The East 149th Street station serves #2, 4 and 5 trains on their way to midtown Manhattan or north to Wakefield, Woodlawn Cemetery, or Dyre Avenue, in two separate trackways on two levels. It’s a complicated complex that was the first Interborough Rapid Transit subway station in the Bronx when it opened in July 1905 (though the IRT el as far as East 177th-East Tremont had already opened in November 1904).
The mosaic work of the Wakefield-bound platform (serving the #2) is “archaic,” resembling that of other very old uptown Manhattan stations at 168th and 181st Street, opened during the same time frame. Instead of raised away from the wall, they’re quite flat and even. When the station opened the station was called Mott Avenue, for the southern end of the Grand Concourse that absorbed Mott Avenue when “the Conk” opened in 1909. There were still mosaic “Mott Avenue” signs on the platform remaining there in 1999, when I first encountered them when shooting subway scenes for Forgotten New York; they have since been covered over by regulation black and white metal signs with the station’s current name, 149th-Grand Concourse.
Forward to 1917-1918, when the IRT built the present Jerome Avenue subway and elevated up to Woodlawn Cemetery. Corridors were constructed allowing transfer between the two trunk lines, and they contained mosaic directional signs with slightly raised tiles, similar to most mosaic tiling you see in today’s subway. One set pointed to “the Jerome Avenue line,” today’s #4 train, but other signs, one of which is shown here, pointed the way to the “NY Central Line.”
This is one of NYC’s many puzzlements to me. Railbuffs know that after a series of mergers and acquisitions, the NY Central tracks in this stretch of the Bronx are used by Metro-North trains en route to Westchester and Connecticut. The tracks are about a block east of the station, at Park Avenue and East 149th.
However, modern maps show no actual station there. For that matter, this atlas plate from 1911 doesn’t, either. The closest present Metro-North station to the East 149th Street station is the Melrose station, and you would need to walk north on Park Avenue to East 161st to reach it.
Thus: either the IRT developers of the late 1910s were expecting anyone wishing to catch a NY Central train would be willing to do just that…or, they were anticipating the construction of a station on East 149th that never happened!
Maybe I’m missing something. Fill me in in Comments.