By SERGEY KADINSKY
Forgotten NY correspondent
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, author of the book 111 Places in the Bronx That You Must Not Miss, who told me about a beautiful mural at the corner of Morrison Avenue and Westchester Avenue honoring Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and FDNY paramedic Yadira Arroyo. It was painted in 2015 by the famed Tats Cru, with a $2,200 grant from the National Association of Realtors. In May 2017, the artists returned to the mural to honor Arroyo, at the request of her labor union, Local 2507.
It is an artwork to behold, but I was also fascinated by the architecture of the Bank of America branch across the street, which stands askew to the grid. As some devoted Forgotten-NY readers recall, I documented the story of Clason Point, where Soundview Avenue ends, back in 2018. What I forgot to note is that originally its northern tip was here, at Westchester Avenue. That’s why the elevated 6 train station here is called Morrison Avenue-Soundview.
Soundview Avenue’s connection to its train station was severed around 1951 when the Bronx River Parkway was extended south to connect with Bruckner Boulevard. On its route, streets were demapped and properties were condemned. Extra shoulder space along the highway became parkland.
The orphaned segment of Soundview Avenue facing the bank then had trees planted and a few years ago the DOT beautified this plaza with a water fountain, randomly-shaped paving, seats, and a bike rack.
I enjoy going back in time, so here’s a photo of this Soundview Avenue segment from 1933, found in the NYPL collection. It shows a streetcar line running on the avenue. Speaking of NYPL, the library branch nearby is Clason Point. My question for the residents of this block, are we in Soundview or Clason Point?
On the elevated station there was also an update given in 2010, with forged steel installations that honor the native Siwanoy people of the eastern Bronx.
Sergey Kadinsky is the author of Hidden Waters of New York City: A History and Guide to 101 Forgotten Lakes, Ponds, Creeks, and Streams in the Five Boroughs (2016, Countryman Press), adjunct history professor at Touro University and the webmaster of Hidden Waters Blog.
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