by Kevin Walsh

Wedged between the Sheridan Expressway and the Bronx River north of Westchester Avenue is Marine Boiler and Welding, which attracts views from the (sparser than usual for NYC expressways) Sheridan with large plastic yellow letters, in a style much more frequent in the 1950s and 1960s, which is the decade I’m thinking it was installed. Meanwhile, there’s also a decades-old handlettered sign with the phone number, WY1-3203, the number it still uses today.

All NYC phone numbers are still based on the named system devised decades ago in which the first two letters of the exchange are in the number; today, the letters have all but fallen out of use, and no one remembers the exchange names. Here, the WY stood for the WYandotte exchange; it was once of a series of NYC exchanges with names based on Native American tribal names — the Wyndot or Wendat were Hurons living around the Great Lakes. Wyandotte is a small city in southeast Michigan near Detroit.

In 2018, plans began to turn the Sheridan Expressway into more of a grade roadway (similar to Brooklyn’s Eastern and Ocean Parkways), adding bike lanes and improving Bronx waterfront access. The Sheridan, named for Bronx Engineer of Public Works Arthur V. Sheridan, has not had the traffic volume that was planned for it since it opened in 1963 as a connector between the Bruckner and Cross Bronx Expressways.

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



Vince P. November 18, 2019 - 9:43 am

The former phone number system reminds me of times I would watch I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners and they would mention the exchange name followed by the remaining numbers.

Peter November 18, 2019 - 7:42 pm

There’s a hotel called the Sheridan Hotel next to this business. Curious, I looked up its online reviews, and while some weren’t too bad I came across this gem:

“Room 411 had bed bugs. The rug is dirty. The entire hotel is dirty. I am 99.9% sure this is also used as a shelter. All of the furniture is old. The elevator is about to break down. The door to your room is not secured and you have to push hard to open it. There is no smoke detector, the TV has no signal and every employee acts like they dont speak English or understand. The beds look dirty and the sheet have cigarette burns. The drugs are philthy [sic] too. WORST PLACE EVER.”


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