Decayed shells of two lovely Bronx train stations
It’s a strip mall that’s seen better days—a long, two-story shell of a building housing a chicken joint, a pizza and gyro shop, and a couple of other businesses in the shadow of the Bronx’s Bruckner Expressway.
Turns out it did: It was the Hunt’s Point Avenue railroad station, built in 1909 by the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad—which anticipated a huge demand for train service in the once-bucolic Bronx, thanks to subway development and a population boom.
An even biggest surprise than seeing the remains of such a lovely station is the name of the architect behind it: Cass Gilbert, better known for the Woolworth Building and the Custom House at the foot of Broadway, among other architectural beauties.
The station is one of nine train stations Gilbert designed in the Bronx, and he seemed to have a lot of fun with this one.
The Hunts Point station was French Renaissance in design,” states this Lehman College site. “It had a wide overhanging hipped roof with pointed lacy dormer windows, spires, tiling and crenellations.”
The station connected commuters to Grand Central until the 1930s, when a lack of passengers made it financially impossible to keep open. At some point, it was repurposed for retail, it’s ornaments stripped off or obscured beneath 1970s-style roll-down gates and a hulking freeway.
Another of Gilbert’s Bronx railroad station also pretty much lies in ruin: the Westchester Avenue station.
[Second photo: MCNY/Wurtz Bros., x2010.7.1.1841; fourth photo: Architectural Record, 1908; fifth photo: MCNY/Wurtz Bros., x2010.7.1.1842; sixth photo: Wikipedia]