Before we check out Master Builder Robert Moses quotes, let’s talk about this iconic American figure in urban planning.
This powerful urban planner Robert Moses worked mainly in the New York metropolitan area.
In the seven years between 1946 and 1954, no public improvement of any type-no school or sewer, library or pier, hospital or catch basin was built by any city agency unless Moses approved its design and location.
He built 13 bridges, 416 miles of parkways, 658 playgrounds, and 150,000 housing units.
Moses was so powerful as he was holding multiple government positions simultaneously.
Along the way, he made unfavorable executive decisions including the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway, which caused many individuals and families to lose property value or lose their property completely.
His two big-time detractors and critics are journalist-activist Jane Jacobs and author Robert Caro.
Mr. Caro wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Robert Moses, “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York”.
This father of New York’s modern urban plan is so influential and controversial that they even wrote a play titled “Bulldozer: The Ballad Of Robert Moses” and a graphic novel called “Robert Roses: The Master Builder Of New York City”.
There is also a movie “Citizen Jane: Battle For The City” (story of Robert Moses versus Jane Jacobs), an opera called “A Marvelous Order” and a game called “Confetti with the Brick Bats“.
According to many, this man whose grand vision and ruthless drive shaped large parts of New York State in the early-to-mid-twentieth century was a racist.
Master Builder Robert Moses Quotes
By the way, here is a selection of authentic Robert Moses quotes, which cannot be found in most, if not all the quotation websites.
Except for the first two quotes.
“Those who can, build. Those who can’t, criticize.” – Robert Moses
“I raise my stein to the builder who can remove ghettos without removing people as I hail the chef who can make omelets without breaking eggs.” – Robert Moses
“Property owners, real-estate developers and their allies, banks, estates, and even churches are content to collect their rents and close their eyes to the implications of their investments.” – Robert Moses
“If in New York City we had refrained from building so many miles of subways at twenty million dollars a mile and had put some of this money into rehabilitating and making livable and attractive the older and central parts of town, millions of people would not today be crowded like cattle into hurtling trains during the rush hours.” – Robert Moses
“It is safe to say that almost no city needs to tolerate slums. There are plenty of ways of getting rid of them.” – Robert Moses
“…you do not make a professional man out of every real-estate agent merely by calling him a realtor…” – Robert Moses
“…no building boom can produce anything better than the ambition and pride of the community call for.” – Robert Moses
“If local people have no lively interest in their place of birth or adoption, how can carpetbaggers who have no roots or attachments be expected to preserve its natural beauties and maintain its traditions?” – Robert Moses
“…an obscure assistant professor with no record of administration, who, enjoying a foundation grant and speaking for a regional civic organization, prophesied imminent chaos and the early disintegration of our metropolis.” – Robert Moses
“If the new Secretary begins by believing that American cities are doomed in spite of the increasingly rapid shift from rural to urban centers, he will accomplish little.” – Robert Moses
“…the jaundiced eye of the city historian sees no signs of achievement and progress. He is obsessed with the harlotry and the decline and fall of Rome and Babylon…” – Robert Moses
“If we are to judge by disclosures of the so-called rattlesnake critics, this conference is either a clinic or a morgue and the speakers are pathologists or coroners muttering over a corpse….” – Robert Moses
“It is astounding that anyone in local elected or appointed office, anyone with capital and places to risk it, any cooperative group, any prudent conservative bank or loaning agency not compelled to do so, is willing to run the gauntlet and brave the brick bats, rotten eggs and dead cats on the way to slum clearance.” – Robert Moses
“…the emergency work of this world is not done either by critics or constipated comma chasers.” – Robert Moses
“You can’t fight a depression with cream puffs.” – Robert Moses