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Via Garibaldi 8

MTA Restores Historic Bronx Subway Station

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The MTA’s top-to-bottom rehabilitation of the East 180thStreet 25 subway station has recaptured the grandeur its original builders had in mind when the century-old North Bronx transit terminal served as the administration building for the old New York, Westchester and Boston Railway system.

The two-year, $66.5 million project breathed new life into the unique subway station that serves the 2 and 5 lines and is a major link to two major Bronx attractions – the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Gardens.  Designed and built during a period when riding the rails was a grand experience rather than bookends to a work day, the structure is a handsome example of early 20th Century architectural design that has long stood as a community landmark.

“This beautifully renovated station is a tribute to the Bronx and provides an uplifting experience for everyone who passes through it,” said MTA Acting Chairman Fernando Ferrer. “I’m very pleased the MTA has restored an element of the Bronx’s glory while improving the daily commutes of its residents.”

The stucco, red terra cotta-tiled roof building boasts a pair of four-story towers, entry courtyard and a handsome clock, which replicates the original timepiece in place when the structure was built.  The building was designed with arches and balconies that give it the distinct look of an Italian villa.  On the exterior is a restored plaque topped with the head of Mercury, the Roman god of transportation.

“The subject of this project serves to demonstrate the architectural variety of the New York City subway system and the care and effort that goes into maintaining the system and restoring elements to their original appearance,” said NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast. “The East 180th Street Station was built to a grand design by its original operator and we have taken the opportunity to return it to as close to its original condition as possible.”  

Work on the station required restoration of the landmark building’s exterior walls, windows, stucco work, roof tiles wood doors and mezzanine areas.  Of course, this type of work required skilled craftspeople. There are two retail spaces in the station’s lobby, as well as NYC Transit employee facilities for Rapid Transit Operations, Signals and Structures.

“This was a tremendously rewarding job, bringing the station back up to a state of good repair and restoring the aesthetic features that make it stand out.  East 180th Street will be a welcoming structure for Bronx subway customers for many decades to come,” said Program Officer Dilip Patel.

Major portions of the project, designed by Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects, included the refurbishment of the mezzanine passage with new tile work and ornamental mosaic bands and the introduction of mosaic panels designed under guidance of the MTA Arts for Transit program. The station’s side entrance has been rehabilitated and the designs of both passageways are marked by large spans of structural steel overhead, painted a pale green the same as they were when the station was first opened.  New lighting has been installed on the building’s interior and exterior, making the station as attractive by night as by day.

The elevated subway platforms have similarly been rehabilitated, including new platforms, edge safety tiles, canopies and track beds.  ADA compliance is achieved through a new pathway that allows wheelchair access and the installation of two elevators that link the mezzanine to the platforms.

New tile work and ornamental mosaic bands and panels have been installed.  Designed by artist Luisa Caldwell under the MTA Arts for Transit program, the panels reflect the surrounding area and the nearby Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Gardens.

One important element was donated to the project by construction contractor Citnalta.  Company President Mike Gargiulo visited the job and felt that the historic building was missing just one thing – a clock.  Having studied historical preservation in college, he thought a clock would add a lot to the project. 

Some electronic sleuthing turned up old images showing the original clock.  A similar item was sourced from Electric Time Co. in Massachusetts.  The old images were sent up to them and they suggested a clock that would fit the design of the early 20th Century transportation building.

“We at Citnalta, with NYC Transit’s and Lee Harris Pomeroy’s permission, donated the clock and the installation, because we thought it completed the look, making a great renovation just a little bit nicer,” said Gargiulo.

The northern segment of the 5 train, known as the Dyre Avenue Line of the New York City subway system, was once part of an electrified commuter railway connecting the South Bronx with White Plains and Port Chester in Westchester County.

Owned by the New Haven Railroad, the New York Westchester and Boston Railway were short-lived, in service only between 1912 and 1937.  New York City took ownership of the Bronx portion of the line in 1940 and tied into the IRT at East 180thStreet.

 

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Source: http://mta.info/news/stories/?story=992



I actually passed by this station on the express bus a few weeks ago when I was heading to Morris Park. Very unique and beautiful station.... A real shame that it's in a crappy run down neighborhood though... 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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This may be an odd comparison, but the E 180th st station entrance is one of those entrances that you wouldn't think leads to a subway station (much like the entrance to newport mall out on NJ) - One of those deals where you can easily pass right by it if you're not paying close attention (and not as familiar w/ it)....

 

If it's one thing I would suggest about the new E 180th st entrance, is that they put up more subway signs on the outside/street level... And/Or, something that's easily/conspicuously noted, outside of the just the one sign that's usually propped up to let riders know that it's an entrance to a subway station.....

 

I agree that the renovated station looks nice.... Won't make an issue out of the area it's in (lol), but thanks for bringing this to attention.... I knew a while back that they were doing construction over there; however, never thought twice about it all being completed or not.....

Edited by B35 via Church

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I have to agree with via. G here, I just hope they have some security there because I don't think the building will stay that pristine for long. If this was manhattan, there'd be enough cops around as a deterrent.

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The building was not build for the subway.

This was a big station of a former commuter railway system.

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I have to agree with via. G here, I just hope they have some security there because I don't think the building will stay that pristine for long. If this was manhattan, there'd be enough cops around as a deterrent.

I was actually shocked because I didn't know they had just re-did it.  It really stood out not only because it's so nice but because the immediate area is so run down.

 

This may be an odd comparison, but the E 180th st station entrance is one of those entrances that you wouldn't think leads to a subway station (much like the entrance to newport mall out on NJ) - One of those deals where you can easily pass right by it if you're not paying close attention (and not as familiar w/ it)....

 

If it's one thing I would suggest about the new E 180th st entrance, is that they put up more subway signs on the outside/street level... And/Or, something that's easily/conspicuously noted, outside of the just the one sign that's usually propped up to let riders know that it's an entrance to a subway station.....

 

I agree that the renovated station looks nice.... Won't make an issue out of the area it's in (lol), but thanks for bringing this to attention.... I knew a while back that they were doing construction over there; however, never thought twice about it all being completed or not.....

Well I felt kinda stupid when I saw it because I got so confused... I asked 7/11 and rr4567 if the tracks were underground or above ground because since it's a building I just assumed that the tracks are below but then you see this overhead thing near the station, but I was told by them that that was an expressway... 

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Looks nice. I agree that a structure like this is out of place with the neighborhood it is located in though. But a lot of things are all over the city.

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How was the neighborhood when this building was build in 1917 ?

It was maybe a much nicer place than today and without an elevated highway next to the station.

Edited by Minato ku

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This may be an odd comparison, but the E 180th st station entrance is one of those entrances that you wouldn't think leads to a subway station (much like the entrance to newport mall out on NJ) - One of those deals where you can easily pass right by it if you're not paying close attention (and not as familiar w/ it)....

 

Another one would be Bryant Park-42nd.

 

I have to agree with via. G here, I just hope they have some security there because I don't think the building will stay that pristine for long. If this was manhattan, there'd be enough cops around as a deterrent.

 

The other South Bronx stations that have been renovated seem to be doing fine.

 

How was the neighborhood when this building was build in 1917 ?

It was maybe a much nicer place than today and without an elevated highway next to the station.

 

At that time, The Bronx was basically the suburbs, especially that far north.

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Well, fingers crossed this whole building remains intact then. I will say that the few renovated stations I've been thru in the Bronx like gun hill road on the 2 seems ok.

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I saw the coverage on News 12, I must say this station is beautiful. I remember how uncomfortable it was walking out of the station because of the ADA construction (back when the (2) was split in half and everyone had to take shuttle buses from Mott to 180).

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E.180th St has been undergoing a renovation for a couple of years. I was just happy to know that it was getting an elevator lol. It looks fantastic inside and out and I hope that it stays that way for years to come. It's nice to see something beautiful in a neighborhood like that one.

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