“TWO POCKET-BOOK THIEVES HELD” – May 25, 1882

From the New York Times, May 25, 1882:

A WARNING TO LADIES WHO CARRY THEIR PURSES EXPOSED IN THE STREETS.

Mrs. Mary McDonald, of No. 454 West Thirty-fourth-street, was passing along Thirtieth-street, near Fourth-avenue, shortly after 6 o’clock on Tuesday evening, when she was suddenly seized by a young ruffian, who tried to wrench her purse from her hand.

The intersection of 30th Street and 4th Avenue (now Park Avenue South) as it appeared in 1906, not long after Mrs. McDonald was mugged there. Photo from the NYPL Digital Archives. Click to view original.

The intersection of 30th Street and 4th Avenue (now Park Avenue South) as it appeared in 1906, not long after Mrs. McDonald was mugged there. Photo from the NYPL Digital Archives. Click to view original.

Mrs. McDonald resisted, and in the struggle the purse fell to the ground. The thief stooped to pick it up, and Mrs. McDonald seized him by the throat. He succeeded in breaking away from her, and ran along the street into a stable at No. 8 East Thirty-first-street. At this juncture, Detective Dunlop, of the Twenty-ninth Precinct, appeared upon the scene and entered the stable in pursuit of the thief. He caught sight of the end of a pocket-book sticking up from among the straw of one of the stalls. Stepping in the take possession of it he trod upon the form of the fugitive, who was concealed beneath the straw.

31st Street, between Madison and 5th Avenues, as it appeared in 1919. The stable into which Detective Dunlop chased the thief after he mugged Mrs. McDonald. Photo from the NYPL Digital Archive. Click to view the original.

31st Street, between Madison and 5th Avenues, as it appeared in 1919. The stable into which Detective Dunlop chased the thief after he mugged Mrs. McDonald was located on this block, at Number 8 East 31st Street. Photo from the NYPL Digital Archive. Click to view the original.

The detective took him to the station-house, where he gave the name of Henry Walters, aged 18, of No. 450 West Forty-first-street. Three five-dollar bills were found concealed in the lining of his hat. He was arraigned in the Jefferson Market Police Court and held for trial.

Jefferson Market Courthouse, shown here shortly after its completion in 1877. Photo from the NYPL Digital Archive. Click to view the original.

Jefferson Market Courthouse, shown here shortly after its completion in 1877. Photo from the NYPL Digital Archive. Click to view the original.

Miss Amy Townsend, of No. 9 West Twenty-ninth-street, was attacked on Friday evening last in East Twentieth-street, near Fifth-avenue, in the same manner as was Mrs. McDonald. Her pocket-book was stolen. Believing Walters to be responsible for this offense also, Detective Schmittberger, of the Twenty-ninth Precinct, caused him to be confronted with Miss Townsend. Although she declined to state positively that he was her assailant.

 

Police Detective Max Schmittberger, pictured here in 1910. Schmittberger, mentioned in this article, would go on to testify in a scandalous police corruption case in the 1890s. Photo from the Library of Congress. Click to view the original.

Police Detective Max Schmittberger, pictured here in 1910. Schmittberger, mentioned in this article, would go on to testify in a scandalous police corruption case in the 1890s. Photo from the Library of Congress. Click to view the original.

 

Mrs. Abbie Van Voorhis, who resides at Audubon Park, Western Boulevard and One Hundred and Fifty-fifth-street, was passing along West Thirty-second-street, near Sixth-avenue, shortly before 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon, when her pocket-book, containing $23.47, was snatched from her by John Wilson, of No. 216 West Twenty-seventh-street. A man who witnessed the proceeding followed the thief and gave him in charge of Officer Hulse, of the Twenty-ninth Precinct. At the station-house the pocket-book was found on the prisoner’s person. He was arraigned in the Jefferson Market Police Court and held for trial in $1,000 bail.

The intersection of 6th Avenue and 32nd Street, where Mrs. Van Voorhis was mugged by John Wilson. Photo from the NYPL Digital Archive. Click to view the original.

The intersection of 6th Avenue and 32nd Street, where Mrs. Van Voorhis was mugged by John Wilson. Photo from the NYPL Digital Archive. Click to view the original.

To view a scanned copy of the original article, please visit the New York Times’ archive HERE. Link will open a new window.

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Emma Kane: A Sad End in a Queens Theater

Often, when I get struck by an idea for a blog post, the digging required to find details about my subject ends up unearthing little nuggets of history that I never expected to find. And more likely than not, it’s those little mysterious tidbits that stick with me long after I’ve posted my main subject and moved on. What could I do with these stories, honestly? I could try to incorporate them into larger blog posts, and I’ve done just that on numerous occasions. But I fear the loss of importance the mini-story might suffer were I to shuffle it in amongst a thousand-word-long essay.

So I’ve decided to try to pay better attention to these little, forgotten, difficult-to-flesh-out tales. I don’t want to be the only person to be impacted by their mystery, and who knows who might find them more important somewhere down the line. My sincerest hope is that someone with more knowledge of the subject might stumble upon my page and either help fill in some of the blanks or at the very least feel comforted or thrilled by the discovery of some little story about a relative or a building or a time and place in the history of this great city.

The inspiration for today’s ramble came while I was trying to unearth information about the five spectacular “Loew’s Wonder Theaters,” which were opened in 1929 and 1930: the 175th Street Theater in Manhattan, the Kings in Brooklyn, the Paradise in the Bronx, the Jersey in Jersey City, and the Valencia in Jamaica, Queens.

The interior of the Loew's Valencia as it appeared shortly after opening in 1929. (Photo uploaded to Cinema Treasures by user CharmaineZoe - click photo to visit the page)

The interior of the Loew’s Valencia as it appeared shortly after opening in 1929. (Photo uploaded to Cinema Treasures by user CharmaineZoe – click photo to visit the page)

The Valencia opened first, pulling its curtains for the first time on January 12, 1929. With more than 3,500 seats arrayed beneath a twinkling blue-sky ceiling and surrounded by such gilded opulence as the city of New York had never before seen, the Valencia was a cinematic landmark.

But as I searched for interesting facts and stories about the Valencia, I came across two paragraphs from 1943 about 70-year-old Emma Kane. Mrs. Kane, according to the article, had lost her husband two years prior and lived with her son Charles in Bellaire, Queens.

The home on 203rd Street in Bellaire, Queens, where Emma lived with her son Charles.

The home on 203rd Street in Bellaire, Queens, where Emma lived with her son Charles. (Screen grabbed from Google Maps)

Despondent since her spouse’s death, accoding to the article, Mrs. Kane went to the Valencia Theatre on April 2, 1943. Details are sparse regarding what happened next, but some time around 5:00PM, two girls entered the lounge to find Mrs. Kane slumped on the floor with a pistol next to her. She had taken her own life.

New York Times, April 3 1943

New York Times, April 3 1943

I can find no record of an Emma Kane on any other websites. No record of her death or burial, no photos, no other mention of her at all. 70 years of life for a daughter, wife, and mother, all ended in the downstairs lounge of a movie house, and summed up by the New York Times: “WOMAN, 70, A SUICIDE.”

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Snapshot: 1942 Demolition of the 2nd Avenue Elevated

A photo taken August 24, 1942 showing the demolition of the 34th Street Station of the IRT 2nd Avenue Elevated Train.

A photo taken August 24, 1942 showing the demolition of the 34th Street Station of the IRT 2nd Avenue Elevated Train. (Photo from NYPL Digital Gallery)

Originally constructed from 1878-1880, and expanded through the early 20th century to eventually serve east Manhattan from South Ferry all the way to 125th Street, the Second Avenue Elevated Line was ultimately demolished during the summer of 1942. Once one of four major elevated lines (the other three running up 3rd Avenue, 6th Avenue, and 9th/8th Avenues), the 2nd Avenue El had come to be seen as an antiquated eyesore, filling the neighborhood with unwanted noise, and blocking sunlight from reaching the street. The plan was to replace the city’s elevated lines with newer, more modern, and more aesthetically pleasing subway lines, much like what was done on 6th Avenue in the 1930s (it was replaced by what are now the B/D/F/M lines in lower Manhattan). But the long-promised 2nd Avenue Subway line has suffered from decades of false-starts and financial woes, only recently reaching a point of construction where it seems likely to be completed this century.

I can’t help but to wonder how many people in the above photograph could have imagined that the destruction of their station in 1942 would mark the end of train travel on the far east side for more than 70 years. The 34th Street Station allowed passengers to transfer to an east-west spur which could carry them to the East River Ferry Terminal. You can see those tracks stretching left and right from the under-demolition station house above. As someone who has hoofed it crosstown to catch a boat one too many times, I can attest to the fact that this service continues to be missed to this day.

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Death in Apartment 2G: Catherine Phelan and a Hammer made Headlines in the Heights in 1933

For twenty-eight years, Catherine Phelan served the Sheridan household. Catherine, at 52 in 1933, had spent more than half her life in their employ. When Mrs. Sheridan passed away in 1924, Catherine was elevated to the role of live-in maid to the widower Mr. Douglas Sheridan, a 68-year-old stock broker who by all accounts enjoyed a privileged lifestyle. For nine years, Catherine and Mr. Sheridan lived together in his 2-bedroom apartment at The Grinnell, a luxurious apartment block on Riverside Drive at 157th Street in Washington Heights.

Catherine Phelan ca 1934

Catherine Phelan ca 1934

All signs pointed to theirs being a rather quiet and happy life. Such was his esteem for Ms Phelan, that Mr. Sheridan included her in his will, drafted in 1930, to the tune of $8,000 plus all of the furnishings in the apartment. Yes, all seemed quite well in apartment 2G.

Until the evening of Saturday, December 30, 1933.

Around 2:30 that afternoon, according to court records, Mr. Sheridan was at his office on lower Broadway celebrating the impending New Year by drinking and generally making merry with some of his colleagues, including Miss Isabelle Cullen, along with two men by the names of Young and Eckes. Sometime after 5:00, the foursome plus another unnamed young lady left the office and made their way to the Thames Club, a speakeasy nearby, where the reverie continued.

The Grinnell at 800 Riverside Drive in Washington Heights, pictured here shortly after its construction in 1911. Douglas Sheridan shared an apartment with his live-in maid Catherine Phelan here until 1933.

The Grinnell at 800 Riverside Drive in Washington Heights, pictured here shortly after its construction in 1911. Douglas Sheridan shared an apartment with his live-in maid Catherine Phelan here until 1933.

By 7:00, Eckes and the unnamed lady departed for their respective homes, leaving Sheridan, Young, and Miss Cullen to ride uptown to Sheridan’s Riverside Drive apartment. They arrived around 8:00 and found the maid, Catherine, setting out a dinner for two, as she had expected Miss Cullen for dinner. Little love was lost between Catherine and Isabelle, particularly when the latter brought Mr. Sheridan home as drunk as he was this particular evening.

The 157th Street Subway Station entrance as it would have appeared in on the night that Mr. Sheridan and his friends rode up to his home. Behind the stairs on the left, you can see Liggett Drug Store, where Catherine would later claim to have gone on the night in question.

The 157th Street Subway Station entrance as it would have appeared in on the night that Mr. Sheridan and his friends rode up to his home. Behind the stairs on the left, you can see Liggett Drug Store, where Catherine would later claim to have gone on the night in question.

Catherine, wearing a dark blue dress, stood in the doorway between the living and dining rooms as Mr. Sheridan went to his bedroom and returned with a bottle of Canadian Club whiskey and proceeded to pour three glasses. When Mr. Young left to get a glass of water from the kitchen, Catherine upbraided Miss Cullen, demanding, “What do you mean bringing Mr. Sheridan home in that condition?” She then struck Miss Cullen across the face. In doing so, her arm knocked a large birdcage from its stand, sending it crashing to the floor, whereupon the bird it held escaped and flew about the room.

A drunk Sheridan raised his hand toward Catherine, asking, “What do you mean, Katy, by acting that way toward Miss Cullen?” as Isabelle defended herself to Catherine, insisting that Sheridan had been drinking long before she met up with him. Hearing the commotion, Young returned from the kitchen to find Miss Cullen crying. Upon learning what had transpired, he suggested to Isabelle that she not stay for dinner and instead leave with him.

The floorplan of the Grinnell, here cropped to show units G (Sheridan) and J (Herrick). G is on the left in grey. J is the larger one on the right in white.

The floorplan of the Grinnell, here cropped to show units G (Sheridan) and J (Herrick). G is on the left in grey. J is the larger one on the right in white.

Catherine chased down the escaped bird before going to call on their neighbor, Mrs. Herrick, in apartment 2J to ask her to look after the bird while they straightened things out. Afterward, around 9:00, Young and Miss Cullen prepared to leave Sheridan, with the latter bidding him “See you tomorrow,” as they planned to spend New Year’s Eve together. Catherine stood in the doorway as the two guests waited for the elevator and departed. Young hailed a cab and escorted Miss Cullen to her friend Miss Herrin’s apartment at 602 West 165th Street.

Concerned for Mr. Sheridan, Miss Cullen instructed her friend to attempt calling his home, fearing that if Catherine answered, she would hang up on Miss Cullen. They called at 10:05 and received no answer. They tried his number again at 10:15, this time with a woman answering, presumably Catherine: “Just a minute; he went out; let me see if I can get him.” The line went silent, and after about three minutes of waiting Miss Herrin hung up.

Sometime after 11:00, Mrs. Herrick in apartment 2J, adjacent to Sheridan and Catherine’s, heard the bell ring on her service entrance door. Opening it warily, Mrs. Herrick discovered Mr. Sheridan lying on the floor of the hallway outside his apartment door, on his back, clutching his head and moaning. Frightened, Mrs. Herrick closed the service entrance and ran around her hallway to the main entrance, which was closer to the elevator, where she intended to call on the operator to fetch the police. At some point during her run from one door to the other, Mr. Sheridan disappeared from the hallway.

The Grinnell advertised in a catalog, ca 1910

The Grinnell advertised in a catalog, ca 1910

Roughly 10 or 15 minutes later, Mrs. Herrick reported hearing Mr. Sheridan’s pet poodle begin barking and howling, intermingling with the sound of Sheridan’s phone ringing. Miss Cullen and her friend up on 165th Street were trying yet again to get through to his phone. The same woman’s voice answered (presumably Catherine again), telling the girls that Mr. Sheridan was out. Miss Herrin left her number with the woman, insisting that it was “very important” that Mr. Sheridan call her back. “What do you mean, important?” the woman snapped before hanging up the phone.

Sheridan’s poodle continued to bark until nearly midnight. At roughly 12:45, Catherine appeared at the Herricks’ door, proclaiming “that ‘they’ had murdered him.” Mr. Herrick followed Catherine into apartment 2G, where she showed him Mr. Sheridan’s bloodied body lying in the bathtub, still in his pajamas. His head, neck, and chest were covered with lacerations, and parts of his skull had been smashed in. Horrified, and not wanting to get involved, Mr. Herrick refused to call the police, and instead told the elevator operator to call for an officer; that there had been an accident. The operator passed the message along to the building’s night watchman, who ran around the block looking for someone. Unsuccessful, and unaware of the gravity of what had happened, the watchman dropped the subject and returned to his post.

Finally, at 1:31, Catherine phoned the police, stating that there had been “some trouble” in her apartment. By 1:40, officers Costello and Larkin appeared at apartment 2G. “I’m glad you are here. I’ve been waiting for you,” she told the officers. She was no longer wearing the blue dress she’d been in earlier in the evening, instead donning a white dress festooned with black flowers. She led them into the bathroom, where they found Mr. Sheridan’s body, still in the tub, but now fully nude except for a small towel which had been placed over his private parts. Upon realizing that a murder had been committed, Costello and Larkin notified the homicide unit, which sent officers over straight away.

Around 1:45, another officer by the name of Schweitzer was on his way to The Grinnell to help with the investigation. As he approached the massive, triangular building along 157th Street, he discovered lying on the sidewalk a large hammer. It was directly beneath the dining room window of apartment 2G. And it was covered with blood.

New York Times, January 1, 1934

New York Times, January 1, 1934

Schweitzer brought the hammer into the apartment and showed the other officers present. Officer Ryan, one of the homicide specialists, lifted the dining room window open, revealing a bundle of blood-soaked clothing hidden on the windowsill. The bundle included the blue dress that Catherine had earlier been wearing along with the yellow pajamas that Mr. Sheridan had been dressed in when Mr. Herrick from apartment 2J came over to investigate.

Dr. Gonzales, the medical examiner, arrived at about 2:30 in the morning. He estimated that Sheridan had been dead only a few hours, and that his body had been very recently cleaned. Large sections of his shoulders and back bore scald marks from overly-hot water being used to rinse him down. Sheridan had sustained some 27 lacerations, including several which had pierced his skull and hit his brain. The wounds matched up with the pronged end of the hammer from the sidewalk.

At 4:00, a female officer was fetched to strip-search Catherine. Her corsette and brassiere were speckled with blood, and flecks of blood dotted the lenses of her glasses. She denied knowing how the blood got on her glasses, and insisted that the blood on her underclothes resulted from her trying to revive Mr. Sheridan when she discovered his body in the tub as she prepared to bathe. On her finger, Catherine wore a substantial and expensive-looking ring, which Mr. Sheridan usually wore on his little finger. She claimed to have found it on the bathroom floor and put it on for safekeeping.

The Costello Theatre at 23 Fort Washington Avenue, where Catherine claimed to have been at the time of the murder. It is today a rather unfortunate-looking church.

The Costello Theatre at 23 Fort Washington Avenue, where Catherine claimed to have been at the time of the murder. It is today a rather unfortunate-looking church.

Catherine was interrogated for hours, deep into the morning. She refused to admit any wrongdoing, or even any knowledge of what had happened to Mr. Sheridan. She claimed to have left the apartment after her confrontation with Miss Cullen and to have walked to the Costello Theatre, on Fort Washington Avenue at 159th Street, where she stayed until past midnight. When asked what film she saw, she claimed to not remember. When reminded that theatres don’t stay open that late, she claimed to have left it after only a few minutes to wander around the block, before blurting out “I didn’t go to any picture!” She purported to have stopped at the Liggett Drug Store at 157th and Broadway before walking back to the Grinnell. Upon seeing that Mr. Sheridan’s lights were still on, she paced the block, not wanting to see Miss Cullen.

No witnesses came forward to claim to have seen Catherine out walking. Nor did anyone see her at the Costello Theatre. Nor did anyone see her going into Liggett Drug Store.

When asked point-blank if she had killed Mr. Sheridan, Catherine snapped, “How dare you ask me that question? You ask me that again, I will report you to the police commissioner!” When asked again, she retorted smugly, “Find out.”

New York Times, January 11, 1934

New York Times, January 11, 1934

Catherine was jailed without bail while awaiting trial. For the next 11 months, she maintained her alibi, but it was of little use. On November 22, 1934, her verdict was handed down: guilty of murder in the second degree.

On December 17th, her sentence was announced to be 20 years to life in prison. “Thanks for the Christmas present,” she snidely replied to the judge. When a police officer grabbed her arm to lead her away, she wrenched it free, snarling, “You don’t have to hold me!

New York Daily News, December 18, 1934

New York Daily News, December 18, 1934

And with that, Catherine seems to have disappeared into the obscurity of the ages. Not a single article seems to exist documenting her later years, where she ended up in prison, if she was ever released, or when she died. The Grinnell still stands proudly at 800 Riverside Drive. I actually walk by it on my way to the subway every day. Apartment 2G, according to a Google search, was rented out for $2,500/month a couple of years ago. By the looks of the floor plan, it appears that the living room where Catherine slapped Miss Cullen has been closed off and turned into a third bedroom. The dining room where Catherine laid out a dinner table for two is now the living room. Otherwise, little has changed.

I can’t help but wonder if its current residents know what horrors befell apartment 2G on that cold December night in 1933.

The floorplan of apartment 2G as it appears today. Sheridan's bedroom is on the left, with the bathroom where he died separating it from Catherine's room.

The floorplan of apartment 2G as it appears today. Sheridan’s bedroom is on the left, with the bathroom where he died separating it from Catherine’s room.

Update 12/2/2013: Most of the details regarding Catherine’s case were pulled from an appeal of her sentence filed in 1936 and available through Google Books here (link will open a new window). It makes for very interesting reading!

***If anyone has any more information about what happened to Catherine after her sentencing, I’d love to hear about it! Thanks for reading***

 

 

 

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Building the NYC Subway: Construction Photos from 1901-04

The first subway line to stretch across Manhattan started at City Hall and crawled uptown to Grand Central via what is now the 4/5/6 line. At Grand Central, all trains turned west and followed what is now the Shuttle to Times Square where they then turned north to follow Broadway up to 145th Street. It opened on October 27, 1904, connecting the island’s neighborhoods in a way that no trolley or carriages had previously been able to do. These new underground trains were impervious to weather or auto traffic mishaps. They were multiple times faster than traditional wheeled travel, and they allowed or the rapid development of the city’s more far-flung neighborhoods such as Manhattanville and Harlem. This facilitated the emptying and decongestion of lower Manhattan’s intensely crowded slums.

A map and elevation diagram for the city's original subway line, circa 1904. Its original stretch, from City Hall to 145th Street, opened in 1904, with more stations opening in subsequent years as construction pressed on.

A map and elevation diagram for the city’s original subway line, circa 1904. Its original stretch, from City Hall to 145th Street, opened in 1904, with more stations opening in subsequent years as construction pressed on.

Unlike the high-tech tunnel-boring techniques currently being employed by the MTA to construct the new 2nd Avenue Line on the Upper East Side, the engineers of turn-of-the-century New York constructed the original subway line using a cut-and-cover method: dig a pit in the street, lay tracks, platforms, walls, and a ceiling, then pave back over it. The process was incredibly destructive and disruptive. Wooden planks were laid over the pits so traffic could continue to flow during the construction, which lasted from 1900-04 and beyond. Water, gas, and electric infrastructure beneath the streets needed to be uncovered, raised, and reburied alongside the new subway tunnels, all without disrupting their use. The project was among the largest transit undertakings in America up to that time. And with few exceptions, the entire line remains in use to this day, more than a century later.

Looking north along 4th Avenue during the construction of the subway's 33rd Street Station (today's 6 Train stop). The wall on the right is that of the 71st Regiment Armory, which would burn down in 1902 and be rebuilt in 1904. It was completely razed in the 1970s and replaced by an office tower. On the left, in the distance, is the 1867 Church of the Messiah on 34th Street. It was demolished in 1930.

Looking north along 4th Avenue during the construction of the subway’s 33rd Street Station (today’s 6 Train stop). The wall on the right is that of the 71st Regiment Armory, which would burn down in 1902 and be rebuilt in 1904. It was completely razed in the 1970s and replaced by an office tower. On the left, in the distance, is the 1867 Church of the Messiah on 34th Street. It was demolished in 1930.

Looking east along 42nd Street where he subway line cut between Grand Central and Times Square. At left stands West Presbyterian Church, constructed 1860-65. At the height of the guilded age, it counted many of the city's wealthiest citizens among its congregants, earning it the nickname "The Millionaire's Gateway to Heaven." The church was sold in 1911 and demolished to make way for the 16-story Aeolian Building, which remains there today. Bryant Park is on the right side of this photo.

Looking east along 42nd Street where he subway line cut between Grand Central and Times Square. At left stands West Presbyterian Church, constructed 1860-65. At the height of the guilded age, it counted many of the city’s wealthiest citizens among its congregants, earning it the nickname “The Millionaire’s Gateway to Heaven.” The church was sold in 1911 and demolished to make way for the 16-story Aeolian Building, which remains there today. Bryant Park is on the right side of this photo.

Looking north on Broadway at roughly 58th Street. The 1892 statue of Christopher Columbus can be seen in the distance. Tunneling beneath the 80-foot monument proved particularly challenging. In this photo can be seen the tangle of pipes with which engineers had to contend when digging to build the subway. Perhaps you can better imagine and appreciate how difficult the construction of the 2nd Avenue Subway must be for today's engineers.

Looking north on Broadway at roughly 58th Street. The 1892 statue of Christopher Columbus can be seen in the distance. Tunneling beneath the 80-foot monument proved particularly challenging. In this photo can be seen the tangle of pipes with which engineers had to contend when digging to build the subway. Perhaps you can better imagine and appreciate how difficult the construction of the 2nd Avenue Subway must be for today’s engineers.

Digging beneath the statue of Columbus in Columbus Circle.

Digging beneath the statue of Columbus in Columbus Circle.

Steel beams being inserted into the pit at 89th Street and Broadway.

Steel beams being inserted into the pit at 89th Street and Broadway.

A cable car designed to remove dirt from the subway pit is pictured here at roughly 116th Street. Columbia University's Low Memorial Library can be seen here int he background. It was then only 6 years old, having been constructed in 1895 along with the rest of Columbia's Morningside Heights campus.

A cable car designed to remove dirt from the subway pit is pictured here at roughly 116th Street. Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library can be seen here int he background. It was then only 6 years old, having been constructed in 1895 along with the rest of Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus.

At Manhattan Valley in Harlem, the land drops off dramatically, forcing the subway to temporarily become an elevated train. Here, construction of the Viaduct is shown.

At Manhattan Valley in Harlem, the land drops off dramatically, forcing the subway to temporarily become an elevated train. Here, construction of the Viaduct is shown.

Workers are pictured here standing in the tunnel at 135th Street and Broadway.

Workers are pictured here standing in the tunnel at 135th Street and Broadway.

Subway construction at 142nd Street and Broadway. The area was obviously still quite rural in 1901, but the opening of the new transit system would lead to its rapid development in the coming decades.

Subway construction at 142nd Street and Broadway. The area was obviously still quite rural in 1901, but the opening of the new transit system would lead to its rapid development in the coming decades.

 

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