The largest cooperative housing development in the world, it occupies a tidal flat in Baychester that was once home to the Siwanoy tribe of Native Americans.
Designers, engineers, and other Disneyland employees jumped ship to join Wood, creating more bad blood.
Wood eventually hired the architect who designed Main Street at Disneyland to recreate it at Freedomland.
My grandfather relished telling us about all his different jobs but reserved the greatest enthusiasm for his stint as a Wild West cowboy in the Bronx in 1960.
* * * As you drive north on the Hutchinson River Parkway, Co-op City- thirty-five buildings that house over sixty thousand people—looms on your left.
The Army Corps of Engineers initially required Webb & Knapp to drive pilings into the marshland and track their movement for twenty-five years in order to prove the ground could support apartment buildings.
City politicians, looking for ways to stop “white flight” from the South Bronx to Westchester, interfered, and worked out a deal.
Wood, an aerospace engineer by training, had spent the past decade designing amusement parks like Pleasure Island in Wakefield, Massachusetts, and Magic Mountain in Golden, Colorado.
In 1953, when Walt Disney hired Wood to create an amusement park to promote his animated movie characters, he became the first employee of Disneyland.
His “X-City” was planned for the seventeen acres stretching from 42nd Street to 49th Street and from First Avenue to the East River.
It was set to include several skyscrapers plus a sphere-shaped concert complex in the middle topped with spotlights beaming toward the sky.
Wood may have embezzled an unknown amount of money from the park.