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.