1. Ode to Co-op City

In contrast to all the withering criticism that Co-op City attracted, we’ll give the final word to one of its residents, who penned a fulsome tribute called an “Ode to Co-op City.” Uncovered by Columbia University grad student Nina Wohl for her 2016 master’s thesis, here is the piece in its entirety:

“Ode to Co-op City”

From every road it comes in view

Rising up like mountain ranges do

Swinging round like a Chinese wall

In masses hold all eyes in thrall.

At night from a restless pillow

I gaze out at a lighted willow

What has so long been sought

Here at last has been wrought.

Are there any flaws, perhaps?

Who else came to fill the gaps?

There may be more perfect ventures

For those who earn debentures

For this bold new concept

No other planner were so adept.

– Israel Kovler, 5C-12F (1971)

Next, read about the Sedgwick Houses, a Modernist public housing complex in the Bronx, top 10 secrets of Pelham Bay Park, and 8 other things in NYC we can thank Robert Moses for.