The Cedar Grove Beach Club has made local headlines recently and, in the process, reignited the debate about eminent domain.

The stretch of oceanfront property on the southeastern shore of Staten Island was seized from residents in 1958 to build Shore Front Drive, part of the Richmond Parkway. But, in 1968, the City Planning Commission announced that the parkway would be diverted from its original route to a more westerly path, leaving Shore Front Drive without an origin and terminating the coastal project. The city has been leasing the property to club members since then and the summer of 2010 marks the end of the lease, and the end of the Cedar Grove Beach Club. The CHPC archival library has many original documents that tell the story of Shore Front Drive, the project that spurred the acquisition of Ocean Grove.

You can download a selection of documents here:

  1. Staten Island’s “Greenbelt” Map
    This map, prepared by Bradford Greene, shows the Staten Island Greenbelt as well as several proposed arterials.
  2. Staten Island Citizens Planning Committee Position Paper
    SICPC outlines the case against the proposed route of Moses’ Richmond Parkway and suggests an alternative route in its December 1965 paper.
  3. Robert Moses’ Letter to the SICPC
    In his letter dated January 1966, Moses rejects the criticisms and recommendations of the SICPC paper, writing, “… I hope you will accept the conclusion that your proposal is not in the public interest.”

Download the full report here.