6. Robert Moses’ Badges

Robert Moses had his own version of a Vaux drafting kit, but used it to carry and showcase his badges. Here are his badges as the Chairman of the Triborough Bridge Authority and Commissioner of the Department of Parks. As BLDZR, the recent musical about Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs so well explains, Moses was an unelected official, but presided over New York City for 45 years. His tenure as head of numerous commissions, most notably the Triborough Bridge Authority, lasted through six governors and five mayors.

New York At its Core sums it up succinctly: “Moses used his multiple positions to funnel money into city projects,” and what’s important to remember is that much of that money was federal, given to New York City thanks to a close partnership between Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. “By augmenting Moses’ power over public money and construction,” the display reads, “the New Deal also clinched his role as New York’s ‘master builder,’ whose massive, often controversial projects would radically transform New York.”