BPL Central Library – Rabb Hall
Dec 20, 2023
Join us on Wednesday, December 20 at 6:00 pm ET with Jake Berman for a talk on his new book, The Lost Subways of North America: A Cartographic Guide to the Past, Present, and What Might Have Been.
The Lost Subways of North America offers a new way to consider this eternal question, with a strikingly visual—and fun—journey through past, present, and unbuilt urban transit. Using meticulous archival research, cartographer and artist Jake Berman has successfully plotted maps of old train networks covering twenty-three North American metropolises, ranging from New York City’s Civil War–era plan for a steam-powered subway under Fifth Avenue to the ultramodern automated Vancouver SkyTrain and the thousand-mile electric railway system of pre–World War II Los Angeles. He takes us through colorful maps of old, often forgotten streetcar lines, lost ideas for never-built transit, and modern rail systems—drawing us into the captivating transit histories of US and Canadian cities.
Berman combines vintage styling with modern printing technology to create a sweeping visual history of North American public transit and urban development. With more than one hundred original maps, accompanied by essays on each city’s urban development, this book presents a fascinating look at North American rapid transit systems.
Jake Berman is a cartographer, writer, artist, and lawyer. His work has been featured in the New Yorker, Vice, Atlas Obscura, and the Guardian. A native of San Francisco, he now lives in New York City.
Presented as part of our ongoing exhibition, Getting Around Town: Four Centuries of Mapping Boston in Transit.