A Bronx Treasure – 180th St. Station

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A Bronx Treasure – 180th St. Station

Hurry Spring! Another field trip for the designers at KLAD added to our calendar. So much inspiration awaits!

 

From Forgotten New York:

The #2 and #5 north from East 180th Street to Dyre Avenue wasn’t always a subway. It used to be a full fledged railroad.

The East 180th Street 2/5 Station. I agree with Nick at Scouting NY "For my money, it's hands down the prettiest subway station entrance in New York"  Photo by Scouting New York.

The East 180th Street 2/5 Station. I agree with Nick at Scouting NY “For my money, it’s hands down the prettiest subway station entrance in New York”
Photo by Scouting New York.

In the early 1900s, the directors of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (which today is part of Metro-North) wanted to expand their operations into The Bronx, which was only then beginning to shake off its rural reputation and become urbanized. The New York, Westchester and Boston Railroad emerged in 1906, guided by Charles S. Mellen. Mellen’s grand plan was to build a new station in the Bronx to rival the then-overtaxed Grand Central Station. Trains would terminate in The Bronx, and commuters would then transfer to the Bronx subways, which then cost only a nickel. Commuters would save a great deal on fares, since it cost a lot more to take the railroad all the way to Grand Central Station.

Mellen decided to make the N.Y. W. & B. the flagship of his master plan, and designed the route for efficiency and speed. It was a four-track route, built for heavy traffic, even though much of the route was then rural. It opened with great fanfare in May 1912, a month after the Titanic sunk. Mellen and other officials hoped that a successful railroad would trigger development in the Bronx that would make it look like midtown Manhattan.

From Scouting NY:

"Designed to resemble an Italian Villa complete with clay-tile roof, the three-story stucco facade centers on a large clock.... Photo by Scouting NY

“Designed to resemble an Italian Villa complete with clay-tile roof, the three-story stucco facade centers on a large clock….
Photo by Scouting NY

mercury

Above the clock, Mercury, the Roman god of commerce, communication and travel watches over visitors to the station. Photo by Scouting New York

 

Recently, the MTA unveiled the beautiful sensitive restoration of the station, and of all the architectural stars of the station, these mosaics stand out. Given the station’s proximity to The Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden, we are treated to sweet animals enjoying beautiful flowers Please visit Scouting NY for more photos of this wonderful subway station and the mosaics of Luisa Caldwell.

 

One of the whimsical, joyous mosaics by Luisa Caldwell.  Photo by Scouting NY

One of the whimsical, joyous mosaics by Luisa Caldwell.
Photo by Scouting NY

 

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