nycsubway.org has an amazing trove of transit history, and I just got done reading “The Impact of the IRT on New York City” by Clifton Hood, on the effects of New York‘s first subway rapid transit line, first opened in 1904. There’s so much in it to recommend, but one of the interesting themes is the Progressive reaction to the real estate development that the line (he mostly deals with the IRT Broadway Line) sparked. Progressives were originally big supporters of the subway, on the grounds that it would encourage suburbanization and decentralization, putting people in their own homes, which they believed imbued better moral character than rented accommodations in tenements and large “apartment houses….
About Stephen Smith
I graduated Spring 2010 from Georgetown undergrad, with an entirely unrelated and highly regrettable major that might have made a little more sense if I actually wanted to become an international trade lawyer, but which alas seems good for little else.
I still do most of the tweeting for Market Urbanism
Stephen had previously written on urbanism at Forbes.com. Articles Profile; Reason Magazine, and Next City