cultural capital

Matt Lauer Shows Us FDR’s Secret Train

If you’re like us and have always been obsessed with that secret subway stop beneath the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, today is your day! As part of the Today show’s “Access Granted” series, Matt Lauer visits the now-abandoned subway track that was used as a special VIP entrance for fancy-pants rich people with their own private subway cars.

The storied Track 61 was also used by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, so he could enter and leave the hotel without the public realizing he couldn’t walk unassisted because of his polio. Lauer shows us FDR’s private train car, still down on the tracks. The armored car features bulletproof glass and special suspension to support the president’s paralyzed lower body. The train was also a safety measure in case FDR needed to be spirited out of New York City in the event of a national catastrophe.

Watch the video and marvel that there was ever a time when presidents tried to hide their handicaps, as opposed to more current administrations, which like to parade them out in the open like a 2-year-old boy who’s just discovered his wee-wee. —Noelle Hancock

Matt Lauer Goes Underground for “Secret” Train Car [Gothamist]

Matt Lauer Shows Us FDR’s Secret Train