Posted by: Chris Kretz | July 27, 2009

Who Was Robert Dowling? Part 4: Sterling Forest

Last week Dowling was hard at work on his newest project. On 20,000 acres in Sterling Forest near Tuxedo. N.Y.. 40 miles from Manhattan, he is building what he plans to be “the largest and most beautiful research, science and engineering center in the world.” He visualizes a $200 million development of laboratories and research firms, with homes, shops and recreation facilities for a population of 100,000 people living in a woodland preserve. Union Carbide already has a $9,000,000 nuclear lab completed. Dowling’s City Investing has pumped another $1,000,000 into an international research building for other companies to try on a rental basis before making a full commitment. Next week, to lure more potential customers to view Sterling Forest —and incidentally turn a tidy tourist profit—Dowling will open the world’s most lavish tulip garden with 1,500,000 bulbs planted over 125 acres.

“Planner and Patron”
Time Magazine
May 2, 1960

The site of Dowling’s Sterling Forest project is now a New York State Park. You can read more about the convoluted history and ever shifting plans for the development of the area in Saving Sterling Forest: The Epic Struggle to Preserve New York’s Highlands.

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