Lincoln Center of Performance Art – Robbing (the neighbor)Hood


Although Licoln Center nowadays is known for its magnificent shows, before the 1950s, residential buildings once stood where the Licoln Center stands today. A consortium of civic leaders and others led by, and under the initiative of John Rockefeller III, built Licoln Center as part of the “Lincoln Square Renewal Project” during Robert Moses’ (of course) program of urban renewal in the 1950s and 60s. There were a total of 18 ethnic tenement residential blocks that were demolished through eminent domain and forcing 7,000 families to relocated. Eminent domain is an action of the state to seize a citizen’s private property with monetary compensation, but without the owner’s consent. This is a perfect example of illustrated the divide of social classes and how the wealthy abuse their power just because they can. The property the state forcefully attained from the poorer class ethnic residents was then given to John Rockfeller III (white and rice) to develop. There were plenty of other spaces available for development and building the Lincoln Center at the time, however, similar to the Hyde Park London situation, the wealthier whites wanted to drive away the less waelthy non-whites.


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