By Kurt C. Schlichting
I consider the past stories that lay out the numerous strengths of this amazing ebook fairly ably. I process Grand imperative Terminal from the viewpoint of an novice historian attracted to the background of the recent York significant procedure of railroads. This ebook is sort of easily the easiest paintings i have come upon when it comes to outlining the interrelationships among the relevant approach of railroads, and the larger big apple urban zone. the writer got down to clarify why the station complicated used to be designed because it is, and found the one approach to do that (not strangely) used to be to strengthen an figuring out of the services the railroad that equipped it anticipated it to serve. i have never learn a "railroad-themed" historical past that covers its selected topic any larger than this e-book does.
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At the time of his death, many assumed Vanderbilt to be the richest man in the country, and intense speculation swirled through society about his will and the division of the fortune between his two living sons, William Henry and Cornelius Jeremiah. His remaining children, all daughters, in an age when women were still excluded from business, could not expect to inherit the Commodore’s railroad empire. Vanderbilt left almost his entire fortune to William. Inheriting over $90 million, including all of the Commodore’s railroad stock, William Henry found himself rich beyond imagination and in sole control of the New York Central Railroad, the centerpiece of the Vanderbilt empire, and of the Commodore’s magniﬁcent terminal on 42nd Street.
The west side of Manhattan had evolved as a more commercial than residential area and the Hudson’s tracks on the west side primarily served the growing volume of freight carried to the businesses and piers lining the Hudson River. Since the Hudson River Railroad’s tracks crossed the Harlem River onto the west side of Manhattan at Spuyten Duyvil, Vanderbilt needed a link from Spuyten Duyvil to the Harlem line at Mott Haven. In 1869, he incorporated the Spuyten Duyvil and Port Morris Railroad and constructed a rail line along the north bank of the Harlem River to Mott Haven, where the Port Morris tracks joined the Harlem’s.
Cornelius, the other surviving son, had proved a great disappointment to his father. A gambler and wastrel, he had been exiled to a farm outside of Hartford, Connecticut, where the Commodore hoped he would reform. When Cornelius continued to 41 The Commodore’s Grand Central drink and gamble, his father left him out of the major portion of the fortune, providing Cornelius with only the income from a trust fund of $200,000 administered by his brother. A bitter battle ensued over the will. Cornelius joined his sisters in a lawsuit to overturn the will; the Commodore had left each daughter just $250,000.
Grand Central Terminal: Railroads, Engineering, and Architecture in New York City by Kurt C. Schlichting