5. During construction, the tunnel went by the name the Canal Street Tunnel

Holland Tunnel
Holland Tunnel during rush hour. Courtesy of Library of Congress

The New Jersey Interstate Bridge and Tunnel Commission and the New York State Bridge and Tunnel Commission started brainstorming methods to connect the bodies of land in 1906. By 1920, they began work on the tunnel. During its development, the Holland Tunnel was quite practically referred to as the Hudson River Vehicular Tunnel or the Canal Street Tunnel.

Many proposed architectural models for the tunnel but the developers chose a design by Clifford Millburn Holland, an American civil engineer. His plan featured two tunnels, each with two lanes. Tragically, the day before the two halves of the tunnel were supposed to link on October 28, 1924, Holland died of a heart attack. The New York Times linked his death to stress from the tunnel’s construction. The events of the day, which were to include a remote detonation by President Coolidge, were canceled in his honor, and then the tunnel was named after him less than a month later.