F.D.Roosevelt's car under the Waldorf-Astoria hotel

F.D.Roosevelt's car under the Waldorf-Astoria hotel

Postby Arseny » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:48 am

Do you know that Franklin D Roosevelt's railroad car still stays under the New York?
Do you know that Waldorf-Astoria hotel has some underground railway station and secret elevator?.. :wtf:

I've found some nice blog (in Russian) about New York and Grand Central railroad station:
http://samsebeskazal.livejournal.com/207473.html

So... This is New York Grand Central Terminal:

BTW it is 100-years old today! (or few days ago)

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It was built in 1903-1913, rebuilding old Grand Central Depot.

Grand Central Depot, 1880:

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Interim Grand Central Station, 1900:

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All tracks should be put underground.
Working on the deepening of the area, 1908:

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Park Avenue before the reconstruction. A lot of slums:

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The same place today: http://goo.gl/maps/yOWzG

All the rails were relocated under the ground, two levels down:

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Grand Central Terminal in 1913, just after the opening:

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Track plan of the Grand Central rails (underground!):

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(notice that the MetLife building skyscraper stands just over the rails of the Grand Central!)

There are approx. one hundred tracks! (including maintenance)

The same place, ground level view:

http://goo.gl/maps/T1XVx

1920 photo. Notice the railroad tracks (not covered yet) and the electric power plant (a building with the chimney). It was demolished in 1929.

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At that place the famous Waldorf-Astoria hotel was built in 1929-1931:

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It was the tallest and most luxurious hotel in the world:

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You can see that the hotel stays just over the railroad tracks:

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The hotel got the inheritance from the old power plant - a railroad platform and a track leading to it. It was track number 61.

So the owners of the hotel decided to start new service. Now VIPs could arrive in their personal railroad cars to the hotel's own, separate, railroad platform and go directly to their apartments by elevator. The baggage and even the automobile could be unloaded there too, and moved to the hotel by elevator also.
The first person who used this service was general John Pershing in 1938.

Adlai Stevenson, governor of Illinois (and Presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956) going to the Waldorf-Astoria hotel by elevator in 1953:

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The most famous user of this platform was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States. He travelled by train from his home (in the Hyde Park, NY) so he could enter and leave the hotel without the public realizing he couldn’t walk unassisted because of his illness. There was a special railroad car for the Roosevelt's armored automobile:

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Then he could travel somewhere in New York by car (automobile)

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Roosevelt died in 1945, and his car (the car for his automobile) stayed near the platform under the hotel. And stands there up till now.

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The platform is abandoned too, not in use for a long time:

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The Waldorf-Astoria hotel is not so luxurious for today

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And VIPs are travelling by some other transport today...

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But the car is still standing under the New York!

Some more info, in English:

http://gothamist.com/2011/11/07/photos.php#photo-1

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/20 ... secre.html

http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/abandoned/gct61.html

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-20010 ... r-secrets/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z2JpW0TU6B
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Re: F.D.Roosevelt's car under the Waldorf-Astoria hotel

Postby ConducTTor » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:09 pm

Very interesting Arseny. I'm amazed at everything that's under the buildings in NY. A project like that wouldn't have a chance today.
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Re: F.D.Roosevelt's car under the Waldorf-Astoria hotel

Postby Arseny » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:15 pm

Hmm, I think if you own a station yard in Manhattan, you have a chance to do the same thing. :lol:
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Re: F.D.Roosevelt's car under the Waldorf-Astoria hotel

Postby railtwister » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:25 pm

Hi Arseny,

The armored presidential pullman car, the "Ferdinand Magellan", along with the communications car, resides at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami, Florida. It has been kept in excellent condition and is still operational, but the armor plating makes it so heavy that moving it causes such an increase in fuel consumption that the railroads charge extra than if it were just a typical private railroad car. The car shown in the photos (which was used to transport FDR's armored automobile), looks to be in pretty rough condition, I wonder if it was underwater during Hurricane Sandy this past year? If it's restorable, it would be nice if it could be moved to be displayed with the Magellan.

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Re: F.D.Roosevelt's car under the Waldorf-Astoria hotel

Postby Arseny » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:52 am

Agreed, it would be excellent.

But I've searched a little about it and to say the truth I am not sure it is F.D.Roosevelt's car in fact... :(
http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 10#p535010
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Re: F.D.Roosevelt's car under the Waldorf-Astoria hotel

Postby CaTTwoman281 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:42 am

There was a recent article about that car in Trains Magazine.
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