by Kevin Walsh

Like much of the subways the BMT Brighton Line, which runs generally between East 15th and 16th Streets from Prospect Park south to Coney Island, has a complicated history. It was once part of a surface steam railroad, the Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney Island, which began running in 1878, during the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential administration. Once the line was connected to the Fulton Street el via what is now the Franklin Shuttle, it changed from a seaside resort excursion route to a commuter railroad, and over the decades after century’s turn it was adapted more and more for that use, adding tracks and then, placing it in an open cut (1900-1908) and later, an elevated section (mid-1910s) between Sheepshead Bay and Coney Island.


The Brighton, which serves today’s Q (local) and B (express) trains, still looks remarkably like it did when it was first placed in the trench. Several specialized stationhouses were constructed while at Avenue H, an existing real estate office was adapted for that use.

At the Beverly and Cortelyou Road stations (which are about a block apart) the original stationhouses from the grade elimination program in 1907 are still in use, albeit with a makeover several years ago that placed a picture window right over the tracks. As an added attraction, the ancient painted sign for the Greenfield Pharmacy (which is still in business) can be seen through the windowshere at the Cortelyou station.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”



Andrew Porter June 8, 2018 - 1:04 pm

When I was a kid, I remember a lot of the elevated stations had potbellied stoves, no longer in use. Also, those ticket cutting machines, when people used tickets from connecting streetcar lines…

Didn’t this station building used to be painted beige?

Peter June 8, 2018 - 4:15 pm

The line remains, but Rutherford B. Hayes is a mere historical footnote.

Anonymous June 9, 2018 - 10:49 am

I used this station on a daily basis from 1976 to 1984.

R. Flank June 9, 2018 - 11:18 pm

My, address is 1164 east 19 street are there any records of the house before 1930

David June 10, 2018 - 12:44 am

Why are there 2 stations so close together?

John Dereszewski June 15, 2018 - 2:54 pm

I once read that the person who developed the surrounding neighborhood insisted that the two stations remain despite their extreme proximity. It is said that the last car of the Q does not leave one of these stations until the first car enters the other. However, it appears that at least two other stations – Fulton and Wall St. on the 4/5 line and Chambers and Park Row on the 2/3 – come even closer to each other.

Ty June 10, 2018 - 4:33 pm

This pic makes me laugh and cry at the same time. Four people absorbed in their worlds. It used to be papers and magazines so nothing has changed.


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