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Grand Central

How a Train Station Transformed America

Sam Roberts & Pete Hamill

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

A rich, illustrated - and entertaining -- history of the iconic Grand Central Terminal, from one of New York City's favorite writers, just in time to celebrate the train station's 100th fabulous anniversary.

In the winter of 1913, Grand Central Station was officially opened and immediately became one of the most beautiful and recognizable Manhattan landmarks. In this celebration of the one hundred year old terminal, Sam Roberts of The New York Times looks back at Grand Central's conception, amazing history, and the far-reaching cultural effects of the station that continues to amaze tourists and shuttle busy commuters.

Along the way, Roberts will explore how the Manhattan transit hub truly foreshadowed the evolution of suburban expansion in the country, and fostered the nation's westward expansion and growth via the railroad.

Featuring quirky anecdotes and behind-the-scenes information, this book will allow readers to peek into the secret and unseen areas of Grand Central -- from the tunnels, to the command center, to the hidden passageways.

With stories about everything from the famous movies that have used Grand Central as a location to the celestial ceiling in the main lobby (including its stunning mistake) to the homeless denizens who reside in the building's catacombs, this is a fascinating and, exciting look at a true American institution.

Publishers Weekly Review

Feb 11, 2013 – Roberts delivers the story of one of the most famous transportation hubs in the world and how it shaped Midtown Manhattan into the bustling, thriving center of commerce and entertainment it is today. This is also a history of railroads in New York, from horse-pulled streetcars, to steam engines, to the electric trains brought to the city by Grand Central's chief engineer William Wilgus. Credited with being the first person to monetize "air rights", Wilgus conceived of Grand Central as a 12 story building with the terminal below and 2.3 million square feet above to be rented out to businesses. Roberts, the New York Times's Metro Matters columnist, covers the details of the construction of Grand Central as well as its massive renovation in the 1990's. He describes the massive changes in Midtown area after its initial construction, including the arrival of luxury hotels and office towers. "With Grand Central acting as an anchor," he writes, "Park Avenue was elevated into New York's most prestigious address." A wonderful volume for New York City history buffs or railroad aficionados, Roberts closes with discussions of some of the terminal's quirks and mysteries like the ubiquitous decorative acorns, the secret staircase, and various secret underground locations.

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Customer Reviews

Great story, lousy ebook

This is a terrific book, full of interesting stories and very well written. I enjoy history, railroads, and New York City, and this book has plenty of all three. Mr. Roberts is a good storyteller and has made this fun to read.

But what the heck kind of ebook is this? It's more like reading a PDF than what I've come to expect from iBooks, and I'm quite disappointed. You can't turn pages like other books; they seem to be formatted side by side, and presented as single pages. When you try to turn the page, it skips ahead then back, and sometimes takes a few tries. This is distracting, and takes my attention away from what I'm reading.

One of the reasons I prefer the iPad for reading is because my eyes are getting weak with age, and I can adjust the font size if I start to get fatigued. But the font size is absolutely fixed, making this impossible. This makes it hell for anybody with a disability. They should have made it clear. I read the preview before purchasing, and thought perhaps only the first part would be this way, because it had so many beautiful pictures.

I'll probably have to buy the print edition to finish this, since it is so difficult to read the small typeface. I'm very disappointed, since all my other experiences with Apple books have been so positive. I hope this is an anomaly.

Not iPhone Formatted

It is difficult to read in IPhone.

Just a Long Survey Article

First, this book enforces a layout that makes iPhone reading about impossible.

Second, his book doesn't spend enough time on the actual building - construction, design, architecture, and politics involved - and just skims the surface. The author assumes that the reader has a working knowledge of the NYC area, and the value of the information provided as a result is muted for those readers who do not.

I would return this book for a different on if I could. I have read a great book about the Panama Canal that would have been a great guide for this author to follow. Really deep and thorough and interesting presentation on the all aspects - mechanical, political, medical - that went into the construction. Wonderful.

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Grand Central
View In iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Transportation
  • Published: Jan 22, 2013
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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