Photos by Brian Anselm/Redux, Stan Honda/Getty Images, John Moore/Getty Images, Mark Peterson/Redux, An Rong Xu/The New York Times, Bryan Anselm/Redux, Ettienne Frossard, Julienne Schaer.
Illustrations by Frank O’Connell/The New York Times, and Martin Laksman.
Archival photographs by Robert A. Smith, Peter Eckel, William Samenko, courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
On April 30, 1921, through an act of Congress, the States of New York and New Jersey signed a compact creating what would become known as The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. In the founding compact, the states pledged, “faithful cooperation in the future planning and development of the port of New York.”
At its inception, The Port Authority owned no land, port, bridge, tunnel, terminal or airport. Those would come with time as the agency grew with the region. And while “port” is in the agency’s name, port acquisition would not come until after World War II.
The region’s history and its growth are tied to maritime development and the Port Authority played a pivotal role in bringing diverse shipping and political interests together to create what is now the largest port on the East Coast: The Port of New York and New Jersey.
This exhibit chronicles that history, including the creation of container shipping, the raising of a bridge to accommodate newer, larger ships, and the Port Authority’s continuing investment in port facilities that remain as vital for commerce today as they did 100 years ago.