Subways & Metros of the WorldBook - 2016
These days, a subway is an integral part of a city's heritage and a key feature of the urban landscape used by passengers, but subways are also full of history and art. They reflect a city's personality and its past and future, and are worthy of exploration, even for those not boarding a train. It's safe to say that a great many subways have overcome their past reputation for unpleasant shadiness.
Subways revolutionized urban transport, moving people from crowded streets to efficient underground tunnels. This book has two parts: the first tells the stories of six major subways: London, Paris, Moscow, New York, Berlin, Tokyo. It describes their histories, the circumstances of their construction, and many anecdotes from what were invariably political, financial, engineering and architectural marathons. As well, deadly accidents, scarce funds and corruption set construction off the rails more often than not.
The second half of the book is a stunning photo gallery of some of the most surprising subway stations around the world. They include examples from the six systems covered historically plus stations whose architecture reflects the cities and the people that they serve.
Szent Gellért, Budapest -- One of the world's oldest subways, spiral patterns take riders on an intergalactic trip of misleading perspectives and concrete interlacing.
Puhung, Pyongyang, North Korea -- This dictator's showcase is one of only two stations, open but two hours a day, and apparently, a mandatory activity for tourists.
Beitucheng, Beijing -- Echoes of ancient blue and white porcelain are rendered contemporary, even in the subway maps.
Rådhuset, Stockholm -- Where Franciscan monks prayed in the 15th century, artist Sitgvard Olsson has created an organic cave, its rough walls lit in red like volcanic magma.
New York City -- The vaulted tile ceiling of New York's City Hall "ghost station" is unfortunately rarely seen.
Toledo, Naples -- Seen on this book's jacket, it is one of Europe's most magnificent stations..
Concorde Station, Paris -- Tiled walls form a word search puzzle of the Declaration of the Rights of Man.