Grand Central Terminal: Railroads, Engineering, and Architecture in New York City

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Overview

"Grand Central Terminal, one of New York City's preeminent buildings, stands as a magnificent Beaux-Arts monument to America's Railway Age, and it remains a vital part of city life today." "In Grand Central Terminal, Kurt C. Schlichting traces the history of this spectacular building, detailing the colorful personalities, bitter conflicts, and Herculean feats of engineering that lie behind its construction."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

The Michigan Railfan
A great read... represents railroad history at its best.

— David J. Mrozek

New York History
Kurt Schlichting's book is a fitting record of the history of New York City's central landmark, if not a national treasure.

— Paul Malo

New York Times Book Review
Grand Central Terminal is celebrated for its Beaux-Arts style, but Kurt C. Schlichting looks behind the facade to see the hidden engineering marvels... [His] book will deepen anyone's appreciation for New York's most magnificent interior space.

— Eric P. Nash

Wilson Quarterly
Schlichting writes with deep understanding of Grand Central's engineering feats and artistic qualities.

— Tom Lewis

New Scientist
Ably tells the story of the New York rail system's most active and visible symbol: the architectural and engineering masterpiece, with its grand public concourse, in the heart of Midtown.

— William Mitchell

Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians
Kurt Schlichting's history of New York's Grand Central Terminal gathers many actors and events into a clearly written and amply illustrated narrative of American commercial initiative... In his detailed accounts of the fiscal, stylistic, and engineering decisions that went into the creation of especially the second Grand Central Terminal, Schlichting clearly shows both how energetic and talented all of the people involved were and how dramatically they altered this central portion of New York City.

— Amy Slaton

Technology and Culture
[A] compelling story.

— Carol Poh Miller

Clifton Hood
Grand Central Terminal is the single most important building in New York City—at once a symbol of corporate capitalism, an architectural landmark, and a critical transport hub. Kurt Schlichting's thoroughly researched, well-illustrated book is the best history ever written on this vital subject. Schlichting's achievement lies in explaining Grand Central Terminal's career and in placing its complicated development squarely in the context of New York City's larger history.
Herbert H. Harwood
A lot has been written about Grand Central Terminal, but this is the first book to take the reader deeply inside the intricacies and agonies that went into creating this remarkable monument. With fascinating insights, Kurt Schlichting explores Grand Central as both an innovative engineering project and a force in shaping the life of the city. His book will give New Yorkers—and everyone else—a new appreciation of just how visionary a project Grand Central was and what a difficult, complex, and sometimes hair-raising job it was to build.
Library Journal
Drawing heavily from the papers of William J. Wilgus (chief engineer of the New York Central Railroad and the genius behind plans for the smoke-free electrified rail system) and other primary-source material, the author combines railroading, structural engineering, architecture, and business history into a very readable text. Schlichting (sociology, Fairfield Univ.) covers a period that begins with Cornelius Vanderbilt's railroad empire and the first Grand Central Terminal in 1871 and concludes with the 1998 renovation of the existing magnificent Beaux Arts structure of 1913. More technical and less visual than John Belle and Maxinne R. Leighton's Grand Central: Gateway to a Million Lives (LJ 12/99), it provides a more in-depth treatment of design and architecture. Libraries can choose which treatment will best suit their potential readers. Jay Schafer, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Schlichting (sociology, Fairfeld U.) examines the herculean task of designing and constructing New York City's Beaux-Arts hub of public transportation, completed in 1913. He details the colorful personalities, bitter conflicts, engineering achievements, and impact on the development of Manhattan. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
This story of the design and construction of New York's Grand Central Terminal in 1913 provides a coverage not only of the project and the ten years it took to complete, but its impact on the development of Manhattan. Any with an interest in New York City history will find Grand Central Terminal to be an excellent blend of engineering and social history, packed with details and vintage photos.
New York Times Book Review - Eric P. Nash

Grand Central Terminal is celebrated for its Beaux-Arts style, but Kurt C. Schlichting looks behind the facade to see the hidden engineering marvels... [His] book will deepen anyone's appreciation for New York's most magnificent interior space.

Wilson Quarterly - Tom Lewis

Schlichting writes with deep understanding of Grand Central's engineering feats and artistic qualities.

H-Urban, H-Net Reviews - Amy G. Richter

His study peels away our contemporary expectations and experiences and reveals the layers of history and acts of men that served as the foundation for this great structure.

New Scientist - William Mitchell

Ably tells the story of the New York rail system's most active and visible symbol: the architectural and engineering masterpiece, with its grand public concourse, in the heart of Midtown.

New York History - Paul Malo

Kurt Schlichting's book is a fitting record of the history of New York City's central landmark, if not a national treasure.

Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians - Amy Slaton

Kurt Schlichting's history of New York's Grand Central Terminal gathers many actors and events into a clearly written and amply illustrated narrative of American commercial initiative... In his detailed accounts of the fiscal, stylistic, and engineering decisions that went into the creation of especially the second Grand Central Terminal, Schlichting clearly shows both how energetic and talented all of the people involved were and how dramatically they altered this central portion of New York City.

Technology and Culture - Carol Poh Miller

[A] compelling story.

The Michigan Railfan - David J. Mrozek

A great read... represents railroad history at its best.

Choice

The most detailed account yet of one of the most important events in the history of 20th-century architecture, railroad development, and city building.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801865107
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Edition description: 20
  • Pages: 243
  • Sales rank: 740,930
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Kurt C. Schlichting is the E. Gerald Corrigan '63 Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences at Fairfield University and a professor of sociology. He is author of Grand Central's Engineer: William J. Wilgus and the Planning of Modern Manhattan, also published by Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Prologue 1
1 The Commodore's Grand Central 8
2 The Engineer's Grand Central 55
3 The Architect's Grand Central 115
4 New York's Grand Central 155
Epilogue 194
Notes 223
A Note on Sources 233
Illustration Credits 235
Index 237
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Great read and very informative!

    This book is a must if you are interested in the history of Grand Central and th NY Central railroad. It is very well researched and very well written.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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