2005_11_nyc1955.jpgToday, the NY Times revisits a series of articles it did in 1955 that predicted what the city might be like in the coming years (you know, until, as La Bamba from Conan O'Brien voice, woudl sing, "In the year 2000..." or maybe even in 2005, when the Times decided to get around to digging them up from the archives).

Titled "Our Changing City," a 20-part series of articles in The New York Times painted a largely optimistic panorama of the century's second half. It envisioned a sprawling cultural center and Fordham campus on the squalid West Side, a civic plaza in Downtown Brooklyn that Robert Moses promised would rival the Piazza San Marco in Venice, a grand development over the Sunnyside railroad yards in Queens, and a Palace of Progress devoted to world trade atop a reconstructed Pennsylvania Station.

A Second Avenue subway would replace the elevated rail line that still loomed over Third Avenue. There would be a Harlem on the upswing, a prosperous period of shipbuilding at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, racially integrated public housing projects and evidence that Coney Island was "fast trading in its storied glitter for genuine glamour."

These articles sound awesome. So awesome that Gothamist is kind of upset that they aren't available on the ballyhooed Times Select (as far as we can tell). We'd gladly hand over 20 of our precious Times Select points to read them; it's been a while since we've worked the microfiche machine at the library. Anyway, the graphic of comparing city demographics in 1955 and 2005 is cool. And people, Staten Island might be the promised land in another 50 years - half the vacant land for development is there.

Did you read the article? We half expected them to mention flying cars on the FDR.

"New York, 1955" photograph by Mario De Biasi and is available to buy