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To be sure, the urban planner Robert Moses (1888 1981) has many critics and few admirers in this age, and it was between the years 1934 through 1960 that he elicited this judgement as New York City Parks Commissioner. Moses made some keen observations in the attached editorial as he recalled how busy his office was during the Second World War when his phone seemed always to be ringing:

"All over the country plans are being hatched for war memorials. Demands upon public officials for space in parks and public places are daily becoming more insistent. [But] if truth be told, most gestures of patriotism are pathetic, third-rate, inadequate, ugly undignified and certain to defeat in the end the laudable objects which the sponsors have in mind. [The occasion also provides] a field day for second and third rate artists, architects and amateur designers and sculptors."

Pictured above is the Spanish-American War Memorial that sits on Wilshire Boulevard in West Los Angeles. It illustrates the authors point perfectly.

     


War Memorials Don't Have to be Ugly (Pageant Magazine, 1944)

War Memorials Don't Have to be Ugly (Pageant Magazine, 1944)

War Memorials Don't Have to be Ugly (Pageant Magazine, 1944)

War Memorials Don't Have to be Ugly (Pageant Magazine, 1944)

War Memorials Don't Have to be Ugly (Pageant Magazine, 1944)

War Memorials Don't Have to be Ugly (Pageant Magazine, 1944)

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