When Port Authority bus terminal opened in 1950 it was considered “among the miracles of transport and the milestones of the century.” Though we’re pretty sure this sentiment is entirely lost today, it’s still interesting to see how shiny and new Port Authority was regarded as 65 years ago.
This video was a promotional newsreel for the terminal, and it notes that Port Authority wasn’t just built to keep buses off the busy Manhattan streets, but because “the states of New York and New Jersey also wanted to make life pleasanter for the traveler.”
The newsreel touts the terminal’s air conditioning in the summer, radiant heating on the ramps to melt ice and snow in the winter, 31 “high-speed moving stairways” (aka escalators), myriad of shops (which even included a grocery store and doctors’ offices), the rooftop parking lot, and the availability of bus tickets “to any city or town in the United States.” At the time, at least 40 million passengers went through Port Authority. Today, despite its unfavorable reputation, that number has grown to 65 million.
[Via Ephemeral New York]
Video courtesy of Historic Films
- VIDEO: What to Expect if You Were a Tourist Visiting NYC in the 1940s
- 1949 Film Shows Iconic NYC Sights in Amazing Technicolor
- VIDEO: Walk Through Manhattan in 1968, Across the Brooklyn Bridge up to Central Park
Tags : Port Authority Bus Terminal