As part of the rehabilitation and restoration of the Hunters Point Avenue #7 train station (which actually stops at 49th Avenue, which was still called Hunters Point Avenue when the station opened) a tiled sign saying “To Astoria and Corona” has been once again uncovered. Why doesn’t it say “To Astoria and Flushing”? That’s where the line goes.
The IRT Flushing Line opened in stages between 1915 and 1928. The stations between Grand Central and Vernon-Jackson opened in 1915. Meanwhile, in Queens, the Hunters Point and Court House Square stations opened in November 1916, and the elevated stations out to 103rd/Corona Plaza in April 1917. There were 3 further extensions: to 111th Street in October 1925; Willets Point Boulevard (modern signage erroneously leaves off the “Boulevard”, as the actual Willets Point is at Fort Totten) in May 1927; and finally, an underground station on Main Street on January 2, 1928. The line was extended west two stops to Times Square by 1927.
So, when the Hunters Point Avenue station opened in 1916, Corona service was anticipated soon, while Flushing service was still 12 years down the road.
The Flushing Line expanded again, to the West Side Javits Convention Center, and new Hudson Yards development, in September 2015.
Flushing Line [nycsubway.org]
6/8/12; rev. 4/16/17
5th Street (49th Avenue) changed names to Hunter’s Point Avenue at Van Alst Avenue (21st Street). That didn’t change when they renumbered the streets — I very clearly remember signs for Hunter’s Point Avenue on the street well into the 1980’s. Did they rename the road recently when no one was looking?
Wasn’t the not-yet-Flushing line, at that time, operated by the BMT along with the Astoria line?
But what about Astoria? Until 1949, the IRT and BMT shared both lines. Because of the narrow cars for the IRT (9′ vs.10′), the BMT could only operate wooden elevated cars on both lines.
The Queensboro Plaza station had four more tracks and two more platforms to the north side of the existing tracks. The BMT trains from Manhattan terminated there and passengers would transfer to the elevated trains. All of the stations on both lines had separate fare controls, one for each division. The IRT also had Second Ave elevated trains from lower Manhattan via the Queensboro Bridge until 1942.
“Astoria” is also shown as a destination because when the line opened the IRT also provided through service between Times Square and Astoria (until 1949). After 1923, the Astoria and Corona (later Flushing) branches were served by three train lines – the IRT Queensboro Subway (today’s #7), the IRT Second Avenue El crossing the Queensboro Bridge (until 1942), and BMT shuttle trains that turned at Queensboro Plaza. The latter was a massive, eight track station built to accommodate both IRT and BMT train services. After 1949, with the IRT and BMT under municipal control, the Astoria service became exclusively BMT through trains from the Broadway Subway (Fourth Ave. and Brighton Beach Locals) and the Flushing service became exclusively IRT #7 line.
Since 1949 an Astoria bound passenger from Hunters Point has to cross the platform at Queensboro Plaza to reach that destination.
And one correction – the westward extension of the IRT Queensboro Line beyond Grand Central occurred in 1926 (to 5th Ave.) and 1927 (to Times Square), not 1917.
According to nycsubway.org the westward extensions were done in 1917…
I checked that site and you are 100% correct. However, that info is wrong. I checked The NY Times archives. Fifth Avenue Station on the Queensboro Line opened on March 22, 1926; Times Squareopened March 14, 1927.
Some of the early post-war IRT cars (R-12, etc) had bulkead route signs reading “8 – ASTORIA”. I don’t know whether or not they were ever displayed, as Astoria service ended, as you stated, in 1949. Later the number 8 was applied to the 3rd Avenue El between 149th St and Gun Hill Road, which was torn down after operation ceased in 1973. Although these same cars were used on that for the last few years, after the old 1939 Worlds Fair cars were retired, the photos I’ve seen all show not “8”, but “SHUTTLE” on the bulkhead signs.
This isn’t something new, and there probably a lot of other old subway plaques and signs that haven’t been removed or covered despite being outdated.
Hunters Point station is on Hunters Point Ave. That’s what the sign says.
It’s on 49th Avenue.
For anyone interested in the easterly construction of the Flushing elevated, there is a wonderful tool provided by the NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications. It is NYCityMap, and can be accessed at nyc.gov/citymap. Along with lots of other information, you can view aerial maps of all New York City from 1924, 1951, 1996 and other more current years. To learn a little about the Flushing el construction, choose an arbitrary current location, such as “Roosevelt Avenue Bridge, Corona 11368. When the current map opens a red star will indicate the location you requested. Then click on the camera icon, which will offer a choice of the arial views from the various years. Click on 1924 and the map will change to the aerial view with the red star in the same spot in that previous year. In the lower left you can see a broken white line, which is the extension of Roosevelt Avenue and the elevated coming from the west. Using the direction arrows, you can move the map and actually see the construction of the el going through Corona. (The angle that cuts to the southeast from Roosevelt Avenue is the beginning of the subway yards.) Aerial roaming all over the city in 1924 or 1951 can become addictive, but lots of fun.
You can see in 1924 there were still a lot of empty spaces.
You can still see Trains Meadow Road and Bowery Bay Road in 1924
I did the registration of both the 1924 and 1951 photos, and I’m glad to see people making good use of them. BTW, some of the early postwar IRT subway cars, probably the R-12 and R-14 and perhaps the R-15, had bulkhead signs with a number 8 and the word “ASTORIA” underneath.
The Number 7 Flushing line was opened only as far as Corona originally. The segment from Corona to Flushing was added later, including the underground terminal in Flushing.
Would like to see more of Corona/East Elmhurst Frankie Lymon, Willie Mays,Kwamé , Kid and Play, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimmy Heath, Dorie Mill Coops, Honi Coles that part of the the borough the folks tend to forget about.