A Century of Subways: Celebrating 100 Years of New York's Underground Railways / Edition 3

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Overview

"I declare the subway open," said Mayor George B. McClellan at about 2 p.m. on October 27, 1904. His hand on the switch, McClellan drove the new electric-powered cars of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company out of the City Hall station for the twenty-six minute ride under Broadway to 145th Street in Harlem. After a decade of digging and building, New York was moving uptown, underground. And everything began to change. A century later, Brian Cudahy offers this fascinating tribute to the city -- and the world -- that the subway created. Taking a fresh look at one of the marvels of the twentieth century, Cudahy tells not one big story, but five carefully linked tales to create a vivid sense of this extraordinary achievement -- how the city was transformed once New Yorkers started riding in a hole in the ground.

The story begins well before 1904. For years, everyone knew that only a new public transportation system could break the constant gridlock that threatened to shut down the most crowded city in America. Cudahy's hero is August Belmont, Jr., the powerful banker who risked what no one else would: he not only financed the building of the subway but also hired the engineer William Barclay Parsons to design it, and later became the first president of the IRT.

Next, Cudahy moves to Boston, whose downtown subway was five years older than New York's, and grew in its own distinctive way to become an extraordinary citywide transit system. Cudahy also travels to London, where the world's first subway began rolling in 1863. He offers a revealing contrast of the Underground, and subways in other European cities, with New York's subway. And Cudahy brings everything up to date as he explores the impact of the new IRT on New York's own developing network of commuter railroads, especially the New York Central and Pennsylvania lines, and later on the fabric of rail transportation in Buffalo, Baltimore, San Francisco, San Juan, Montreal, and Los Angeles. New York simply would not be possible without its subways. With this spirited salute to the powerbrokers and politicians who planned it and the engineers and laborers who built it, Brian Cudahy helps us remember the real legacy of the subway, and the city it made.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823222926
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 10/29/2003
  • Edition description: 3
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 388
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

BRIAN J. CUDAHY's books include Around Manhattan Island: And Other Maritime Tales ofNew York and A Century of Subways: Celebrating 100 Years of New York's Underground Railways (both Fordham). He lives in Bluffton, SC.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Stonehenge via Subway
1 August Belmont and His Subway 1
2 Change at Park Street Under 72
3 The World's First Subway 123
4 New York's Electrified Railroads 182
5 The Legacy of the IRT 276
Appendix 305
Notes 321
Bibliography 367
Index 373
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Good read, missing the photos

    I am 100 pages into the book and enjoying the read but none of the photographs appear. Just a. Big white block. I am disappointed to not get the full book with images.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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