In the News: Pneumatic Mass Transit

••• “More than 140 years ago, […] pneumatic pressure for mass transit was first tested beneath the streets of New York City. In 1870, Alfred Ely Beach, an inventor and publisher, unveiled the city’s first subway, running through a pneumatic tunnel under Broadway from Warren Street to Murray Street. For three years, a giant fan blew thousands of passengers at the stately pace of 10 miles per hour in an elegant car, richly upholstered and illuminated by a zirconia light for 25 cents a ride.” The illustration above looks like something from the New Yorker’s caption contest (which always reminds me of how someone—on—said that basically every New Yorker cartoon could have the same caption: “Christ, what an asshole.” It’s so true.) —New York Times

••• Related: Jeff wrote in to ask if anything of the pneumatic transit system still existed, and I found this: “So what remains now? Probably nothing. The tunnel under Broadway was almost definitely destroyed during the BMT subway construction. A report in the New York Times in 1912 describes the tunnel, but the station had probably been destroyed when the building at Broadway & Warren was torn down and rebuilt. During the replacement of the building, the station, which was essentially a basement vault under the sidewalk, may have been incorporated into the new basement. Gratings in the sidewalk on Warren Street indicate some vault or ventilation areas are down there today.”

••• Manhattan Loft Guy eviscerates the floor plan at at apartment at 399 Washington.

••• New York Times writer David Dunlap remembers Liz Berger.

••• Ferragamo is opening a shop at Brookfield Place. It’d be nice if there was one independent—and better yet, edgy—shop in the place. —New York Post

••• “Under the maritime usage plan for [Pier 17] proposed by The Howard Hughes Corp., which is about to tear down the existing shopping mall on the pier and replace it with a new one, there would be room for New York Water Taxi to dock at the newly configured pier, and for one other boat.” —Downtown Express

••• FiDi pizzeria Pranzo, damaged in Sandy, has reopened. —DNAinfo

••• Architectural Record reviews the redone Federal Plaza four months after it opened. I walked by it the other day, around lunchtime, in gorgeous weather, and there were like two people on it. Anyway, there’s a nice aerial shot that shows how Rio-esque the plaza is. (via Curbed)


Comments are closed.