19 Responses

  1. Mirza says:

    “R.H. Robertson was born in Philadelphia in 1849, and graduated from Rutgers College in 1849.” I didn’t think that was possible.

  2. Al Cyone says:

    A fascinating story, well-told (as usual). And great pictures too. Thanks. As a kid growing up in the Bronx, it’s theoretically possible that I could have seen that station (though it’s unlikely and, alas, I have no memory of it). But we do have a fine example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style right here in beautiful Ulster County. It’s Mohonk’s 1907 Testimonial Gateway, designed by James E. Ware & Sons, New York.

  3. drphilphysics says:

    1972 high level platform construction. I remember that — I lived in White Plains at the time. When I saw the mention of 138th Street station, my immediate thought was “isn’t that the station that disappeared?” Mott Haven was how some of my railfan friends always called it.

    I love this blog. Haven’t been back in the area since the mid-70s and you do a lovely job of reminding me of my teenage years, as well as updating me.


    Dr. Phil

  4. I remember seeing the platforms at 138th St as a little kid riding through on the train, but this being the early 1970s, had no idea such a building had ever stood next to the tracks there. Slides I shot of eastbound trains coming off the Harlem River lift bridge in 1990 show no evidence of even the platforms by that time.

  5. Mister Fred says:

    Having commuted from Crestwood in the late sixties and early seventies, I remember the platforms and the local stopping there. I don’t remember the building. Amazing research job!

  6. Very interesting read! I always knew of the station, but wasn’t aware of the grand station house that was there. From the photos it reminds of a cross between NJT’s Newark-Broad and Amtrak’s Hartford Station. Thanks for posting!

  7. Excellent post! Great photos and superb research. Have always wanted to learn more about this station. You knocked this one out of the park. Maybe you could add a graphic of an aerial or map view from Google Maps with an outline of the plot of land where the station was? Might make things more clear. Anyhow, great job. Also, have you visited the Andrew Dickson White Library? (https://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/history/uris/adwhite) It’s amazing. I spent four years up there and sadly didn’t visit that place often enough.

    • Emily says:

      Thanks! You’re right, an aerial might help… the nice old station was located on the north side of 138th (I think there is some addiction clinic or something like that there now, the city owns the property now as the owner never paid their taxes), and the platform extended over the street with an exit and underpass on the south side (where the garden is now). I’m not 100% sure where the temporary station (1964-1973) was located, I thought it was on the south side where the garden is, but I talked to some folks with the parks department and they’re not quite sure.

      As for the library, I’ve only seen their collections online. Looks like a really awesome place, though!

  8. Al Brecken says:

    Emily , ANOTHER splendid addition to your extensive list of impressive accomplishments in the realm of historical information pertaining to subjects /objects that most people did not know ever existed; Thanks!!!

  9. Hi Emily – I’ve been following your blog for several years, and I’ve been impressed from the beginning, but your work on the story of this station is fantastic. I’ve been trying to research it for years myself to no avail. Thank you for doing this. I now can do a painting of it, and possibly a model. – Peter

  10. Diego Carvajal says:

    Incredible read! The Bronx has such a fascinating history, and it’s a shame that more of it isn’t documented. It’s a sham that such a delicious piece of architecture was razed. Hopefully, you’ll report on other lost stations in the future. Great article!

  11. William McCutcheon says:

    I believe there is so much potential in areas such as Mott Haven and many others around the 5 Boros that could use refreshing and cleaning up and revitalizing. MOTT HAVEN for expample especially the area around LINCOLN HOSPITAL to 149th Street and Grand Concourse, FIRST there is the Teaching Hospital – Lincoln. the Bronx General Post OFfice, Hostos College, the resurgence of the South Bronx residential neighborhoods, other industrial businesses especially between 138th street and Lincoln over to the river, Yankee Stadium not far away and the Bronx Terminal Market BJs, etc to the west, and a host of other reasons — METRO NORTH should consider rebuilding MOTT HAVEN STATION @ 149th Street between the hospital and HOSOTS complexes wideining the bridge and repositioning the tracks so that there would be more usage on the Harlem line from there to Mount Vernon West and the HUSON LINE from MH to Spuyten Duyvil on the HUDSON and include a new MOTT HAVEN stop for New Haven Line along with Fordham to take passengers to eastern Westchester and Connecticut. It could act as a junction to Yankee stadium for shuttle also.

    It could also have connection to the 149th Street subway of the 2 and 5 for passengers needing to get to other areas RATHER THAN having to go to HARLEM – 125th St. It would certainly bring in ore business as well as help aleviate corwding at 125th on both the MNR and the 4/5/6 subway lines.

    Then there are buses along 149th street to Third Avenue eastbound and all the way to Riverside Drive in Manhattan westbound helping to feed commuters to upper manhattan as well as other areas.

    Since there is residential building in the South Bronx/Mott Haven area specifically and over the next few years you will have a slew of new middle income residents and lower income residents who may begin to increase their earnings by being able to get to jobs if they can take the train from a MOTT HAVEN, 149th St. Station.

    A 149th Street-Mott Haven station may even rival Fordham Road becase all THREE MNR lines would use it as both a beginning and ending point and if the railroad ever decided a transfer point.


  12. countrypaul says:

    I remember 138th St as a kid with my nose pressed up against the front window of the old NHRR commuter trains. I always wondered about the station, but as an NYC station, we never stopped there. I wondered why it had been taken down, but I don’t remember the sharper curve that was obviously the problem.

    Great article – thank you!

  13. Excellent post – great job.

  14. butchbayley says:

    My father took me there just before the building was demolished. He remembered when the 369th Harlem Hell Fighters marched across the Madison ave bridge to head to the second world war from the old station.

  15. Douglas McMillan says:

    As a kids, we would sit on the benches during the rush hour and watch the trains come through the station. Specifically the P motors of the New York Central on the Hudson line as they headed up state and the New Haven washboards and older MUs as they were head up to New Haven and beyond. I remember how the station platform would vibrate as the trains came through. I remember the NYC Transit strike when I got to ride one of the New York Central Prewar MUs from that 138th street station to Grand Central Station in order to go to work. When I lived in Albany, NY, I would take the train to the city before they switched to Penn Station, to Grand Central Station. As the train would pass through the 138th St station, I would remember sitting on the bench watching the trains. The station is gone now but the memories are still there.

  16. James says:

    I was watching “The Seven-Ups” with Roy Schneider. A scene, really scenes, at the Lucia funeral home (569 184th street, bronx ny) prompted me to look at maps, so I did. It is still there in the exact same location almost 50 years later. However, in one of the scenes, when the procession is leaving, in the background you can see the elevated train. But it isn’t there anymore. Totally gone. Tried to find out when, but couldn’t. Do you know when they took down the train in that area???

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