Broadway Arcade Railway, 1884, New York Transit Museum, via Wikimedia Commons
Post-Civil War, pre-subway New York City had–surprise–a traffic problem. The number of horse cars and stages that clogged the streets was growing at an alarming rate. Among the proposed solutions was a railway that would be built beneath Broadway, branching out to the east and west at 23rd Street all the way up to the northern tip of Manhattan. The idea was gaining political support, but not everyone was onboard with the idea.