About This Item
historically important and highly sought after early 1930′s oversized ornamental cast iron works progress administration emblematic rondel or plaque salvaged from the old new york city west side elevated highway torn down during the 1970′s. the impressive well-documented wpa-era plaque features the official seal of the city of new york in very deep relief. the exact foundry or fabricator is not known. the single-sided plaque contains a brushed metal finish treated with a clear coat sealant to prevent surface corrosion. the west side elevated highway (west side highway or miller highway, named for julius miller, manhattan borough president from 1922 to 1930) was an elevated section of route ny-9a running along the hudson river in the new york city borough of manhattan to the tip of the island. it was an elevated highway, one of the first urban freeways in the world, and served as a prototype for urban freeways elsewhere, including boston’s central artery. built between 1929 and 1951, the highway’s narrow confines which could not accommodate trucks and sharp s exit ramps made the highway obsolete almost immediately. when chunks of the highway’s facade began to fall off due to lack of maintenance, and a truck and car fell through it at 14th street in 1973, the highway was shut down, and a debate began whether to renovate it or dismantle it. attitudes about urban planning had changed in the intervening decades, and the decision was made not to repair the decaying structure. a plan for the elevated highway to be replaced by an underground interstate-quality highway, which came to be called westway, had originally been proposed in 1971. in the interim between the closure of the elevated highway and the completion of its dismantling, while debate about westway was proceeding, remaining sections of the old highway structure began to be unofficially utilized as an elevated urban park, for jogging and bicycling. by 1989 the old elevated highway structure was totally dismantled, except for a small portion from 59th street to 72nd street, which, in effect, became the southern extension of the henry hudson parkway. the single-sided surface mount cast iron plaque measures 18 inches in diameter.