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Ashley Buenaflor
Professor Faxon
Final Paper
May 8, 2013

Sometimes change isnt always a good thing. In some cases it isnt, in some cases
it is. Being able to always come back to a place you used to call home is very comforting
because youre so familiar with it. Everyone has a place they can call home. It is not
necessarily your own physical home. It could be a neighborhood or a town. A home is
just a familiar place where you will always feel like you belong. If your home is replaced
by something else or you cant go back to it anymore, its a really sad and empty feeling.
My whole life, it was always my mom, my sister, and me. When I came here to New
York for school, my mom decided that my sister was old enough to move out on her own
and my mom didnt want to live in a house by herself so she decided to settle in a small
apartment in Chicago. When I had to pack up my things for college, I also had to pack up
my things and leave my beautiful suburban home and move to the city. The first few
weeks of college were tough. All I wanted to do was go home, but I knew that home
wasnt really going to feel like home. All my friends would talk about is how they
missed home and couldnt wait to go back in their own room and bed and I couldnt help
but feel sad that I would be going home to an unfamiliar place.

Jane Jacobs was an activist best known for her opposition against Robert Moses
in the renewal of the Greenwich Village during the 1950s and the 1960s. During that
time, the Greenwich Village was going to be used to expand New York University, and
also plans set by Robert Moses. Jacobs was originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania. She
moved to New York City after graduating high school in 1935 with her older sister Betty.
They started off living in Brooklyn. Jacobs didnt really understand the subway system.
She would get off not knowing where she was. Then one day, she ended up on
Christopher Street and realized that that is where she wanted to live. She said, the
Village appealed to me because of its small scale and the shops of artisans. The Village
became Jacobs home that she loved. Immediately after finding out Robert Moses plans
to change the Greenwich Village, Jacobs immediately took action to stop him.
Robert Moses was born on December 18, 1888 New Haven, Connecticut. He is
responsible for the modernizing New York City. Moses graduated from Yale and earned
his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. After graduating from
Columbia, he became interested in the reform politics of New York City. In 1913, he got
his first job with the New York City Municipal Research Bureau. The New York City
Municipal Research Bureau helped reform the citys civil service. Moses proposed a plan
for reforming the system that was not adopted but impressed Belle Moskowitz who was a
close friend of Alfred Smith.
When Al Smith was elected governor in 1922, many of Moses plans to
modernize New York City came through. Projects of Moses included the Triborough

Bridge, Brooklyn Battery Bridge, Lower Manhattan Expressway, just to name a few.
Before the Lower Manhattan Expressway (LOMEX) was built, actions were taken by
Moses main nemesis, Jane Jacobs. Towns like SoHo and the Greenwich Village were
originally going to have to be split to build the LOMEX, but Jacobs stood by her village
to protect it. She became the chairperson of the Joint Committee to Stop the Lower
Manhattan Expressway. Jacobs was arrested in 1968 for disturbing a city hearing that
was proposed across Lower Manhattan. Charges were later dropped to disorderly
conduct. During her protest, a stenographic machine was damaged and she was asked to
pay for a new one. Jacobs wouldnt back down from this fight to save the village. Even
though many her opponents were of higher authority than her, she never let her guard
down. In 1969, Mayor John Lidsay shut down the plan of the Lower Manhattan
In todays world, it would be hard to say who would be the hero or the villain in
this situation. The opinions that would determine who would be the hero and who would
be the villain would be almost equally divided. There are those who think that change
needs to happen in order for growth and to help the economy. Then there are those who
think that things should stay the way exactly the way they are for the sake of history and
who are against moving people out of a place just so they can renew a town. I see both
sides of the issue. The people who are affected by gentrification lose their homes because
they cant afford to live in the new neighborhood after it was renovated. However,
gentrification renews a neighborhood and makes it livable again. Typically after

gentrification, the taxes of the neighborhood go up making it only livable by the
wealthier people. With that it can help the economy. At the same time, change needs to
happen so that
There are no problems like such of the Lower Manhattan Expressway in todays
world. Gentrification still goes on throughout cities everywhere in the country, however.
There will always be a Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses in the situation. In the end, one
party always ends up unhappy with the results of the change. Activists such as Jane
Jacobs will always be needed to speak up for those who oppose the change.


Works Cited
Bernstein, Adam. "Ane Jacobs, 89; Writer, Activist Spoke Out Against Urban
Renewal." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2006. Web. 07 May 2013.
Dreier, Peter. "Jane Jacobs' Radical Legacy." Jane Jacobs' Radical Legacy. National Housing
Institute, 2006. Web. 07 May 2013.
<>. National Park Service, n.d. Web. 7 May 2013.