When the decision was made to build that complex on West Street, at the land’s end of the southwestern downtown, ideas were immediately brought forward to use the enormous amount of landfill to be made available. In 1968, the Battery Park City Authority was formed by the State Legislature of New York as a public-benefit corporation. Its mission was to organize the development of the landfill site and to create on it a residential and commercial community. Since that time, the Authority has been responsible for awarding each parcel in the plan to private developers who build under its strict design guidelines. The Authority is the organizer and arbiter which ensures that Battery Park City develops along these guidelines. Meanwhile, in 1979 more than ten years after the original development plan of 1968 had been produced, the site remained vacant. The Authority opened the process for new proposals and decided to accept as its comprehensive masterplan, the plan by the architecture firm of Cooper, Eckstut Associates. The 1979 plan made important changes from the earlier version. The new plan criticized the livability of the superblock concept proposed earlier, which had called for a single megastructure of residential “pods” built onto a retail/ circulation spine running the entire length of the site. Battery Park City, it was noted, was a paradox because of this, since although it contained the most expensive and profitable real estate in the world, no one was interested in developing the site. The negative perceptions of the site for World Trade Center complex which is directly behind it.

Filling began in 1970 and took six years to complete. In the late 1950s, David Rockefeller, Vice-Chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, had organized the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association in an attempt to revitalize the Wall Street area. The organization held among its goals — not only the preservation of downtown – since this was a time when many real estate analysts predicted that businesses would be leaving en masse for midtown- but also the more ambitious notion for creating a 24-hour commercial and residential district which might make use of the abandoned waterfront. In 1960, in a move that was indicative of his commitment, Rockefeller built a new skyscraper headquarters for Chase downtown – the largest single real estate development to occur in Lower Manhattan since before World War II. At the same time, in the midst of city-wide discussions on devising a scheme for landfill developments along the city-owned piers, Rockefeller and his group urged the Port Authority of New York to build a World Trade Center. When the decision was made to build that complex on West Street, at the land’s end of the southwestern downtown, ideas were immediately brought forward to use the enormous amount of landfill to be made available.

In 1968, the Battery Park City Authority was formed by the State Legislature of New York as a public-benefit corporation. Its mission was to organize the development of the landfill site and to create on it a residential and commercial community. Since that time, the Authority has been responsible for awarding each parcel in the plan to private developers who build under its strict design guidelines. The Authority is the organizer and arbiter which ensures that Battery Park City develops along these guidelines. Meanwhile, in 1979 more than ten years after the original development plan of 1968 had been produced, the site remained vacant. The Authority opened the process for new proposals and decided to accept as its comprehensive masterplan, the plan by the architecture firm of Cooper, Eckstut Associates. The 1979 plan made important changes from the earlier version. The new plan criticized the livability of the superblock concept proposed earlier, which had called for a single megastructure of residential “pods” built onto a retail/ circulation spine running the entire length of the site.

Battery Park City, it was noted, was a paradox because of this, since although it contained the most expensive and profitable real estate in the world, no one was interested in developing the site. The negative perceptions of the site for Boyer and her colleagues are misguided in their wholesale attacks of the neighborhood based on its aesthetics or because of its lack of housing options for a broader base of lower income groups. As the largest and one of the oldest cities in the country, New York is a site of endless inequities with regard to income and housing choices. But it is also a city continually losing middle and upper-middle class families to decaying and crime-threatened neighborhoods, with grave consequences to its upkeep and provision of services. In contrast to the complaints of its critics, consideration must be given to the unlikely fact that Battery Park City even exists.