"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Where & When: Game 9

Welcome back! Some of you may be enjoying a day off, so maybe you have a little time to play today’s game. For the initiate or curious, this is a detective game with the objective of determining where the picture was taken and when it was taken; sometimes with added bonuses if you know some history about the area where it was taken.  Most of the pictures are historic, some are closer to contemporary.

Take this picture for example:

Where & When Game 9

Some commuters have seen this structure and wondered what it was, some may have thought it was nothing of import.  But in reality, this building and a few similar to it are actually very important.  Do you know why?  Perhaps finding the answer to Where will explain.  If you know that answer, then you’ll probably know When another important structure that it compliments was built as well.  Bonus if you know the street associated with this picture.

As usual, do not click on the photo credit, but if you happen to come across it in your sleuthing then it’s open game.  Send your answers to cixposse at gmail dot com; feel free to discuss without revealing the answer.

A frosty mug from The Pop Shoppe if you come up with the answer first.  A can of Virgil’s for our honorary mentions who follow.  Have a good one, I’ll see you later this evening! [Photo credit: Hobo Matt]


1 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Oct 14, 2013 12:57 pm

A breath of fresh air.

2 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 14, 2013 1:23 pm

Your email didn't come through, if you sent it. I seem to be having recurring trouble with that.

3 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 14, 2013 2:21 pm

[1] Ha!

The upstater in 'exile' in Massachusetts knows this one, thanks to the Big Dig!

Just e-mailed you my guesses, Chyll. I have no clue on the when.

4 RIYank   ~  Oct 14, 2013 4:07 pm

Hm. I have a vague idea of what it is.

Oh, I have an idea for making my vague idea more precise. Interesting.

5 RIYank   ~  Oct 14, 2013 4:55 pm

Ah, I got it. I was... looking at it the wrong way, that's what confused me.

6 rbj   ~  Oct 14, 2013 5:17 pm

Dang, this is very tough. It's not the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal.

7 rbj   ~  Oct 14, 2013 5:42 pm

Finally got it. I can breathe again.

8 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 14, 2013 6:23 pm

Huh, I thought this would be easier than it turned out to be; not too many commuters here today (but it is a federal holiday, so...)

The answer is: Holland Tunnel Ventilation Building, one of four in both Manhattan and Jersey City; and of course the Holland Tunnel being the compliment to this structure having been opened in 1927. The picture I'm fairly certain was taken within the last few years; other pictures from the source seem fairly recent, but since there was no definitive date, I went for the date the Holland Tunnel opened.

The bonus answer is that the pier is now called the Spring Street Pier; the pier is and the building being close to Spring Street which was also a fairly busy roadway in its heyday in the Village.

For those who don't know, the Holland Tunnel was not named in reference to the original Dutch settlers of lower Manhattan (in which case it would make more sense to name the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel in their honor), but after the original chief engineer, Clifford Milburn Holland, who died four years after construction began on the tunnel. The tunnel was renamed in his honor. Clifford Holland was the lead or assistant engineer of several subway arterial tunnels in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.

What's significant about the ventilation system is that this was the first transversely ventilated system in existence, pioneered by the tunnel's designer Ole Singstad who succeeded Charles Holland during construction. Previous tunnels had been ventilated longitudinally (and if there are any engineers who understand this, please enlighten us!). Thomas Edison had predicted the conventional system would not work for the amount of traffic that the tunnel was estimated to handle, thus an adaption of the system that to this day still exists.

So today's winner is Shaun P for correctly identifying the building and the year the tunnel was built, with RIYank following with the answer and the bonus (Two cream sodas for that) and rbj winning a cream soda for identifying the building and getting the bonus correct. Enjoy your week, we'll play again Thursday!

9 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 14, 2013 6:27 pm

[1],[7] Ha-ha >;)

10 RIYank   ~  Oct 14, 2013 7:15 pm

Oh, yes, a longitudinal system just blows air the length of the tunnel. So it comes in one end, blows out the other end.
A transverse system blows it in and sucks it out at various points along the way.

I wonder if the Holland sends New Jersey air into Manhattan, or vice versa.

11 rbj   ~  Oct 14, 2013 7:30 pm

Chyll, thanks again for doing these. I'm at a conference Thursday.

12 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 14, 2013 8:20 pm

You're welcome, and if there are any breaks in the conversation, give the Banter a shout out!

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver