Posts Tagged ‘Port Authority’

The cost of entering a city tunnel in the 1960s

September 4, 2011

Last month, the Port Authority voted to hike tolls by more than 50 percent over the next five years.

No big deal if you don’t leave Manhattan—or don’t drive. But by 2015, it’ll run bridge and tunnelers up to $15 to cross over.

It’s hefty price compared to toll costs in the early 1960s, when this city street map was published.

The Holland Tunnel toll cost 50 cents. The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel a mere 35 cents.

Drivers in the early 1960s forked over about the same amount of coin to use the Lincoln Tunnel (50 cents) and the Queens Midtown Tunnel (25 cents).

Adjust the numbers for inflation, however, and those tolls shouldn’t be more than $3.70 today.

Manhattan’s obscure little streets

February 19, 2009

Much of Manhattan conforms to the grid laid out in the early 19th century, with streets and avenues following a mostly ordered number (and sometimes letter) system. 

But lots of tiny nooks and alleys with obscure names lurk among the numbers and letters—like Mount Carmel Place, two blocks spanning 26th and 28th Street between Second and First Avenues. The street name must come from a church that disappeared long ago.


Moylan Place isn’t much of a street; it’s just kind of a spot off 126th Street and Broadway. I’d guess it was a street at one time. According to a 1921 New York Times article, it was named after a soldier who died in World War I whose father, William Moylan, lived on the block for many years. 


Spanning 34th Street to 42nd Street, Dyer Avenue’s main purpose is to herd traffic into the Lincoln Tunnel. General George R. Dyer was the head of the Port Authority when the George Washington Bridge opened in 1931.


Before it was the Hotel Carter . . .

February 1, 2009

Before being crowned’s dirtiest hotel in America, before a corpse was found stuffed under a bed, before the wonderfully nonsensical sign “You Wanted in Times Square and Less” went up in the lobby, the seedy, one-star Hotel Carter was the Hotel Dixie.

And it must not have been too bad, since someone deemed it worthy of a postcard.


Whatever the name, the hotel has a slightly tawdry history. It opened in 1930, and almost immediately, the owners went bankrupt. It had its own bus terminal, which went out of business in the 1950s because it couldn’t compete with the Port Authority. 

Several decades and suicides later, in the 1980s, the city used it as a homeless shelter. By the late 80s, the homeless were mostly out—and unsuspecting tourists and visitors with very little cash became the main clientele.

EV Grieve has rounded up some cool Hotel Carter signs

A bird’s-eye view of Pennsylvania Station

January 17, 2009

Hard to believe the Pennsylvania Railroad got away with demolishing this 1910 McKim, Mead  and White beauty. (If they needed a big parcel of land, why didn’t they tear down the Port Authority Bus Terminal instead?)

But that’s what happened in 1963. Penn Station’s destruction subsequently ushered in an era of historic preservation.


View ore images of the old Penn Station—inside and outside— here.