20 Th Century

Download Empire on the Hudson by Jameson W. Doig PDF

By Jameson W. Doig

Respected and reviled in nearly equivalent quantities seeing that its inception, the Port Authority of latest York and New Jersey has been liable for growing and protecting a lot of latest York and New Jersey's transportation infrastructure―the issues that make the sector paintings. Doig lines the evolution of the Port Authority from the battles resulting in its construction in 1921 via its conflicts with the railroads and its growth to construct bridges and tunnels for motorcars. Chronicling the adroit maneuvers that led the Port Authority to take keep an eye on of the region's airports and seaport operations, construct the biggest bus terminal within the country, and build the area alternate middle, Doig unearths the increase to strength of 1 of the world's biggest really good neighborhood governments.

This definitive background of the Port Authority underscores the position of numerous key players―Austin Tobin, the imprecise attorney who turned government Director and a real "power broker" within the bi-state area, Julius Henry Cohen, basic tips of the Port Authority for its first 20 years, and Othmar H. Ammann, the Swiss engineer liable for the George Washington Bridge, the Bayonne and Goethels bridges, the Outerbridge Crossing, and the Lincoln Tunnel.

Today, with public works tasks stalled by way of neighborhood competition in virtually each village and town, the tale of the way the Port Authority controlled to create an empire at the Hudson bargains classes for voters and politicians in all places.

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24 Lest this summary suggest that our entrepreneurial leaders were too narrowly self-interested, it should be noted that all three grappled with difficult moral issues during their years at the Port agency, and that on important occasions they embraced the more ethical course of action, even if it made their general task more difficult and put their careers at risk. We will see examples of these tensions and choices in Cohen’s resistance to possible graft by one of his board members, and to patronage in the law department; in Ammann’s fight to maintain the independence and integrity of the engineering department; and especially in Tobin’s conflict with the Authority’s chairman on the issue of anti-Semitism, his battle on behalf of small airlines 20 a wilsonian hybrid against the monopoly tactics of their larger brethren, his efforts to aid those displaced by construction in Manhattan, and his resistance to awarding contracts to the politically influential.

By 1810, Fulton’s boats carried passengers and goods between New York City and New Jersey, and New York State law prohibited steamboats licensed by New Jersey from competing for this thriving trade. When Trenton legislators retaliated in 1811 with a law penalizing New York steamboats, the level of hostility between the two states escalated. The issue finally reached the U. S. Supreme Court, and in the celebrated 1824 case, Gibbons v. 14 That case did not end the controversy, however, for New York State still asserted that it had controlling authority in the entire harbor, and New Jersey sharply dissented.

This background would influence Cohen’s approach to the New York Harbor case and would shape the design of the first public authority in the United States. Moreover, since Cohen later worked with Governors Alfred E. Smith and Franklin D. 7 tensions and opportunities of federalism 31 Strategies for Social Progress: A Personal History Cohen was born in 1873, in Brooklyn. 8 After graduating from public school, Cohen attended the Metropolis night law school in Manhattan, and he worked as a stenographer and law clerk during the day.

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