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)