In this photo from 1930 you can see the aquarium at Castle Clinton that was once a major visitor destination. It was torn down ten years later by Robert Moses during his preparations for a bridge that would connect Brooklyn Heights to Lower Manhattan (and eviscerate Battery Park). People often point to the defeat of this plan as a pivotal moment when community concerns first triumphed over the master builder, but in reality, President Roosevelt had to intervene personally to kill the project, saying that if the bridge collapsed it would obstruct movement of the Navy.
Got a favorite picture of Downtown? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!