8. Moses’ Marine Parkway bridge project led to the renovation and expansion of Jacob Riis Park

Neponsit Hospital
The former Naponsit Tuberculosis Hospital at Jacob Riis Beach in Queens.

Danish photographer Jacob Riis captured the inhumane conditions of New York City’s tenements beginning in the 1880s. His book How the Other Half Lives revealed the dirty, cramped, and diseased reality of immigrants in the city. Riis was involved in the development of Jacob Riis Park, a popular summer beach destination, which was called Telawana Park before his death in 1914. The Marine Parkway Authority became involved with the park in 1934 as part of the grant that funded the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial bridge.

Moses spent $1.7 million on park renovations, that mainly affected the landmark Art Deco bathhouse, a parking lot, a boardwalk, and other recreational facilities. Moses also built a new bath house designed by American architect Aymar Embury II. Now, the park is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area that is overseen by the National Park Service.