11.21.2005

2nd Avenue subway line and predictions from the past

Cool article in today's New York Times.

There is a particularly interesting graphic comparing the number of people who held and currently hold various jobs in New York. Some aren't surprising--there were 624 blacksmiths in NYC in 1955 and there are 0 today. (Where there still horses in NYC in 1955? I mean, besides the touristy/Central Park ones? I assume there were, even though that seems kind of weird to me.)

Another interesting thing is that they predicted a 2nd Avenue subway line, which we are, of course, still waiting for. (In 1973, this was published in a brief history of the 2nd Avenue Subway Line by the Urban Mass Transportation Administration:
By 1942, the Second Avenue Elevated which was badly deteriorated and obsolete was demolished. This led to severe overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue Subway Line and the Third Avenue Elevated, and greatly increased the need for a new subway.
And it's still true today. I mean, the Lexington Avenue Subway Line is severely overcrowded.)

Has anyone written a dissertation on the history of the 2nd Avenue Subway Line? I feel like someone should. And anyone else interested in the history of the New York City subway system should take a look at this website with lots of old subway maps.

1 comment:

Adina's Dad said...

Yes, there were still horses in New York in 1955! Not too many of them, compared to cars, but you would definitely occasionally see an old man driving a horse-drawn wagon down First Avenue, which at that time was still paved with cobblestones, not asphalt. Sometime when I was in kindergarten (1954-55) I had a very scary nightmare that featured a living, disembodied horse's head, with a big mouth and big teeth, in the middle of our living room. This makes me think that, at that time, I did see horses on the street sometimes, but not often enough to be very used to them.