Archive for the ‘History’ Category

6th Avenue El @ Byrant Park – 1878


Bryant Park. Note that reservoir in lieu of the NYPL.


Guy Fawkes


The anarchist’s mask of choice.

Antique Switch Stations


It would be a fun adventure to find one of these old school switch stations.

In 2005, at a kitchen-size relay room in the Chambers Street station in Lower Manhattan, a fire destroyed hundreds of antique switches and circuits, nearly crippling two subway lines for months and disrupting the commutes of 580,000 New Yorkers. It could happen again tomorrow. The subway system has about 480 relay rooms, 25 of which still use technology that was in place when the subway opened in 1904. Only two companies in the world can repair the antiquated signals, which help locate trains in the tunnels. In 2005, it could have been worse: officials said the room that caught fire was one of the least critical in the system.

City Hall Station


Checked out the abandoned City Hall subway station as part of a New York City Transit Museum  tour. Since closing on New Years Eve 1945, the station has remained basically untouched. You can also check it out by staying on the downtown 6 train after the last stop at Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall. Before heading back uptown, the 6 gives a glimpse of the station. More info here.

Arthur Kill Ship Graveyard


Check out the map of the ship graveyard in Staten Island right by the dump.

Gimbel’s Bridge


I have always been fascinated by this  NYC version of the bridge of the sighs located between Penn Station and Herald Square. Apparently, commerce is the engine of all things NYC:  Full story from the Bowery Boys.

Justice John Paul Stevens Resignation


I have always found Justice Stevens the most logical and least political of the justices on the modern bench. His opinions were always eloquent, pointed and well argued. He will be missed. The New Yorker profile treatment here.

Modern Ruins, Urban Archaeology, and the Post-Industrial Sublime

Photo: "Still from 'Stages of Decay' by Julia Solis 
Date: March 25th, 2010
Time: 8:00 PM
Place: Observatory – 543 Union Street (at Nevins), Brooklyn, NY 11215
Admission: $5
On March 25th, join a panel of photographers and aficionados of the post-industrial sublime for a discussion that will explore the allure and fascination of visiting, photographing, and viewing these mysterious spaces. The evening will begin with a series of short presentations about the history and photography of The Modern Ruin. Following these presentations, moderator Alan Rapp will lead a discussion that will seek to explore the art, history, and culture of The Ruin and its depiction, from ancient examples to these modern ruins that span the abandoned lunatic’s asylum and tuberculosis wards, decrepit factory complexes and dead shopping malls. We will also probe the question of “why now,” with a special eye towards the acceleration of history which can make a ruin of sites as recent as a shopping mall, and ask if this contemporary fascination might speak to us of the twilight of our own empire.

New York Society Library


The oldest cultural institution in New York.

Brooklyn Trolley System


Why are these elegant beasts wasting away on the Red Hook piers? Apparently, Bob Diamond, the urban spelunker behind the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel (a Must See!), was planning on resurrecting the Brooklyn Trolley under the rubric the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association.  Sadly, his grand scheme has lost steam.