(Free Ebook) ⚜ Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age Epic: The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels Î eBook or E-pub free

After reading this book two things stand out in my mind 1 This book is mucha book about the unprecedented engineering of the river tunnels than it is about Charles McKim s lamented travertine and granite pile, and that is fine with me To truly appreciate the architecture of any era one must also appreciate the engineering that made such architecture possible.2 The hour that PBS devoted to this fascinating story of muscle, mud machinery and architectural majesty did not do its story justice showing the statue of Samuel Rea but not explaining his part in seeing the great undertaking through to completion or that his statue was originally located in the soaring main waiting room of the demolished station on to re reading the bookend story to Penn Station The Pan Am Building by Meredith Clausen This time, the OTHER glorious monument to NYC rail survives the post war destructive tendencies of that era s leaders. Conquering Gotham presents itself as an inside examination of the incredible Penn Station In reality it is the story of the politics, the tunnels, and the people that forged a path for the railroad to finally make its way in to the heart of Manhattan I have always been fascinated to learn of Penn Station, especially as someone who never had the privilege of seeing it first hand I have always wondered at the reasoning and the politics that led to its demise In this sense, for me, the best portions of this book were the last two chapters, where we finally see Penn Station completed Unfortunately it rushes through these chapters, leaving us with merely a glimpse of this architectural wonder and the brief years in which it managed to survive Similar to the history of the Brooklyn Bridge, the weight of the story is found in the incredible effort that such an architectural feat tunnels and infrastructure demanded of the workers There is a lot of overlap with the story of the Brooklyn Bridge as a Guilded Age story that sees the expansive and explosive growth of the railroad move across North America It would be short sighted for us to forget about how dangerous it really was to pursue these societal advances and build these sorts of ground breaking monuments during this period One can also add that this was still the age where such buildings and bridges and tunnels and stations represented a whole lotthan simply a building One could argue that modern architecture has lost of bit of this old soul For a historical biography of a particular piece of architecture, this book makes the mechanics and the details interesting and dramatic There is something marvellous and breathtaking, for example, of having to wait years to see if a shot in the dark decision to abstain from drilling a couple of positioning posts might one day lead to the collapse of the tunnels and the death of civilians, or if this decision would end up actually saving the future state of the tunnels This is the kind of risks that these projects demanded in the absence of tried and true theories and examples Again, as with the story of the Brooklyn Bridge, politics and money play a big part in shaping the landscape of this period in New Yorks history not to mention the greater American landscape This is another part that I enjoyed immensely I found it fascinating to read about the ebb and flow of economic growth in light of the age of the railroad What is eveninforming and interesting is to read of the individuals that sat at the helm of moving the American economy forward It is a story of corruption and morality, and it is actually refreshing to see that even in the midst of the corruption some of the key individuals who shaped our current landscape were the ones who were interested in seeing the moral high ground survive It is a reminder that while the railroad represented money, it really was about the people as all great architecture and infrastructure is Casatt the visioneer of the Penn Station idea was one of those people, and sadly he never lived to see his project to completion It was also nice to see a bit inside the person of Roosevelt, who comes off as a wholly compelling individual.Another part that I loved is, not surprisingly, found near the end When you finally see Penn station complete, we are given a glimpse of some of the problems that lie underneath this incredible Roman like construction To read that its initial purpose did not for see its actual function as a commuter station and a link to Long Island and thus was not designed appropriately to compliment the people who would end up riding is telling The image of the station is as a link from North America in to Manhattan In reality, Manhattan would attempt to claim the station exclusively for its own interests This leads us to the examination of the relationship between Philadelphia and New York City It is in this relationship that we find the real reason for its premature and unfortunate demise According to Jones, NYC rejected the station as an architectural wonder because it represented Phillythan it did the character of NYC It was low lying and expansive rather than a high rising and space saving design As he puts it, it had its soul in Philadelphia, and it s physical presence in New York City It is for this reason that Grand Central remains to this day as one of the great symbols of NYC, a true part of its own history that sits at the actual heart of the city Penn Station would forever struggle and fail to live up to its promise as a game changing piece in the Manhattan landscape.There are so many stories of the progress of NYC that follow this same trend of moving through and under and over neighborhoods in an effort to consistently and persistingly re define the larger city in the face ofmodern expressions and realities the larger city in actuality functioning as a series of ever changing neighborhoods in which concerns, gentrification, politics, social dynamics are constantly evolving and shifting with it This is why NYC is known as the unfinished city It is constantly changing It was no different with the story of Penn Station The station was in the middle of one of its poorer neighborhoods, a fact that leads in to some decent commentary about the function of architecture and infrastructure in light of the people that a make up these neighborhoods Often these developments came through with a force guided by a vision and fueled by money and politics , Neighborhoods become forced to adapt and change thus becoming temporarily displaced , and then at times moved and or redeveloped in to another section of the city accordingly This mentality has its shortcomings short term disruption of the neighborhoods and the people involved, and the tendency to forget about the people who are affected As well, there is a danger in failing to recognize the value of history and historic architecture But in a city made up of multiple boroughs and with a unique diversification of character and immigration, it has a way of forcing the city to stay honest It tends to keep the problems in view, and guards against complacency It makes certain that conversation is happening as time moves forward And it allows for the struggles of one area to find solutions in the experiences and perspectives of another And ultimately, when a city is not afraid to revamp, reconfigure and reimagine how it does things on a consistent basis, this opens the door for the different and competing sections of the city to work together.For Penn station this sort of revamping of a poorer neighborhood in order to create one of theupscale, glamourous, artistic and lovely pieces of architecture in America and one of theambitious transporting hubs of the era forced these two characteristics to work together upper and lower class Unfortunately what it failed to do was for see the middle working class as the glue that would need to hold it together, a class that was ultimately glossed over in the design of the structure itself Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and ultimately, deserves Even when we had Penn Station, we couldn t afford to keep it clean We want and deserve tin can architecture in a tin horn culture And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed This was written for the New York Times during the 60 s, a period of time that saw history come in to a full force collision with the nature of forward progress The railroad was taking over, and with it New York was reaching for the sky in a fashion unlike it ever had before along with the rest of America Now, of course history will now tell us that this sentiment was not entirely accurate The demolition of Penn Station would be the very thing that would lead to future legislation that would protect the rest of NYC s historic architecture There has since been a lot of movement not only to save it, but to re envision it and reinvent it at the same time Any visit to NYC is a wonderful fusion of past and present, romantic and modern But what this article does show is just how hard it is to respond to the ever changing world accordingly Just as soon as the railroad exploded, car culture pushed itself in to its path along with aviation And with every change the landscape has to adjust But Penn station looms over this truth as a tall example of what is lost when we neglect our architectural history, and a great example of what happens when we disassociate our buildings from the people that use them It is a reminder that these kinds of buildings are not just made from the elements, but are a reflection of the people s soul and tells the story of a city in a way little else can For Penn Station, that it had such an impact on the displacement of a neighborhood, and that it in the end neglected the actual needs of the people is a testimony of how much power lies in these kinds of developments For every way that culture pushes us forward, we must continue to make efforts to remember these stories and to see the people behind the building Cassatt saw this in the initial vision, and this is why his statue remains. Conquering Gotham tells the history of the building of Penn Station and the building of the Long Island Railroad LIRR The story is fraught with ego, engineering feats and sacrifice of the common worker like most Gilded Age histories The struggle of the conquering the east river and the tunnels being built is the primary story in the book with little actually devoted to Penn Station other than being a building out of place and time The book also covers the typical Tammany Hall corruption and the Pennsylvania railroad s fall from grace under Cassatt Overall the book had a tendency to ramble and did not really live up to what I was expecting I would have liked to hearabout the actual station at least equal in coverage to the tunnels and a greater focus on the politics of the time instead of the roundabout way it was approached If you are a true gilded age aficionado it is still worth the time to take a look at but for a casual reader or someone interested in urban history you should probably pass. This book was wonderful Despite being about a difficult engineering project it was an easy read It was nostalgic for a different time It was suspenseful, exciting, and sad I loved it. I started this book hoping to learn about the engineering of old Penn Station and how it was built But very early on, the author describes the problem facing the railroad in 1901 as No bridge or tunnel of the magnitude needed to span the Hudson River had ever been built That does sound impressive, but I have to note that the Gotthard Tunnel not the Gotthard Base Tunnel that opened recently that goes through the Swiss Alps opened in 1882, almost two decades prior, and is about nine miles long, three times the length of the North River Tunnels Certainly the engineering challenges are different going under a river than through mountains, but it s hard to argue that the magnitude of the Gotthard Tunnel is not at least equal, if not substantiallyI am also skeptical of this claim when it comes to bridges, but less inclined to search out that information. Conquering Gotham A Gilded Age Epic The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels is on the construction of Penn Station and the tunnels crossing the East and North rivers into Penn Station The work is divided into two parts The first part is background information on why the Pennsylvania Railroad decided to build Penn Station, why the company chose to construct tunnels instead of building a bridge, and past attempts and plans to connect Manhattan to the mainland The author details the key players, like the Pennsylvania Railroad and Alexander Cassatt and then describes the political wrangling required to get the project approved by Tammany Hall The second part largely deals with the actual construction of Penn Station and the tunnels, a truly remarkable feat of engineering The last chapter gives a quick history of Penn Station s failures leading to the building s demolition in 1963 There is also pretty good information on Tammany Hall, Charles McKim, Stanford White, and the Stanford White murder trials. Interesting read I admit that I was a little surprised I thought this was going to be a book filled withpictures and diagrams, but it was mostly text But it read quite well and I found it quite interesting A good picture of the times that the tunnels were built Also had an interesting POV on the reasons for the station being torn down eventually I m reading The Late, Great Pennsylvania Station right now so I ll see how that compares I know that one haspictures but I m sure it doesn t go into as much depth as this volume. Jill does a great job telling the great tale of the construction of the miles of tunnels, the political drama, and of course, the late great Penn Station These kinds of projects are what built the nation and you don t see this kind of stuff happen any Tearing down the station remains one of the biggest crimes in civic, architectural, transportation, infrastructural, etc in history But even though the station is gone, the tunnels still remain to this day and carry millions and millions every year. (Free Ebook) ó Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age Epic: The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels é The Epic Story Of The Struggle To Connect New York City To The Rest Of The Nation The Demolition Of Penn Station InDestroyed Not Just A Soaring Neoclassical Edifice, But Also A Building That Commemorated One Of The Last Century S Great Engineering Feats The Construction Of Railroad Tunnels Into New York City Now, In This Gripping Narrative, Jill Jonnes Tells This Fascinating Story A High Stakes Drama That Pitted The Money And Will Of The Nation S Mightiest Railroad Against The Corruption Of Tammany Hall, The Unruly Forces Of Nature, And The Machinations Of Labor Agitators In , The President Of The Pennsylvania Railroad, Alexander Cassatt, Determined That It Was Technically Feasible To Build A System Of Tunnels Connecting Manhattan To New Jersey And Long Island Confronted By Payoff Hungry Politicians, Brutal Underground Working Conditions, And Disastrous Blowouts And Explosions, It Would Take Him Nearly A Decade To Make Penn Station And Its Tunnels A Reality Set Against The Bustling Backdrop Of Gilded Age New York, Conquering Gotham Will Enthrall Fans Of David McCullough S The Great Bridge And Ron Chernow S Titan One learns lots about the PRR, its leaders and the nearly decade long effort to build the station in New York to replace ferries over the Hudson River One learns enough about the decline of the railroads in the 1950s and 60s, and the great vandalism the saw the destruction of Penn Station and its replacement by the vile underground rat warren that is there today I would have liked to know a little bitabout the life of the station in its heyday.