New York City
This page is our gateway to New York City. Find out about the New York Central Railroad‘s Grand Central Terminal. Explore the fabulous New York City Subway System. Learn who Robert Moses. was and his impact on New York City. Understand New York City transit planning, West Side Freight Line (the “High Line”) and St Johns terminal. The New Haven Railroad and the Long Island Railroad reached into New York City. Did you know the Lehigh Valley Railroad even went into New York City (by ferry). Learn about the Jenney Plan to bring commuters into New York City and finally explore mysterious track 61 at Grand Central Terminal with its relationship to Presidents of the United States.
On the foggy morning of Saturday, July 28, 1945, Lt. Colonel William Smith was piloting a U.S. Army B-25 bomber through New York City. He was on his way to Newark Airport to pick up his commanding officer, but for some reason he showed up over LaGuardia Airport and asked for a weather report. Because of the poor visibility the LaGuardia tower wanted to him to land, but Smith requested and received permission from the military to continue on to Newark. The last transmission from the LaGuardia tower to the plane was a foreboding warning: “From where I’m sitting, I can’t see the top of the Empire State Building.”
Confronted with dense fog, Smith dropped the bomber low to regain visibility, where he found himself in the middle of Manhattan, surrounded by skyscrapers. At first, the bomber was headed directly for the New York Central Building but at the last minute, Smith was able to bank west and miss it. Unfortunately, this put him in line for another skyscraper. Smith managed to miss several skyscrapers until he was headed for the Empire State Building. At the last minute, Smith tried to get the bomber to climb and twist away, but it was too late.
At 9:49 a.m., the ten-ton, B-25 bomber smashed into the north side of the Empire State Building. The majority of the plane hit the 79th floor, creating a hole in the building eighteen feet wide and twenty feet high. The plane’s high-octane fuel exploded, hurtling flames down the side of the building and inside through hallways and stairwells all the way down to the 75th floor.
World War II had caused many to shift to a six-day work week; thus there were many people at work in the Empire State Building that Saturday. The plane crashed into the offices of the War Relief Services of the National Catholic Welfare Conference. Catherine O’Connor described the crash:
The plane exploded within the building. There were five or six seconds – I was tottering on my feet trying to keep my balance – and three-quarters of the office was instantaneously consumed in this sheet of flame. One man was standing inside the flame. I could see him. It was a co-worker, Joe Fountain. His whole body was on fire. I kept calling to him, “Come on, Joe; come on, Joe.” He walked out of it.
Joe Fountain died several days later. Eleven of the office workers were burned to death, some still sitting at their desks, others while trying to run from the flames.
One of the engines and part of the landing gear hurtled across the 79th floor, through wall partitions and two fire walls, and out the south wall’s windows to fall onto a twelve-story building across 33rd Street. The other engine flew into an elevator shaft and landed on an elevator car. The car began to plummet, slowed somewhat by emergency safety devices. Miraculously, when help arrived at the remains of the elevator car in the basement, the two women inside the car were still alive.
Some debris from the crash fell to the streets below, sending pedestrians scurrying for cover, but most fell onto the buildings setbacks at the fifth floor. Still, a bulk of the wreckage remained stuck in the side of the building. After the flames were extinguished and the remains of the victims removed, the rest of the wreckage was removed through the building.
The plane crash killed 14 people (11 office workers and the three crewmen) plus injured 26 others. Though the integrity of the Empire State Building was not affected, the cost of the damage done by the crash was $1 million.
New York City also known as “the city that never sleeps” has so many places of interest that it is nearly impossible to name them all. Among the most famous of them is the observation deck on the Empire State Building.
This historical attraction is located at 350 Fifth Avenue right in the heart of NYC. Constructed in the early 1930″s on the site of the old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, this was the tallest building in the world for over forty years. The Observation Deck located on the 86th floor is 320 meters or 1050 feet above the busy streets of New York. The Observatory as it is called, is handicap accessible and is open 365 days a year.
Read more about the Empire State Building from New York Architecture Info
MORE NEW YORK STATE
Cooperstown is more than just baseball. There is a great golf course with a hotel. Explore Cooperstown and its beautiful Otsego Lake.
THE ADIRONDACK MOUNTAINS OF NEW YORK STATE
See the Railroads of the Adirondacks Too
In 1925, it was said that “The New York State Barge Canal is the greatest, most important waterway engineering work in all the world’s history, in the engineering difficulties encountered, in the population concerned, in volume of available trade, and in future possibilities, in which the Barge Canal promises to far surpass any waterway or land trade route now or ever in existence, not excepting the Panama or the Suez Canal.”
A great place to visit is Albany, New York. Albany is the capital of New York State. Just the State Capitol Building and the New York State Library & Museum alone offer a great tourist attraction. The State Capitol building was constructed between 1867 and 1899 and inspired by the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) in Paris, France. Notable architectural features include its “Million Dollar Staircase.” Founded in 1614, Albany is built on the site of the Dutch Fort Orange, and its surrounding community of Beverwyck. The English acquired the site from the Dutch in 1664 and renamed it Albany, in honor of the Duke of Albany. Albany is the fourth oldest continually-inhabited city and the second oldest chartered city in the United States. The Empire State Plaza was conceived by Governor Nelson Rockefeller and is now named in his honor. The Erastus Corning Tower stands 589 feet high, the tallest building in New York State outside New York City. The State University of New York campus is the second largest poured concrete structure in the world after The Pentagon. Now the administrative center of the State University of New York, the Delaware & Hudson Building has been beautifully restored. Few Railroads companies have built headquarters for themselves that could be taken for a state capitol, but that is exactly what some visitors to Albany assumed this building to be. The front façade of the Education Building completed in 1912 features a 36-column colonnade which remains one of the longest in the world and was designed in an effort to distinguish the Education Building from other New York State government buildings already existing on Capitol Hill. The columns are 90 feet in height and made of Vermont marble. The home pictured at left once belonged to the Corning family. Erastus Corning founded the New York Central Railroad in 1853. His great-grandson, Erastus Corning II, served as mayor of Albany from 1942 until 1983, the longest single mayoral term of any major city in the United States. While in Albany, try and catch Side Effects, a classical rock band. The band’s vast musical influences include genres of rhythm & blues, classical rock, country and jazz.
The Ten Eyck Hotel in Albany
As well as headquarters for the Republican State Party, it was the site of the New York Central Railroad Annual Meeting (except when Robert Young took control from the Vanderbilts when it was held in the giant New York State Armory).
Downtown State Street in Albany, New York, at night. The State Capitol is at the top of the hill.
He was the trademark of RCA and still survives. Lots of other landmarks are lost.
Left: Erastus Corning, founder of New York Central Railroad
Right: Erastus Corning 2, long-time mayor of Albany
Erastus Corning 2nd first took the oath of office as mayor of Albany on the afternoon of Dec. 31, 1941, just three weeks after the United States entered World War II, In a career spanning two generations, he would evolve from little more than a youthful figurehead for Albany’s Democratic bosses to what many considered to be the last of the old-time political bosses and the longest-tenured mayor in the nation. During those 41 years, Albany was Corning’s city. Corning was a man to be reckoned with throughout the Capital District, his influence reaching beyond Albany City Hall and into the city school district and the county and state governments. He was the last, and some say the smartest of the urban Democratic machine bosses, a politician who brought into the 1980s an organization that, while often investigated, was never proved to have been involved in major scandal.
Picture above is a bobsled race down the Madison Avenue hill in Albany in January, 1886 (or 1888?) is shown in Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly. (Photo courtesy New York State Library). The only winter Olympic sport where the U.S. can legitimately claim origin and Albany is where it started. Switzerland admits they got the idea from the picture in Leslie’s Weekly.Bobsledding was an outgrowth of the city’s bustling lumber district along the Hudson River in north Albany near today’s Erie Boulevard. It morphed into a Victorian-era spectacle that whipped crowds of onlookers into a frenzy with its potent mix of speed and danger. The sport took root at dozens of lumber yards and wholesale dealers and they moved their product in winter months with horse-drawn timber sleighs. Some fun-loving lumberjack figured out that the large and heavy sleighs, sans horses, were a lot faster and considerably more fun when gravity took over and they slid down snow-packed hills leading to the lumber district.Eventually, entrepreneurial sorts tweaked the sleighs by a “bob” or a cut to shorten them that rendered them into 40-foot-long sleds. The “bobsleds” looked like felled telephone poles and were essentially heavy planks of lumber with a set of runners. A second innovation came with metal steering wheels mounted fore and aft that turned the runners and steered the sleds.
THE CATSKILLS OF NEW YORK STATE
Genesee Street in Utica. 6-story building at left was built by the Utica Gas & Electric Company
Two photos of Genesee Street. Both from the trolley era.
Utica is in the heart of the Mohawk Valley and is the gateway to the Adirondacks.
Check out Penney Vanderbilt’s blog about Trenton Falls on the West Canada
HUDSON RIVER VALLEY
Take a photo ride along the Hudson River. You will see some great sights such as the Great Bridge at Poughkeepsie.
Lighthouse on Hudson River near Tarrytown
SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK