Holland Tunnel Interview with Prof. Gillespie

Buick Entry to Holland Tunnel Interview Set Ventilation Tower Holland Tunnel


Rutgers Professor Interviewed

Be sure to watch for the upcoming PBS broadcast of "10 Modern Marvels" that will air on July 24 at 8:00 pm.  The producer, Geoffrey Baer, selected ten heroic works of American civil engineering to feature in this segment.  One of those ten was the first underwater vehicular tunnel, namely the Holland Tunnel, featuring Angus Gillespie as the on-air expert.

On Friday, August 11, 2017, a video team from Chicago came to New York City to interview Rutgers Professor Angus Kress Gillespie, author of “Crossing under the Hudson,” about the history of the Holland Tunnel. The team from WTTW, the PBS station in Chicago, was working on a series called “10 That Changed America,” with a close look at the Holland Tunnel, one of ten American engineering marvels.

The Holland Tunnel is a highway tunnel under the Hudson River between Manhattan in New York City and Jersey City, New Jersey. An important conduit within the New York metropolitan area, its two tubes carry eastbound and westbound traffic. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operate it.

The first part of the interview began at Pier 34 of the Hudson River Park on the west side of New York. Geoffrey Baer, an Emmy Award winning producer for WTTW, conducted the interview. Pier 34 provides access for authorized personnel to the large ventilation tower in the Hudson River on the New York side. The massive, seven-story, art deco tower faced with yellow cathedral brick made an ideal backdrop for the interview.

The interview focused on the ventilation system. The engineers designed a system to force fresh air from underneath the roadway and to remove expended air from the ceiling. The system thus avoided the lethal hazard of motorists breathing the carbon monoxide generated by motor vehicles.

The second part of the interview featured a vintage 1930s Buick that was driven on three roundtrips through the tunnel, with Geoffrey Baer and Professor Gillespie riding in the back seat of the vintage car, continuing the interview, while being filmed by the videographer riding in the front seat. Then there were two additional trips through the tunnel filmed out the side of an accompanying van with the doors open.

The forthcoming program focused on ten engineering marvels that changed America will air in 2018. It follows three earlier programs on the built environment. In an episode called “10 Homes that Changed America,” they explored American housing through the ages. In “10 Parks that Changed America,” they presented a history of landscape architecture in the United States. “10 Towns that Changed America” is the story of how Americans have planned their cities over time.

The Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation makes funding for the series possible, in part. Joan and Robert Clifford, The Walter E. Heller Foundation, and other generous supporters, also provide major funding.




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