Historical Map: Plans for New York Subway Expansion, 1920

I found out about this awesome map from a tweet from Vanshnookenraggen (otherwise known as Andrew Lynch) just the other day.

Originally, I was just going to post the black and white map from the 1920 New York Times article that the original blog post references, but then I realised that the image on the blog linked to a super high resolution PDF of the map. As I found the map in the newspaper article a bit difficult to decipher (lots and lots of intersecting black lines!), I decided to colour it up in Photoshop myself, just to make everything a bit easier to see and understand.

Not everything is perfect: the source material looks like it’s been (understandably) scanned from an actual copy of the newspaper, so a lot of finer detail has been lost. It looks like some of the proposed lines are actually improvements of the existing track and really should be a thick red line superimposed on a thin black line (look closely, and you can see that some red dashed lines are joined together by a thinner line). However, especially in the tangled web of downtown Manhattan, I really couldn’t make things out, so all thicker lines are red.

The map itself details the almost outrageous plans for expansion that the New York Subway had way back in 1920 — everything you see in red was planned to be built in the next twenty-five years (by 1945!). Of course, not everything seen here has come to fruition, but you can’t accuse the planners of not thinking big!

Head on over to Flickr to look at the map in high resolution — and let me know what you think of my handiwork!

Prints for sale at Society6 or Zazzle.

(Source: Cameron Booth/Flickr via @vanshnook)

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  1. erikct1 reblogged this from transitmaps
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    #transportationdomination
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  14. jagneta reblogged this from transitmaps and added:
    Good lord. Lower Manhattan looks almost covered with tracks. Also, I’m surprised they went right up to the city limits....
  15. cityairmakesfree reblogged this from transitmaps
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  20. holysweetgoddamn reblogged this from transitmaps and added:
    this is absolutely insane