gokeefe wrote:Very impressive. Also note the implied enthusiasm of local government that wants to relocate nearby. Nice to see FECI building up their own passenger base. I'm trying to think of a historical equivalent but the best I can imagine would be hotels attached to major terminals. Private office space construction sounds new to me.
Grand Central Terminal. Not the stupid 1960's Pan Am building, but the entire complex. Before the current station was built, the whole stretch between Madison and Lexington from the north end of the train shed at ~44th St up to ~53rd St was at-grade yard trackage. Fourth (Park) Avenue was discontinuous. It ended at 42nd St., didn's start again until the low 50's. The NYC, with the Vanderbilts at the helm, sunk the trackage below grade level, put Park on a viaduct around their new terminal, continued the viaduct north, with the cross streets on their own
viaducts. The Vanderbilt interests then encouraged the construction of hotels, offices, churches, etc. on the resulting space. It's not an exaggeration to say the NYC created
the heart of today's Midtown East between 1910 and 1930.
And that's ignoring the massive change in the fortunes of Park Avenue that occurred after electrification. Before 1910 the avenue was considered lower-middle-class. Nice people lived on Lexington, Madison, 5th and the cross streets, and avoided 4th, with its clouds of smoke and steam.