Grand Central Terminal in New York City owes its current incarnation to a fatal train crash in 1902, which was caused partially by human error and partially by design flaws in the New York Central Railroad system. The rebuilding of the terminal was a massive municipal project marshaling the talent and financial resources of leading architects, engineers, and artists. The result is an urban landmark akin to a palace as well as a transportation hub. Roberts, an urban-affairs correspondent for the New York Times, seems to have a love affair with the place, and he describes the building, evolution, and unique features of the terminal with an infectious passion. It is, as he notes, a major tourist attraction, the setting for key scenes in many motion pictures, and a center through which an estimated half a million people move each day. This well-done piece of urban history will appeal to both railroad enthusiasts and general readers. --Jay Freeman
About the Author
Sam Roberts is an urban affairs correspondent and Metro Matters columnist for The New York Times
, and, as such, has become something of the face and voice for the city at large. He is the author of numerous books, including The Brother: The Untold Story of the Rosenberg Case
. Sam is frequently heard on NPR.