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Clifford Milburn Holland

Clifford Milburn Holland (March 13, 1883 – October 27, 1924) was an American civil engineer who oversaw the construction of a number of subway and automobile tunnels in New York City, and for whom the Holland Tunnel is named.

Clifford Milburn Holland
Born(1883-03-13)March 13, 1883
DiedOctober 27, 1924(1924-10-27) (aged 41)[1]
EducationHarvard University
Spouse(s)Anna Coolidge Davenport
Children4 daughters
Engineering career
DisciplineCivil Engineer
ProjectsHolland Tunnel

Holland was born in Somerset, Massachusetts. He was the only child of Edward John Holland and Lydia Frances Hood. He graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in 1905 and a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1906.[2] On November 5, 1908 he married Anna Coolidge Davenport (1885–1973). They had four daughters.

Holland began his career in New York City working as an assistant engineer on the construction of the Joralemon Street Tunnel, after which he served as the engineer-in-charge of construction of the Clark Street Tunnel, 60th Street Tunnel, Montague Street Tunnel and 14th Street Tunnel.[1]

Holland was the first chief engineer on the Hudson River Vehicular Tunnel project. Holland died of a heart attack at a health center in Battle Creek, Michigan, at the age of 41, having been sent there following a nervous breakdown caused by the long hours and stress caused by working in the compressed air of the tunnel. The project was renamed the Holland Tunnel in his memory by the New York State Bridge and Tunnel Commission and the New Jersey Interstate Bridge and Tunnel Commission on November 12, 1924.[3]


  1. ^ a b Aronson, Michael (June 15, 1999). "The Digger Clifford Holland". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  2. ^ Weingardt, Richard G. (2005). Engineering Legends: Great American Civil Engineers (32 Profiles of Inspiration and Achievement). Reston, Va.: American Society of Civil Engineers. pp. 45–48. ISBN 0-7844-0801-7.
  3. ^ "Holland Tunnel". ASCE Metropolitan Section. Retrieved 2016-11-12.

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