Looking Backward: Ellicott District Redevelopment Project, circa 1962

by / Aug. 8, 2018 10am EST

This aerial view of the Ellicott District Redevelopment Project, the first and one of the largest urban renewal projects undertaken in New York State, shows the purported progress. The view is from above Jefferson Avenue, looking west along Clinton Street and William Street, in about 1962. In 1959, the Board of Redevelopment began confiscation and demolition of nearly every property on 29 blocks of the near East Side. Here, the redevelopment is underway, among the earliest and certainly largest attempt to reshape the city with a suburban model in mind. In the foreground is the Towne Gardens apartment complex; to the right, the Towne Gardens Plaza. The Ellicott District Recreation Center, later renamed the JFK Recreation Center, is visible on the upper left.