Trade in your item
Get a $2.00
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 5 images

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


Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$52.22

Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568983557
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568983554
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #650,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christopher Payne is an architect with Weiss Manfredi architects. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
8
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 9 customer reviews
This book was completely satisfying.
T. K. Lamond
The appeal of this book is its combination of history, personal interest, photography, as-built plans, and hand sketches done by the author.
James Mcauliffe
The book is interesting in a sort of disjointed way.
Kris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By James Mcauliffe on April 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
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.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
For a softcover book, I was very impressed with the high quality of the photographs, typography, and overall presentation. Of course, this is a product of Princeton Architectural Press, so I would expect nothing less! All their books are very well done (I own several of their other titles).
If you love NYC subway history or technology, industrial archeology, or images of electrical machinery from days gone by, this book if for you. Very unique!
There are small maps showing the locations of the substations of the various IRT, BMT, IND, and elevated lines, photos of the facades of these buildings, and photos of the machinery contained in some of them (including both the functioning and disused substations). The informative text gives a general explanation of a substation, the purpose of each machine, as well as historical information.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
New York's Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind The Subway is hard to easily categorize this title, but any with an interest in New York history and culture will find this a fascinating topic - and worthy of a visit. The author was introduced to the substations by an official of the NYC Transit Author's Power Department; he photographed and wrote the history of these buildings, and his photos and drawings embellish a little-known side of New York history. A large audience will find a fascinating account here.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Shipman on June 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on October 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
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.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0x9ad5f4d4)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?