I've become enamored of T Kennard Thompson's 1920s plan to add 50 square miles to the New York Area by, among other things, filling in the East River. It's one of the many contemporary plans for Gotham that would've changed the face of America's largest city had they been built. So they shall be built. January 14, 1922- Albany T Kennard Thompson would finally see his dream of greatly expanding the land area of New York City come true. A successful meeting with Governor Nathan Miller led to his support for the ambitious project and in March the legislature approved a law creating a Public Corporation to carry out the project. The plan was a 6 square mile extension of Manhattan southward from the Battery to within half a mile of Staten Island. Construction began in October and was completed in March 1929. Construction cost $1.5 billion but the land was worth $10 billion and was bought up quickly by property developers. And control of the land was handed to the City of New York for the construction of sewers, streets, subways, and all of the connecting tunnels and bridges. And it was decided to extend the plan by also filling in the East River, providing an extra 2 square miles and making traveling to Brooklyn as easy as crossing Broadway. The Brooklyn bridge was demolished in 1931. In total, 8 square miles of land were added to the city, providing space for 500,000 people New York now felt very different. Manhattan had ceased to be an island, having been grafted on to Brooklyn and Queens. Staten Islanders were now only a stone throw's away from Manhattan. The forgotten borough grew tremendously as a result of this new proximity, rising from 158,000 in 1930 to 450,000 in 1940 and up to 1.25 million today. The new land acted as a blank canvas for city planners to provide a street layout fit for the automobile age. Pedestrians would be elevated above traffic and walkways would be provided for crossing. At street level, arcades built in to the buildings provided space for parking and loading and all intersections were grade separated. Building subways was also much easier as there was no need for digging, just lay down your tracks, box it up, and start building on top. The immense traffic flow provided made the area very desirable for business. At the same time all this was going on, the humble Jamaica Bay was being turned into a seaport. Salt Marshes were being paved over and land dyked off to make islands. The result was nearly 7 square miles of land and 25 miles of shoreline for docking. And with the construction of Floyd Bennet Field, the city now had a commercial airport. But the airport would quickly become outmoded and a new one was built on land reclaimed from Bayonne. The subway system was also greatly expanded. Of course service was extended into the new Lower Manhattan and Staten Island but there was also a new Utica Avenue line for Queens, a 2nd avenue line, and service was even extended into New Jersey. It was now possible to get a one ticket ride from Jersey City to the Jamaica Bay piers. Things slowed down due to the Depression and the War but in 1961, work began on the reclamation of the Jersey Meadlowlands, which had been a giant garbage dump. The result was the city of Meadows now home to 300,000. Today, New York City is home to 10 million people who enjoy affordable housing and a world class mass transit system. The Big Apple's livability can be attributed to the people who thought big in the 20s.