Did alligators ever really live in New Yorks sewers? Whats it like to take a raft through the citys old water tunnels? How deep is Grand Central Station? And how exactly did the New York postal offices pneumatic tube system work? In this ...
his richly illustrated historical tour of New Yorks vast underground systems, Julia Solis maps out the anatomical foundation of the cityfrom the bowels of Grand Central Terminal to the labyrinthine ruins of the Old Croton Aqueduct to the old gang tunnels that run below the streets of Chinatown. Along the way, she tells the fascinating stories of the how these structures came into existence. For instance, a 19th century publisher secretly built the citys first subway tunnel an opulent one-block showpiecein an effort to rally public support for efficient public transportation while evading the corrupt hand of Boss Tweed. She also uncovers the dark crypts of the citys first cathedral, the creepy passageways beneath a Staten Island hospital, the strange artifacts of abandoned train stations, and the work of the citys underground graffiti artists.
Solis, an accomplished photographer, has spent years investigating this subterranean world that she describes as "incredibly desolate and yet alive." New York Underground is the chronicle of her journeys, recounted through stories of dangerous travels through claustrophobic tunnels and her own striking photographs.
While New York City is justly famous for what lies aboveground, its underground passages are equally legendary and tell us just as much about the workings of the city.