job. P-E-R-T job is something you use in
industry to try to schedule work over a period of years. When I
looked at the pert job I began to see that we would have our
problems because we would have to have everything we did, this being
government property, approved by the mayor, of course, the Board of
Estimate, the legislature in Albany, Board Five, the Arts Commission,
the Landmarks Commission, and then all the outside groups that you
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