Book Reviews


 

 

Grand Central Terminal: Railroads, Engineering, and Architecture in NYC

by Kurt C. Schlichting

Review by Richard Sheppard

 

Combining text, pictures, and diagrams to bring readers a close look at one of America's storied transportation edifices. As the title suggests, it's a comprehensive look at the Beaux-Arts wonder on E. 42nd Street from design to construction to recent end-of-the-20-century renovation. In addition to the technical accounts, there's the history of the original terminal from its humble origins as Cornelius Vanderbilt's New York Central's Manhattan terminal to it's 21st century iteration as the Long Island Rail Road's midtown endpoint. As one would expect in any book about the New York Central, tales of financing hijinks and Vanderbilt's battles with fellow railroad magnates Jay Gould and Jim Fisk bring the story of that tumultuous period of American transportation transformation to life. Rail fans especially will read or browse this book and come away more knowledgeable for the effort.