Tuesday Tour of the New Haven Line: Rye

When I first started out doing a little bit of research on the railroad station in Rye, I was rather disappointed. I was coming up dry in a lot of areas – I couldn’t really find anything tremendously noteworthy about the station to write about. Apparently, I hadn’t looked hard enough, as the information I eventually found turned out to be an absolute gem. In fact, it is downright crazy, and I’m warning you in advance. This may have been the most amusing research investigation I have, or will ever go on.

Enter artist Matt Mullican. Mullican is the artist behind the recently installed Arts for Transit mosaic in the Rye station. I’ve already gone on record with my opinion of art being installed in frequently closed train stations, so I wont get into that again. Thankfully, there are plenty of windows in the Rye station, and I was able to get a few shots of the work inside through them. Apparently the mosaic is based upon the works of designer and architect Marcel Breuer. If you’ve ever been to IKEA in New Haven, you probably remember some odd looking building right next to it – it is the last remaining portion of the Breuer designed Pirelli Tire Building. Breuer also designed pieces of furniture that look like they could be sold in an IKEA, and he almost gave us this abomination:

So why exactly did Mullican pay homage to Breuer in his mosaic? Apparently Breuer was the architect for the (original) Rye train station. Arts for Transit has used the talents of countless artists, many of which have a rather diverse body of work. I’d be willing to go out on a limb here and say that Mullican definitely deserves a spot on the list of most interesting artists the program has employed. In his artist statement regarding the piece, it is said that “Mullican is concerned with the relationship between perception and reality.” And although not completely relevant to this post, the following YouTube video was too good for me to not post.


How does one perceive reality while under hypnosis? Oh my, what is he doing to the floor?

Back on the subject of railroads, Rye is one of the handful of New Haven Line stations in New York state. It is 24 miles from Grand Central, and during off-peak hours takes about 50 minutes to get to the city. However, during peak hours some trains make the journey in as little as 35 minutes. During the summer months many take the train to Rye station, enroute to the Playland amusement park. Besides that, Rye is pretty much a station like any other. Below you’ll find some old video clips I found on YouTube, and of course, the photos I took on my recent exploration of Rye.


Old footage I found on YouTube of Rye and other New Haven Line stations.

 
 
  
 
  
 
   
 
 
   
 
   
 
  

5 thoughts on “Tuesday Tour of the New Haven Line: Rye

  1. I always thought the Rye station house was not only ugly, but useless. Instead of removing the canopy, the MTA simply built the high-level platforms to the east of the station house (that’s the old low-level platform crumbling next to the station house and under the platforms) and pretty far away from station house and the underpass. It is probably the only station with two overpasses as well as one underpass. But try waiting in the station house for a New York-bound train, and see if you make it.

    Rye was also Amtrak’s Westchester County stop from the 1970s to the late 80s/early 90s, until they moved to the newly renovated New Rochelle station.

    1. I think most station houses along Metro-North lines are for the most part just leftovers from an older time. (Unless you’re talking about a large station like Stamford, White Plains, etc.) You can’t buy tickets in them, they’re locked most of the time, and when they are actually open you can’t really wait in them because you’d miss your train. I suppose they are nice to see, but as you said, they are for the most part useless.

  2. You’re right, I didn’t think that it was the original station. It was a fairly unremarkable building, and as the original had supposedly been done by a famous designer (though I find little information regarding this, beyond the writeup for Arts for Transit) I figured it would be a little more interesting.

  3. I found your blog about two months ago and I was wondering when your travels would take you to Rye (my home station)…thanks for the post!

  4. Emily,

    I lived in Rye during the 60’s. Several of those years were lived across the street from the station. Many, many times I walked across that street to ride into “the city” for a day of fun. Fare was about $o.75 as I recall.

    It is true that is not the original station since that one was demolished for the building of the Turnpike. (as we called it then) See this link of a photo I marked.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150358302550833&set=a.10150358280130833.394476.577720832&type=3&theater

    This link for a photo of the old Rye station.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150358280160833&set=a.10150358280130833.394476.577720832&type=3&theater

    I visited the station for the first time in years not long ago. I have to say I thought it very cleaned up as against the sad old days of the New Haven and Penn Central. Very clean simple lines that are actually rather stylish.

    Dennis

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