Photo Thursday #6: Albany’s Empire State Plaza

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This photo Thursday (ahem, Friday, I’m a little late this week) features a rather unremarkable picture of Albany’s Empire State Plaza.  While it’s an interesting area of public space, it is often lamented as a brutalist eyesore that scars the downtown landscape.  What many don’t know is that in the 1960s, Nelson Rockefeller thought this area, which at the time was occupied by a neighborhood in decline, needed to be demolished and replaced by something grand.  The massive Plaza project displaced 7,000 residents via the use of eminent domain, a scar that is still felt today in the heart of the city.

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When we view cities today, it’s vital to understand their history so that we don’t make the same mistakes over and over again.