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A Parkway, a Station, and a Hotel. White Plains: Part 2 History Photos

In Part I of our history of White Plains, we took a look at the arrival of the New York and Harlem Railroad, and how its vital link to New York City kicked off White Plains’ growth from a sleepy little village into one of Westchester’s notable cities. Along that journey a monumental train station rose and fell, man asserted its dominance over nature, and several swaths of civilization were wiped from the map, all in the name of progress. The transformation of the area around the train station in the early twentieth century was quick, and massive. The railroad’s...

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The Railroad’s Raucous Arrival. White Plains: Part 1 Trains History

Amid loud booms of celebratory artillery fire and the rousing tunes of a brass band, hundreds of onlookers jockeyed for a spot alongside gleaming rails, cheering and popping champagne corks. The crowd’s cries rose to a crescendo as the mighty iron horse cantered round the last curve and roared into full view, steam billowing behind her. The day was Saturday, October 26th, 1844, and at long last—thirteen years for the rails, nearly three hours for the train—the New York and Harlem Railroad had reached White Plains. The new station to which the train had arrived was a simple wooden affair,...

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White Plains, Reflections Trains Observations

It has been nearly six years since I was a regular commuter on Metro-North. Though my origin point varied—starting off at Brewster, eventually moving to Goldens Bridge, then trying out Southeast, Pawling, and even Wassaic, and eventually finishing off with a reverse commute from Harlem—my destination point was always the same. White Plains. Earlier this month I visited the station, and it felt like I hardly knew the place. Gone were the yellow taxis with their interesting names—no more Desire of Nation or Very Fine Money Fishing—in their stead some run of the mill white taxis. There’s a bright remodeled...

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Smartcat Sundays: All Aboard for the Westchester County Fair History

These days if you want to get to a county fair on Metro-North you head up to Dutchess County, are conveniently met by a bus at Poughkeepsie station, and are whisked away to the long-running Dutchess County Fair. Westchester County used to have a fair too, although it wasn’t quite as constant – stopping and starting numerous times over the years, and is now defunct (folks from the ’80s may recall this catchy tune when the fair was revived and held at Yonkers Raceway). Today’s artifact is from 1889 – a special Harlem Division brochure advertising railroad specials for the...

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A Farewell to White Plains station staple – Waxman’s News Events

Any regular commuter through White Plains is likely familiar with Gary Waxman, proprietor of the station’s newsstand. And if you were a real regular, chances are Waxman even knew you by name. Last night, however, marked the end of an era – it was Waxman’s final day of work in the station. Years before Metro-North was even established, Gary Waxman’s father purchased the retail space for the newsstand in the long-gone Warren & Wetmore-designed White Plains station. The younger Waxman spent weekends working the newsstand, and ultimately opted to work there full time instead of heading off to college. The...

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Metro North President Joe Giulietti meets riders at White Plains Trains Events

Provided you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard that Metro-North has been hosting customer forums where riders can meet president Joe Giulietti, and pretty much ask him anything. Yesterday’s forum was at White Plains, so I left work a few minutes early to head to the station and meet Metro-North’s new president. Mr. Giulietti is a rather affable fellow that didn’t seem to mind getting asked “why are trains under 5 minutes and 59 seconds late not considered late?” for the five millionth time by discouraged riders. Along with Mr. Giulietti were other representatives of Metro-North, including...

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