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Conquering Gotham: a Gilded Age epic : the construction of Penn Station and its tunnels
by Jill Jonnes
Publisher: Viking 2007
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The epic story of the struggle to connect New York City to the rest of the nationThe demolition of Penn Station in 1963 destroyed not just a soaring neoclassical edifice, but also a building that commemorated one of the last century?s great engineering feats?the construction of railroad tunnels into New York City. Now, in this gripping narrative, Jill Jonnes tells this fascinating story?a high-stakes drama that pitted the money and will of the nation?s mightiest railroad against the corruption of Tammany Hall, the unruly forces of nature, and the machinations of labor agitators. In 1901, the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Alexander Cassatt, determined that it was technically feasible to build a system of tunnels connecting Manhattan to New Jersey and Long Island. Confronted by payoff-hungry politicians, brutal underground working conditions, and disastrous blowouts and explosions, it would take him nearly a decade to make Penn Station and its tunnels a reality.

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