September 3, 2023


Hazy Tudor City (center left) and Waterside Station's smoke stacks (center right) are highlights from this view taken from the Second Avenue El train.

A look at the construction of the Queens-Midtown tunnel. It had first been conceived in 1921 to help ease congestion on the East River bridges, but its start date was postponed by political in-fighting and later by the Depression. Nonetheless construction began in 1936, and was completed four years later. FDR took the first ride across it.

What follows below are some snapshots chronicling the tearing down of several blocks in preparation for the tunnel's entrance. All photos in this feature are the work of Percy Loomis Sperr, profiled here.
Looking north, the demolition is contrasted with the Chrysler Building (far left), the Daily News Building (center left) and The Woodstock (far right). 

Again facing north, this time adding more of Tudor City to the shot. 

A view toward the East River showing Waterside Station's smoke stacks. The tunnel began its underground descent beneath the Kips Bay Brewing Company. 

This was followed by the power plant, then it made a sharp turn toward the river alongside the Manhattan Ventilation building. The fact that it turns the corner across the street from No. 5 makes it very much a neighborhood story ‒ even though it's happening 95 feet down.

The tunnel opened to traffic on November 15, 1940; there was a 25-cent toll. Today, 83 years later, the toll is $6.94.

1 comment:

  1. From where do you start counting to get there in 3 MINUTES?