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From: "Paul S DOT Luchter" luckyshow AT mindspring DOT com
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001 03:05:31 -0500
Subject: In re of NY & Harlem to Park Row . . .
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Here is a postcard view of the amazing old Post Office south of City =
Hall in New York. To the right is a Third Avenue Railroad car at the =
beginning of Park Row.(Actually this portion was properly called Farm =
We can see the reason the Third Avenue Ry got the "Postal Cars", the =
RPOs delivered in 1895. The 3rd Avenue Ry shared Park Row south of the =
Bowery with the NY and Harlem south of Centre Street.

There were more tracks at this terminal than is evident in this card, =
though there was only this one loop. The NY & Harlem/4th Avenue/4th & =
Madison line, the first horsecar line began in 1832., was a cable line, =
then electric..You would take its cars here and head north to 86th =
Street. By the time of this view, it went to 138th. The cars to take to =
Grand Central Station. There was also a branch that went to the LIRR =
Hunterspoint LIRR ferry station at East 34th Street.=20

The Third Avenue Railroad became the Third Avenue Railway in 1908. If =
the tall building in the background is the Municipal Building, that was =
completed 1908. The Third Avenue RR had converted to cable in stages =
until 1893. In 1899 they converted to electricity...You would take the =
3rd Avenue's namesake line north to Harlem Bridge; there was also a =
branch to Grand Central. I wonder which was quickest from here to GCT?

If you boarded here, the 3rd Avenue cars had green lights in front for =
the trunk line, and white lights for the Grand Central Depot Branch =
cars. The 4th Avenue line used red lights for both the 34th Street Ferry =
Branch and the Madison Avenue cars. (In 1880 the fare was 5=A2, but the =
4th Avenue main line north charged 6)

Also leaving from Park Row, cars that loaded near the newspaper =
buildings to the right, were those of the Dry Dock and East Broadway RR. =
Cars with green lights went through the lower east side to the East 23rd =
street Greenpoint Ferry terminal, those with blue lights went to East =
34th Street Hunterspoint Ferry, thus here too were two ways to get to =
the same destination. I don't think this line was ever electrified or =
even cabled. It may have been gone by the time of this card

In the foreground we see a car of the Broadway Railway, probably =
Metropolitan Railway by this time. This was one of the last lines to get =
a franchise.(leaving only 5th Avenue as the only major north-south road =
in Manhattan to never have rails) though I have no exact date on this =
lines start. It went to 45th Street and from there onto the 7th Avenue =

New York Railways ran cars up Broadway, and (from 1932) left Park Row =
and went up 4th and Madison before "motorizing" 1936, 3rd Avenue Railway =
ran to 1948. The Post Office was demolished 1938-1939, today this is =
part of City Hall Park, most of the buildings to the right are owned by =
J&R Music stores

In the background on the right, the steepled building was that of The =
Tribune, behind it maybe you can make out the top of Pulitzer's World =
Building, the tallest in the world (310 feet) 1890 to 1894. Just to the =
right in the foreground, the large white edifice is that of the Park Row =
Building (New Century Building), tallest in the world (385 feet) =
1899-1902. It is extant. The World Building served as City Hall in 1956 =
while City Hall was spruced up, then demolished for a new Brooklyn =
Bridge entrance.

If you look up Park Row you can see the Terminal station of the City =
Hall Branch of the New York Elevated Railroad's 3rd Avenue El. This =
branch and station lasted into the 1950's. To its right, unseen here, =
was the Park Row terminal for streetcars and El cars (and cable cars on =
the NY & Brooklyn Bridge RR until 1908) that came over the Brooklyn =

In the distance on the left is A.J.Stewarts, the first department store, =
though by this time it had already moved uptown at least twice. It is =
now being renovated.=20

That red building was a newspaper's but I can't remember which. The Sun =
Building still stands (behind the Tribune Building unseen here), part of =
J&R.. (J&R recently knocked down the historic building next to the Park =
Row "skyscraper")

I meant this as an addendum to the article on the new Postal Cars, but =
it is longer than that!!

Paul Luchter

C:\My Documents\photos\Park Row & Broadway.jpg


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