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DH Project Review, Project 3

DH Project 3: NYC MTA

Anna Akimova


            My goal for this project was to try to catch the reader’s attention to the importance and value of the subway system and bring back the history of it. I was able to find great pictures online and also information regarding the history of the stations. I tried to put as much content as I could meanwhile stay educative. It was fun to find facts and probably my favorite part getting to learn the new information as I try to pass it along. The reason I chose the space because I felt like we were supposed to focus on New York City mainly, therefore I captured a place of importance in all our lives, so next time we take the train we really feel the history and what makes New York so special does the tool I selected to use for the project was Instagram.  I want to learn more about each station really for myself, that’s why I picked some of the oldest ones like City Hall being the first one ever built, Coney Island, Port Authority, Penn station and lastly LaGuardia.

           Also in my posts I try to keep it in chronological order and in some of the posts I’ve tried to provide contrast with black-and-white pictures with more modern pictures to show that the MTA was still up and running backward there was no other modes of transportation and no technology present compared to what we have today things like touchscreen and FaceTime was not even an option that then. Times have changed over the years but the function the subway provides has remained the same, it brings people together and creates a community, gives us all something to relate to and make us feel like we are a part of something bigger.
                113 years ago, on October 27th, 1904, the first IRT subway line opened being City Hall. That will be my first location, then Penn Station, Coney Island, Port Authority, and lastly a more modern station the Delta Terminal connecting airport passengers to the main city.  The 5 locations of choice I believe all had a big impact in not only my life but every New Yorker. It is what connects all of us and the main way of transportation which people use twice daily.
               New York City’s transportation system remains to be a topic of discussion amongst New Yorkers Today. This was probably the same case at the turn of the twentieth century with the introduction of mass transit. There are many points that illustrate the evolution of mass transit in New York City. The first subway system has been the foundation of transit up to today. It began in 1904 and has been a daily mode of transportation for New Yorkers. The
                Old City Hall subway station first opened in 1904. Six years after that, Pennsylvania Station opened in 1910. The railroad-south terminus for the D, F, N, and Q trains enhanced Coney Island in 1919. Transportation reached a new level of engineering with the invention of the Airplane, and commercial metropolitan air travel became possible in 1939 at The New York Municipal Airport opened, which was later known as LaGuardia Airport. This evolution of travel contributed to the September 11 attacks in 2001, which changed the lives of New Yorkers forever. These sites provide insight into transportation in New York beginning in the
21St century.
              The old City Hall subway station was the very first subway station in New York City, it opened on October 27, 1904 and closed in 1945. The first subway in New York had five express stations on its four-track main line: Brooklyn Bridge, 14 St, Grand Central, 72 St, and 96 St. Although today, tours to Old City Hall start from fifty dollars, there is another way to visit for the cost of the train ride. The station is at the end of the 6-train line which terminates at the “Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Station” in Lower Manhattan. It is located beneath the Municipal Building at the intersection of Centre Street and Chambers Street. Because the downtown-bound 6 train must make a U-turn to head back uptown, the train makes a loop through this secret station. In order to visit it, you have to start on the 6-train heading downtown. After all the stops have passed, passengers are all told to exit the train, but you have to stay on and avoid the train crew. This is when the train passes through the station, and you get a clear view of the abandoned City Hall. The fare to ride the subway was five cents in 1904.

           This station embarked the New York Transit System we know today and is the
predecessor to most of its problems and amenities. Old City Hall was designed by George Lewis Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge. It lacks straight lines and has curved edges instead. The arched ceilings were designed by the Guastavino family who also contributed to the architecture of the Grand Central Terminal.
       Although the Old City Hall was the first subway project of New York, it was never an important station. The curve prevented all doors from opening, and it was already noisy. There were also safety issues as the gap from the platform to the train was too large. The the station was closed at night and when it was open, it was an entrance only station. In its last year, only 600 people a day used it, compared to the 1900 New York City population of 3,437,202. The station also lacked a turnstile which slowed the process of getting on the train even slower. The train didn’t stop at stations below City Hall of in Brooklyn and passengers would wind up on the uptown platforms.

          Up until the late 1990s, the passengers on the Lexington Avenue Local (today’s 6 train) had to disembark from the train at the Brooklyn Bridge stop. A diagram from the commemorative book The New York Subway/Its Construction and Equipment, published in 1904 by the subway’s lessee, Interborough Rapid Transit. The company shows how close the station is to City Hall itself. The track physically passes from the steps of City Hall. From the midpoint of the curved platform, steps lead up under an arched opening to a small mezzanine area where fares were collected.
              From there, two stairways led up to each side of the street in front of City Hall (See story highlights). Although the Old City Hall station wasn’t a crucial station in the history of the Subway of New York City, it introduced a mode of transportation and created a foundation for improved and better subway stations. It also was the first time in the way New Yorker’s traveled, and it sparked the need to get to places as quickly as possible. Six years after the Old City Hall Station opened, the Pennsylvania Station opened in 1910 in midtown. It introduced a new gateway to New York City. On August 29, 1910, The New York Times wrote “Train Service Begins Sept. 8 in Largest Building in World Ever Built at One Time. It’s tunnel connections Structure is of Roman Doric Style of architecture and Is Really a Monumental Bridge Over Tracks.”
              The article also advertised the booklet called “The New York Improvement and Tunnel Extension of the Pennsylvania Railroad” which contains photographs illustrating the interior and exterior of the station. The structure of the station was being advertised to the people of New York City, and they were encouraged to take advantage of this phenomenon. The pamphlet is also said to contain history about New York City, which was placed in two tablets in front of the station. The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company had Alexander Johnston Cassatt as the president. According to the company’s official statement, “The Pennsylvania station covered more territory than any other building ever constructed at one time in the history of the world.” It covered the entire area from seventh and eighth avenue and thirty first and Thirty-third streets. It covered eight acres of New York City, a significant portion of New York City in 1910. The vision and execution of the Pennsylvania Station is a magnification of the Old City Hall Station in just a matter of six years. This illustrates the expansion of transit and travel within New York City. The downfall of the old Pennsylvania Station is due to the Hudson River, as the trains had to stop at the edge of the Hudson River. Alexander Cassatt tapped Charles Jacobs, an English engineer who had previously constructed tunnels under New York City’s East River, to determine whether or not it was possible to build beneath the Hudson. This began the quest of tunnel constructions, and the railroad acquired 28 acres of land in a neighborhood known as the Tenderloin. Unfortunately, the attempt to gain more passengers wasn’t successful to do the introduction of new forms of travel.
               Coney Island contains the railroad-south terminus for the D, F, N, and Q trains, connecting it from almost all parts of New York City. The large facility, originally built in 1919, was designed at a time when Coney Island was the primary summer resort area for the New York metropolitan area, with all of the rail lines in southern Brooklyn funneling service to the area. Today, it is one of the largest elevated transportation terminals in the world. On September 5, 1917, The New York Times produced an article named “Open First Section of Broadway Line.” It expands saying “Train Carrying 1,000 Passengers Runs from Fourteenth Street to Coney Island. New Road Is Expected to Relieve Old System of 15,000 Persons. Daily in Rush Hours. Service Commissioners Jubilant. Schedule Not Fully Arranged.” It consisted of eight cars and carried nearly a thousand passengers. It was operated by the New York Consolidated Railroad Company, a subsidiary of the Brooklyn Transit Company. The seats were advertised as bright, sanitary and comfortable.
Mass Transit has played a prominent role in the development of Coney Island,
and access to it.

               The evolution of public transportation in Brooklyn to railways and trains from horse carriages and steamboats exploded Brooklyn’s industry. Businesses flourished as crowds increased in size and diversity, and New Yorker’s were attracted to the only amusement parks in New York at the time. This image shows a glimpse of what New Yorker’s did for enjoyment with their families in the 1920s. Not only did mass transit make jobs more accessible for adults, but it also improved their personal lives and gave them a break from their busy weeks. Coney Island continues to be a staple of New York leisure, and its prominence goes back to the creation and accessibility of mass transit. This social element that was improved due to the creation of elevated railways that connected more transit lines and ran above the city, inspiring awes of riders as they looked out into the vast ocean and rides.
           Air travel became a glamorous way to get around, instead of trains, and it continues to affect the lives of New Yorker’s every day. The airplane was invented by the Wright Brothers and took its first flight on December 17, 1903. In 1939, The New York Municipal Airport opened, which was later known as LaGuardia Airport. It became available for commercial use in New York City by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey under a lease with the City of New York since June 1, 1947. LaGuardia Airport is located in the Borough of Queens, NYC, bordering on Flushing Bay and Bowery Bay and is eight miles from midtown Manhattan. Today, it consists of 680 acres and has about 72 aircraft gates.
             Laguardia Airport has four main Terminals; The Marine Air Terminal, Delta Air
Lines Terminal, US Airways Terminal, and the Central Terminal Building. The Marine Air Terminal used to be called the Overseas Terminal, the Marine Air Terminal was the original airport terminal building. It served international flights on flying boats through the 1930s and 1940s. In 1995, the Marine Air Terminal was designated a historical landmark. In 1980, the Port Authority rededicated the James Brooks mural, “Flight,” first painted in 1942. In September 1991, Delta began shuttle operations to Boston and Washington, D.C. from the MAT. The terminal is currently undergoing restoration to its façade and interior.

    The Delta Air Lines Terminal: was constructed by Delta Air Lines at the east end of the airport, it opened in June 1983. The terminal has ten aircraft gate positions. The US Airways Terminal opened in September 1992 as a $200 million terminal. The Central Terminal Building serves the most scheduled domestic airlines. It is 1,300 feet long and 180 feet wide, with approximately 750,000 square feet of floor space. Laguardia Airport has a significant employment and economic Impact in New York City. There are approximately 9,000 persons employed at LGA. The airport contributes $6.1 billion in wages and salaries and approximately 63,000 jobs generated by on-and off-airport aviation and indirectly related businesses.
In 2014, The Port Authority Airports set new records with more than 117 million
annual passengers. This figure increased from the prior year by more three million fliers or a roughly 3 percent jump. The Port Authority Airports, John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia isn’t only the most used modes of transportation in the US, but internationally. There is an increase in total revenue passengers annually.
           The Port Authority Airports Set New Records With More Than 117 million Annually of 1,385,855 passengers. There were 18,633 domestic Air carrier flights and 1,668. International Air Carrier flights (See story highlights for stats). Seventeen years later, the December 2017 traffic report indicated a total revenue of 2,478 passengers, 38,320 domestic flights, and 2,225 international flights (See story highlight for stats). These figures nearly doubled within seventeen years, suggesting that the Port Authority continues to increase in passenger year after year
            I have on my Instagram a total of seven posts and also several highlights in my story related to them so it’s enough to explain each post. I expect the reader to gain more history on the New York City subway station and really how it all began with just a few and spread to all over the city in every borough. The challenges I faced was finding out some real numbers because I’m sure the end he does not want the truth statistics to show because there is a lot of corruption and scandals behind the company they are known for being corrupt providing terrible service and continuously increasing without any change. Though most people I spoke with  would all agree on the MTA is not the greatest subway service system and there are much better of cities out there New York wouldn’t be the same without it and it’s just a part of her identity that we have to except because I feel like it’s not going to change anytime soon if we are being realistic. The reason I chose Instagram was that it’s such an easy tool that anybody can use also I need my target audience would be people around my age, and even the older people still have smartphones so there is no excuse to not be able to know how to use Instagram. I realize the highlights might not be something everyone uses in there Instagram if you are not as active however I tried to title them very simple into the point so you understood the complement of the posts. In there I included some statistics that I found online and things like old art and fun facts.

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