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Monday, May 12, 2014

Transit Anniversaries: End of the Culver Shuttle and the Manhattan Portion of the 3rd Avenue El- Also about the Municipal Building

Hi Folks:

  I almost forgot, but yesterday and today is the anniversary of the end of service on two elevated lines here in New York, namely the Third Avenue El ( From Chatham Square to 149th Street ) on May 12, 1955 and the Culver Shuttle on May 11-12, 1975.  I do not remember the Third Avenue El that much because we lived in Brooklyn and did not need to reach the Bronx by the Third Avenue El. We used the Lexington Avenue Subway.  The Culver Shuttle, however, was my portal to the world and I remember service stopping at Ditmas Avenue.  I remember shuttles going from Ditmas Avenue to 36th Street - Fourth Avenue in non rush hours and to Chamber Street at other times.  I remember the Staten Island equipment on the line and also the BMT standards and modified Lo-V IRT cars. More to follow in the coming days.

  On some of the old BMT Standard equipment, those with bigger destination signs (not the very small signs in the door pockets... had the following interesting setting:


The West End Line also had a similar setting but I was told, was in the reverse direction.  What is going on here?   The Culver Line and West End line had these unique through Nassau Street Loop routes.  I did see this setting as a small child on some equipment, but this was before I learned how to read.

An interesting "Bulletin" comes to the help explain what is going on.  In fact, it is a very old one dated May, 1959 (Vol. 2, No. 1)   In " A Summary of Services of the BMT Division, NYCTA as of April 15, 1959 by Alex Friedlander, Arthur Lonto and Henry Raudenbush, the Culver Line was given the number 5.  At various times of the day, different services were offered.  An interesting route, called the Nassau Street Loop Express ( Not listed on destination signs) ran only during rush hours consisting of 6 B-type BMT standard cars or 5 Staten Island Cars.  The markers was Red-Red.  It ran from Ditmas Avenue on the Culver Line making all stops to 36th Street - Fourth Avenue, ran express to Pacific Street and probably skipped DeKalb Avenue and Myrtle Avenue (station closed 1956) and via Manhattan Bridge on the south side  to Chambers Street (track connection destroyed in 1967).  After Chambers Street, Fulton Street, Broad Street and via Montague Street tunnel  to Lawrence Street, DeKalb Avenue, Pacific Street and express to 36th Street and all stops to Ditmas Avenue.  So it appears that this train operated as a continuous loop.  The time envelope for this routing from Ditmas Avenue was from 6:37 am to 8:29 am and from 4:30pm to 5:52 pm.  From Chambers Street, the time was from 7:02 to 9:01 am and from 4:45 - 5:56 pm.  A similar route ran on the West End Line but local and in the reverse direction to 62nd Street or Bay Parkway.  Here, the line ran via tunnel to Chambers Street and then via the Manhattan Bridge to DeKalb and all stops to 62nd Street or Bay Parkway.  On weekday, non rush hours, the Culver Line made all stops between Ditmas Avenue and Chambers Street via the Montague Street tunnel to Broad Street, Fulton and then Chambers Street.  Return over the same route.  At other times, on nights, weekends, a shuttle operated with 2 Staten Island Cars or 3 B Type BMT Standard Cars.

Notice that of all the BMT southern services, only the Culver Line had a regular downtown destination for many years (since the 1930's) to Chambers Street.  The Chambers Street station was at the base of an very interesting building.

More to follow about this destination of the Culver Line in the future.  Notice the 3rd Avenue El in the background meeting the Park Row station of the BMT Elevated Lines that crossed the Brooklyn Bridge.  (Old Photo)  Notice the two IRT Subway Kiosks for the Brooklyn Bridge Station.

Building looks familiar?  Where did I see it before? In Warsaw or Moscow?

More to follow in the future.  The above picture is in Warsaw.  I believe the Metro runs very close to it. 

How about the University of Moscow Building?  In fact, the Municipal Building in New York influenced architecture all over the world.  I think it is called "Wedding Cake" style.

Photo taken off the web.  By UggBoy UggGirl.

National Cultural Palace, Warsaw, Poland.  I believe it is near the "Centrum" station on the Metro near Marszalkowska Ulica.  Does this Palac Kultury have an entrance to the Metro?

  What is underneath the New York Municipal Building at Center and Chamber Streets?

Do not ask, but a Chamber of Horrors according to a interesting web site called " Forgotten New York" .  Forgotten New York deals with some of the stuff that I love, such as streetcars, stations and street lamps.

See Below:  This shot was taken from the "Forgotten New York " website.  The Chambers Street station is very interesting and it directly below the Municipal Building.  A few feet to the west is the four track IRT Brooklyn Bridge Station which is the terminus for the Number 6 subway line.  Express trains 4 and 5 also stop at the station.  Somewhere in this blog I have a video of the City Hall Loop and the Brooklyn Bridge Station.  The Brooklyn Bridge Station has been extended and modified throughout the years.  Not so for the Chambers Street station on the BMT a few feet away.

From the "Forgotten New York" web site.  You are looking at the side abandoned platform.  more to follow.

Above ground, the Municipal Building was the center of much elevated activity.  In the undated picture below, our friend (the Municipal Building) is in the background framed by the 3rd Avenue El.  It looks to me that this is the "City Hall" branch of the line after abandonment after 1950.
More to follow in the future, hopefully. 

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