New York: 1937-1938.
87 silver print photographs, each captioned in the negative. Each measuring approx. 7 3/4 x 9 5/8 inches. Mounted on linen at a period date with two-ring punched linen guards at the left margin. Many stamped on verso "Official Photograph / President Borough of Queens" Fine Item #319579
This photographic archive documents the construction of a massive double-barrel sewer line running from the World's Fair grounds, largely in the vicinity of Grand Central Parkway and Roosevelt Avenue. Many of the images are dated in the negative depicting the surveying of the region in June 1937, to ground breaking in July, through completion of the lower barrel in September, and the work on the upper barrel through November of that year. Additional photographs depict a second sewer project on the grounds through March 1938, including images of the completed tunnel with a group of well-dressed gentleman standing inside.
"The magnitude of the work may be appreciated when it is realized that on a site previously considered useless except as a rubbish dump, a city has been constructed to supply a million people all the business and living facilities except shelter. Its construction, therefore, involved all braches of municipal enginineering, architectural construction, terminals for rapid transit and bus transportation, internal travel, bridge construction, landscape engineering, utility construction and management for light, power, and water supply and general sanitation" -- Henry Welles Durham, "Construction of the New York World's Fair" in The Military Engineer, Vol. XXXI (Sept.-Oct. 1939).
Construction and development of the site was undertaken by the Fair Corporation's own engineers and workers, but also by outside contractors, the latter which was evidently the case here as many of the images are identified by contract and project numbers. Chief Engineer and Director of Construction John P. Hogan likened the work on the site to “an expeditionary force of an army in the field.” In the end, the World's Fair grounds included some 50 miles of water and sewage lines, and would be the second most expensive fair of all time.
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