“Superb. [A] first-rate narrative” (The Wall Street Journal) about the controversial construction of New York’s beloved original Penn Station and its tunnels, from the author of Eiffel's Tower and Urban Forests As bestselling books like Ron Chernow's Titan and David McCullough's The Great Bridge affirm, readers are fascinated with the grand personalities and schemes that populated New York at the close of the nineteenth century. Conquering Gotham re- creates the riveting struggle waged by the great Pennsylvania Railroad to build Penn Station and the monumental system of tunnels that would connect water-bound Manhattan to the rest of the continent by rail. Historian Jill Jonnes tells a ravishing tale of snarling plutocrats, engineering feats, and backroom politicking packed with the most colorful figures of Gilded Age New York. Conquering Gotham will be featured in an upcoming episdoe of PBS's American Experience. From the Trade Paperback edition.
As the 19th cent. ends, PA Railroad pres. Alexander Cassatt seeks some way -- other than fleets of ferries from N.J. -- to bring the PRR¿s millions of passengers into water-locked Gotham. By 1901 the PRR will build a monumental system of electrified tunnels under the Hudson River, Manhattan, and the East River to Long Island, capping them with the crown jewel of PA Station. And so begins a high-stakes Gilded Age drama pitting the nation¿s greatest corp. against the forces of Tammany N.Y. This narrative brings to life the feats of politicking and engineering that forever changed N.Y.¿s physical and psychological geography. In late 1910, PA Station, Charles McKim¿s great Doric temple to transportation, opens in all its magnificence. Photos.
Author: Miles Orvell
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Release Date: 2013-11-01
Whether struggling in the wake of postindustrial decay or reinventing themselves with new technologies and populations, cities have once again moved to the center of intellectual and political concern. Rethinking the American City brings together leading scholars from a range of disciplines to examine an array of topics that illuminate the past, present, and future of cities. Rethinking the American City offers a lively and fascinating survey of contemporary thinking about cities in a transnational context. Utilizing an innovative format, each chapter opens with an iconic image and includes a brief and provocative essay on a single topic followed by an extended dialogue among all the essayists. Topics range from energy use, design, and digital media to transportation systems and housing to public art, urban ruins, and futurist visions. By engaging with key contemporary concerns—public and private space, sustainability, ethnic and racial divisions, and technology—this volume illuminates how global society has imagined American urban life. Contributors: Klaus Benesch, Dolores Hayden, David M. Lubin, Malcolm McCullough, Jeffrey L. Meikle, David E. Nye, Miles Orvell, Andrew Ross, Mabel O. Wilson, Albena Yaneva.
Author: Jonathan Rees
Publisher: JHU Press
Release Date: 2013-10-02
Only when the power goes off and food spoils do we truly appreciate how much we rely on refrigerators and freezers. In Refrigeration Nation, Jonathan Rees explores the innovative methods and gadgets that Americans have invented to keep perishable food cold—from cutting river and lake ice and shipping it to consumers for use in their iceboxes to the development of electrically powered equipment that ushered in a new age of convenience and health. As much a history of successful business practices as a history of technology, this book illustrates how refrigeration has changed the everyday lives of Americans and why it remains so important today. Beginning with the natural ice industry in 1806, Rees considers a variety of factors that drove the industry, including the point and product of consumption, issues of transportation, and technological advances. Rees also shows that how we obtain and preserve perishable food is related to our changing relationship with the natural world.
Author: Terry Golway
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2014-03-03
“Golway’s revisionist take is a useful reminder of the unmatched ingenuity of American politics.”—Wall Street Journal History casts Tammany Hall as shorthand for the worst of urban politics: graft and patronage personified by notoriously crooked characters. In his groundbreaking work Machine Made, journalist and historian Terry Golway dismantles these stereotypes, focusing on the many benefits of machine politics for marginalized immigrants. As thousands sought refuge from Ireland’s potato famine, the very question of who would be included under the protection of American democracy was at stake. Tammany’s transactional politics were at the heart of crucial social reforms—such as child labor laws, workers’ compensation, and minimum wages— and Golway demonstrates that American political history cannot be understood without Tammany’s profound contribution. Culminating in FDR’s New Deal, Machine Made reveals how Tammany Hall “changed the role of government—for the better to millions of disenfranchised recent American arrivals” (New York Observer).
Author: Jason M. Barr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-05-12
Genre: Business & Economics
The Manhattan skyline is one of the great wonders of the modern world. But how and why did it form? Much has been written about the city's architecture and its general history, but little work has explored the economic forces that created the skyline. In Building the Skyline, Jason Barr chronicles the economic history of the Manhattan skyline. In the process, he debunks some widely held misconceptions about the city's history. Starting with Manhattan's natural and geological history, Barr moves on to how these formations influenced early land use and the development of neighborhoods, including the dense tenement neighborhoods of Five Points and the Lower East Side, and how these early decisions eventually impacted the location of skyscrapers built during the Skyscraper Revolution at the end of the 19th century. Barr then explores the economic history of skyscrapers and the skyline, investigating the reasons for their heights, frequencies, locations, and shapes. He discusses why skyscrapers emerged downtown and why they appeared three miles to the north in midtown-but not in between the two areas. Contrary to popular belief, this was not due to the depths of Manhattan's bedrock, nor the presence of Grand Central Station. Rather, midtown's emergence was a response to the economic and demographic forces that were taking place north of 14th Street after the Civil War. Building the Skyline also presents the first rigorous investigation of the causes of the building boom during the Roaring Twenties. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the boom was largely a rational response to the economic growth of the nation and city. The last chapter investigates the value of Manhattan Island and the relationship between skyscrapers and land prices. Finally, an Epilogue offers policy recommendations for a resilient and robust future skyline.
Author: Douglas C. McVarish
Publisher: Left Coast Press
Release Date: 2008-09-01
Genre: Social Science
This comprehensive guide provides the reader with basic information of the most common types of structures, sites, and objects encountered in industrial archaeology. These include bridges, railroads, roads, waterways, several types of production and extraction factories, water and power generating facilities, and others. Each chapters contains a brief introduction to the technology or features of each class of installation, illustrations with characteristics that help identifying important elements of the type, and a glossary of common terms. Two chapters offer valuable guidance on researching industrial properties and landscapes. For students, avocational archaeologists, and cultural resource management surveys, this volume will be an essential reference.