Revisiting the Last Days of the Third Avenue El [PHOTOS]

Posted on: December 18th, 2019 at 5:04 am by

April 1955 in the Bronx, Photo: Susan Fensten

The Third Avenue Elevated line officially concluded service in May 1955. It had been part of the transit equation for decades. Thereafter, the trusses and tracks were removed from the streetscape, freeing namesake Third Avenue its Bowery tributary from the shadows.

During the demise, a photographer snapped several shots of the train on its final runs. Ever-reliable Boogie reader Susan Fensten shared some of these old images from her collection, which date back to the final days of the elevated line.

9th Street and 3rd Avenue, Photo: Susan Fensten

The Third Avenue El was one of the last elevated lines to operate in Manhattan, ultimately kept running with the intent of the Second Avenue Subway as replacement. The line began at South Ferry, through Chatham Square, ran up the Bowery into Third Avenue, then terminated at Gun Hill Road in the Bronx. Trackwork was relocated from the sidewalk to the center of the street in 1926.

Pressure against the elevated from real estate interests, as well as criticism from Mayor LaGuardia for being a blight on the community, led to the removal of the entire line on May 12, 1955.




Recent Stories

New Condos Teased at 15-Story ‘One Essex Crossing’

Each month brings more significant updates for Essex Crossing. On the heels of the International Center of Photography launching its new flagship, the billion-dollar Lower East Side development this week rolled out more info about the CetraRuddy-designed condo tower at 202 Broome Street (aka Site 3). Dubbed One Essex Crossing, the fifteen-story newcomer features 83 […]

Broome Street Gets an Exclusive Nightclub by Omar Hernandez

Where Happy Ending once tormented this Broome Street block, and Better Days was anything but, something uber-upscale is now replacement. Perhaps even too upscale for its own good. By now you’ve probably seen the well-placed hype pieces about the newest nightclub at 302 Broome Street, led by nightlife impresario Omar Hernandez. He converted the space […]

Ten Injured, Including Firefighters, in Massive Mulberry Street Blaze Last Night [Updated]

The three-alarm blaze that engulfed 70 Mulberry Street last night spread quickly, destroying the upper levels of the historic Public School 23. The fire started shortly after 8:45pm on the fourth floor. Firefighters from Ladder 20 and police from the 5th Precinct were the first responders. More than two hundred fire personnel ultimately arrived to […]

3-Alarm Fire Engulfs PS 23 Building on Mulberry Street

Shortly before 9pm this evening, a three-alarm fire was sparked at 70 Mulberry Street (at Bayard). Within minutes, the historic building – erected in the nineteen century as Public School 23 – was in flames. More than one hundred firefighters were called to the scene to battle the blaze which is apparently confined to the […]

The Year of the Rat Scurries In

It’s the Year of the Rat! This week marks the 21st year of New York City’s Lunar New Year celebration, and no doubt the organizers are scurrying around in preparation for a veritable smorgasbord of festivities. As in years past, the festivities will kick off with the explosive Firecracker Ceremony Saturday morning at 11:00am (January 25) […]