When the New York City subway opened on October 27, 1904, it consisted of a single line that ran twenty-two miles from City Hall to 145th Street and Lenox Avenue—still the longest stretch ever built at one time. From that initial route through to the completion of the Independent Subway line (IND) in the 1940s, the subway grew to cover 722 miles—long enough to reach from New York to Chicago. Today, the system carries more than 1.6 billion passengers a year and for all of its challenges, it is among the greatest urban achievements of the 20th century.
Open House New York invites you to learn about the fascinating history of New York City’s subway system—and what that history can tell us about how we can remake its future—with Clifton Hood, author of 722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004).
This program is part of The Moving City: Transportation Infrastructures of New York, a year-long series of tours, conversations, and debates about the future of transportation and mobility in New York City. Major support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and matching gifts from our 2019 Spring Benefit Donation Challenge supporters.