New York's Forgotten Substations:
The Power Behind the Subway
Princeton Architectural Press, 2002
112 pages, 8.5" x 8.5"
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.
In 1997, I was introduced to the substations by an official of the Metropolitan Transit Authority's Power Division. For five years, I rushed to photograph, draw, and write the history of these amazing buildings and their machines before they were completely gone. With virtually unlimited access to the substations, I developed an intimate bond with the buildings that most people know only in passing.