May 25, 2011
by Rebecca Parelman Center for Architecture Foundation

CFAF tour guests making their way through the East Side Access construction site.

Catherine Teegarden and Tim Hayduk

The Center for Architecture Foundation (CFAF) tour series, New Buildings New York, recently took visitors underground for a first-hand look at the East Side Access, led by the MTA. Donning hardhats, the signature MTA orange-and-yellow vest, and muck boots, CFAF staff and guests traveled 120 feet beneath Manhattan streets to view the excavated caverns and tunnels. Tour guide Mark Rhodes of Hatchmott Macdonald, lead quality engineer for the project, informed guests about the blasting and construction techniques used on the project. Ultimately, the East Side Access will connect the Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) Main and Port Washington lines in Queens to a brand new LIRR terminal, currently under construction beneath Grand Central Terminal.

The tour was sold out and raised approximately $5,000 to help support the Foundation’s Programs@theCenter — interactive gallery tours and hands-on workshops designed to engage youth and families in contemporary topics about the built environment.

The Foundation extends a huge thank you to Rhodes for volunteering his time to lead the tour, as well as to Jeff Eustace for coordinating such a fantastic event on behalf of the Foundation. More New Buildings New York tours are planned for 2011. Visit the Center for Architecture Foundation’s website for information, or e-mail and request to be added to the mailing list.