Day 470


April 13th, 2013

From the NY Times:

Parkchester, although largely forgotten today in the ever-changing whirl of New York real estate, was something of a planning phenomenon when the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company put it up in 1938 to 1942 on the 129-acre site of a Catholic home for wayward boys in the east Bronx. A six-by-seven-foot architectural model was on display at the company's exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair.

It provided rental housing for a community of 42,000 working people in 171 buildings arranged around a central oval and two broad avenues. It had playgrounds and landscaped pathways, its own shopping complex and movie theater. The sameness of the red brick buildings was broken up by 500 terra-cotta statues built into the corners of buildings and small decorative plaques with nature scenes above many building entrances.

Leave a Reply