LULLABY of BROADWAY. Long Island Rail Road replaces 1913 station

The Long Island Rail Road has been slowly doing restoration work on stations along the Port Washington branch, which runs a couple of blocks from your webmaster’s home in Little Neck. Work began in 1995 at Woodside, and since then some stations such as Auburndale have been completely replaced, while otehrs, like Bayside and Murray Hill, underwent extensive renovation. My home station from 1992-2007, Broadway, was saved for last, possibly because it was in worse condition than all the others.

The Port Washington line ran at grade until 1912-1914, when it was placed in an embankment, trestle, or open cut. Broadway’s 1913 design finally bowed out in 2007.

2002: The Metropolitan Transit Authority allowed the Manhattan-bound platforms to more or less crumble away. There were temporary ameliorations, such as metal plates. For 3 years, the MTA’s solution was to close off the extreme west end of the platform lest someone get hurt. The metal shelter on the west end of the platform was usually graffiti colored; the LIRR cleanup squad would, once a month, convert the graffiti to blue and purple smears.

On the eastbound side, the concrete railings were crumbling and chipping away.

At the west end of the eastbound platform there was a curious relic, possibly left over from the days when the Port Washington line made some freight runs. Facing the platform, the building had long ago been converted to a waiting room. In the modern era, this room was used by drunks as a urinal, and by local youth as a graffiti canvas. Again, the MTA would convert the graffiti to smears about once a month. Finally the ‘waiting room’ was closed with a plywood door with a lock while the windows were covered by plexiglass. Eraly in 2007 the MTA gave up and demolished the part facing the platform.

Below, it appeared to be a silo or storage area.

In 2006 work began on replacing the Manhattan-bound platform, which took about 6-8 months; the MTA has left it unfinished while it begains work on the eastbound. I resolved to get the last pictures of the 1913 design before it was bulldozed…

Just about the only 1913 element remaining when work is complete is the crossunder shelter, which we see the lady entering in this picture. Signs announcing the platform’s imminent close were placed on the railings in June 2007.

A somewhat bittersweet end. The finale of the deteriorating platforms, but the stylish pebbled concrete railings are also bowing out.

RIGHT: It’s possible that some of the solid concrete staircase will remain. This is solid poured concrete; in 1913, they made things to last (with a little maintenance, that is, which the city was unable to do).

Meanwhile, the Hollis station in mid-borough used the same pebbled concrete railings, this time with wooden platforms. I don’t believe the city is replacing it anytime soon, so at least the design can be found at another station.

Remembering Broadway station in QUEENS CRAP



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