» » New York's Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway

New York's Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway ePub download

by Christopher Payne

  • Author: Christopher Payne
  • ISBN: 1568983557
  • ISBN13: 978-1568983554
  • ePub: 1331 kb | FB2: 1978 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Americas
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (November 22, 2002)
  • Pages: 112
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Votes: 266
  • Format: azw mbr rtf lit
New York's Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway ePub download

His first book, New York’s Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002), offered dramatic, rare views of the behemoth machines that are hidden behind modest facades in New York City.

All over New York City, hidden behind unassuming historic facades, sits the gigantic machinery of the power stations that once moved the subways

All over New York City, hidden behind unassuming historic facades, sits the gigantic machinery of the power stations that once moved the subways. Christopher Payne's New York's Forgotten Substations does not. The writing is crisp, bringing you into the subject matter and explaining the basics of subway power and the history of these substations. The photos capture the magnificence of the substations in they heyday, and the seeming pathos of their abandonment. This is black and white photography at its best.

New York's Forgotten Substations book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read

New York's Forgotten Substations book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking New York's Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

His first book, New York’s Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway, offered dramatic, rare views of the behemoth machines that are hidden behind modest facades in New York City. His second book, Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals, which includes an essay by the renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks, was the result of a seven-year survey of America’s vast and largely shuttered state mental institutions. Payne’s forthcoming book, North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City, explores an uninhabited island of ruins in the East River.

The Best of LensCulture. Watch Festival Videos.

Christopher Payne (photographer). Payne was the recipient of the 2010 Ken Book Award, and the 2015 Photolucida Critical Mass Top 5. .

New York's Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002), by Christopher Payne

New York's Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002), by Christopher Payne. All over New York City, hidden behind unassuming historic facades, once hummed the gigantic machinery of the power stations that once moved the subways. For over a century, the 125,000-pound converters and related equipment of the substations remained largely unchanged, but in 1999 the last manually operated substation was shut down and since then they have been systematically dismantled and sold as scrap.

Christopher Payne: New York's Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway. 2002, Princeton Architectural Press, ISBN 1568983557. Brian J. Cudahy: Rails Under the Mighty Hudson: The Story of the Hudson Tubes, the Pennsylvania Tunnels and Manhattan Transfer (Hudson Valley Heritage, 2). - June 2002, 112 . Fordham Univ Pr; ISBN 0823221903.

City Beneath Us, The: Building the New York Subway. NY Transit Museum/Vivian Heller. Hardcover, 224 pages W. W. Norton & Company October 30, 2004 ISBN: 0393057976. Old photos detail the earliest composite cars up through the IRT's final purchase of World's Fair Low-V cars. A section on Belmont's Mineola and some color photographs of IRT Low-Vs in service complete the book.

Christopher Payne is a photographer and practicing architect in New York City and the author of New York's Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway. 800) 405-1619 Books, US and Canada. 401) 658-4226 Books, South America and Asia. 800) 405-1619 Customer Service. 617)-253-5646 General Inquiries.

All over New York City, hidden behind unassuming historic facades, sits the gigantic machinery of the power stations that once moved the subways. For over a century, the 125,000-pound converters and related equipment of the substations remained largely unchanged, but in 1999 the last manually operated substation was shut down and since then they have been systematically dismantled and sold as scrap.

In 1997, author Christopher Payne was introduced to the substations by an official of the Metropolitan Transit Authority's Power Division. Since then, he has rushed to photograph, draw, and write the history of these amazing buildings and their machines before they are completely gone. With virtually unlimited access to the substations, he has developed an intimate bond with the buildings that most people know only in passing. His beautiful photographs and detailed drawings bring these lost treasures to life, while his illuminating text tells their fascinating story. Anyone interested in the art of industrial America or the New York subway will find this book a delight.

Nern
The book is interesting in a sort of disjointed way. If you like abandoned industrial settings the pictures are great too look at. Reading the narrative is tiresome because you just want to jump and look at the stunning pictures. The book also reviews the various styles of substations. About 2/3 of the way through the book conveys into a rather simple photo-album-style pictorial with few details on the subject matter, some of which is too interesting to know so little about.

I had to read it several times to fully understand the different substation styles and technologies because some of those chapters are spread out over more than two pages. It is easy to lose your place when trying to identify the systems in the narrative to the diagrams, schematics, and photographs. Often I was trying to find details in pictures written about in the narrative, only to find I was in the wrong chapter.

Other than these minor issues if you wanted to know how they converted AC to DC and how the subway works, even today, this is an important book for even a casual subway fan.
Longitude Temporary
Many photo history books suffer from an imbalance between the strength of the prose and the strength of the photographs. Christopher Payne's New York's Forgotten Substations does not. The writing is crisp, bringing you into the subject matter and explaining the basics of subway power and the history of these substations. The photos capture the magnificence of the substations in they heyday, and the seeming pathos of their abandonment. This is black and white photography at its best. Forgotten Substations is a feast for subway buffs, engineering geeks, and appreciators of industrial aesthetic alike.
Cerekelv
I purchased this for my dad who worked for Con Edison for 40 years and talk of city substations were frequent growing up. I cant believe they actually had a collection! Great photography and a must have for anyone fascinated with industrialism in the US or NYC history...
Ochach
I'm not an architecture student, or an art fan. I just happen to have an obsession with infrastructure. This book was completely satisfying. It's filled with gorgeous pictures of off-limits places. That alone would have been just a tease, but the author's extensive research pays off for the reader. He fills the book with history and technical details. Worth every penny and then some.
Marilace
Who would have thought that a collection of buildings containing basically the same thing would have produced such a fascinating book and who but Princeton would take a chance and publish it. It seems to fit right into their quirky line of Americana, which includes, for instance, a history of paint-by-numbers (ISBN 1568982828) a photo tour of the brothels of Nevada (ISBN 1568984189) or a collection of amateur QSL cards (156898281X).

Christopher Payne has done his best to record the contents of these buildings before they are gone forever. His efforts are perfect examples of what industrial archaeology photography should look like, well lit, straightforward and content rich images with fortunately no angled shots, no out-of-focus areas merging into darkness or meaningless close-ups. These photos really tell a story and being well printed (200dpi) on quality paper helps, too.

As well as the fifty-four main photos there are others taken by him and several historical ones in the essay describing the workings of the subway electrical supply (some of the technical drawings included in the essay could have been larger though) and like his photos Payne makes the world of rotary converters, transformers, bus boards and potheads come alive.

All in all a super little book and a good example of how a tiny part of industrial America can become fascinating with well-written words and elegant photography.
Timberahue
In the mid 1980's I worked at an architectural firm on West 27th street in manhattan. The next block south, off the Avenue of the Americas was a parking lot which allowed full view of the buildings facing south on West 26th street. One of these buildings was what I thought of as a power station for the city's subways. It's tall proportions, over scaled archway and cast iron elements always attracted my eye- it was a powerful but anonymous architecture. It had been abandoned and converted to a nightclub when I was able to see the interior, which was fantastic in a minimal way. The soaring height of the main space was spectacular and I remember the ceiling treatment being some simple wood panels set off the existing structure in a grid pattern. It was a treat to experience an adaptive reuse of a building that was no longer needed for its original purpose. At the time I wondered why it was abandoned. I couldn't understand how the subway system could function, on the next block, without the power implied by this building.
Christopher Payne's new book answers this question and reminded me of my experience so many years ago. This handsome volume, one of a series of studies published by Princeton Architectural Press ("Grain Elevators", "Wood Burners", "Bethlehem Steel"), is a fascinating look at a building type that developed from the site specific infrastructure within one city, the power supply for the New York City Subway system. The appeal of this book is its combination of history, personal interest, photography, as-built plans, and hand sketches done by the author. This is a fine example of what is called a typology study, a monograph whose subject is a particular building type or function. Typology studies can be dry affairs loaded with minutia that would appeal only to academic types. This series though, and "Substations" in particular, aims for a broader audience with an abundance of images, clear illustrative drawings, succinct background narrative, and affordable pricing. Although I think the publisher has targeted students with books like these, the general public would be entertained by them as well.
Generally speaking, the Subway system is a fascinating subject. Famous and infamous, it is the largest system in the world and the second oldest (after London). The star of many films, shows and books, it can elicit fear for people not familiar with it, an frustration for many who use it. Legendary for being filthy, noisy and covered with graffiti (for me in the late 70's), it is the most efficient way to get around New York today. Mr. Payne's study takes on an integral part of the system that is completely unknown to the general public.
Although the substations housed power supply for the "third rail" of the subway system, what has always intrigued me, as a former New Yorker and an architect, is the exterior appearance of these silent buildings. Although many of the stations were lavished upon with striking terra cotta and glazed tile ornament, these buildings are just as architecturally important and significant. Their appeal comes from their place within the urban fabric of the city, and how they project a benign presence of a vital infrastructure. Nestled within the city streetscapes, the substations generally were of a modest size and built with quality materials. Their proportions always seem just right. A dead giveaway to their presence was the large centrally located archway (or archways) surrounding the main entry to the building.
One could guess that the size of these archways was related to the equipment housed within, but I had no idea of the massiveness of the transformers. Mr. Payne's photographs of this equipment are beautiful. The square format, luminous black & white tones, and practical compositions make even the most derelict interior (of which there are many), look captivating. The appeal of this book is its combination of history, personal interest, photography, as-built plans, and hand sketches done by the author.
As urban archaeological artifacts, one only hopes that all these structures do not disappear as they are taken "off line". I would think the landmarking significance of these structures is high due to their integration into the streetscape, their symbolism of the transit system, the high quality of the construction, and the reusability of the structure. A book like this will shed light on this building type, perhaps as a group landmark
This is a welcome addition to the series of studies on some unusual building types. I have only minor complaints about this book. I would liked to see more of his hand drawings. These sketches provide a window into what he saw and why he needed to draw certain things. Architectural sketches can be interesting images in themselves. I also wish there was concise appendix list of all the substations with information on construction, location, present use. Mr. Payne makes mention that some substations were either "gutted" or "torn apart" soon after he visited them. Knowing if one of these was the building on West 26th Street would have completed a circle for me.
E-Books Related to New York's Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway: