5. The FDR Drive Was Once Home to the Largest Green Space on the Lower East Side

FDR Drive from Brooklyn

In the 1930s, Robert Moses began planning a public park to be built on the East River waterfront on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in tandem with the FDR Drive. At the time it was built, Moses envisioned a green space for the Lower East Side, which was “sorely in need of a parkland.” The East River Park opened in July of 1939 and was the largest open green space in the Lower East Side at the time. But as the FDR Drive was built, portions of the original park were eliminated, including a section between Montgomery and Jackson Streets. In 2001, East River Park was officially renamed the John V. Lindsay East River Park after New York’s 103rd mayor.