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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Some Interesting Shots from the New York Transit Museum: Church Avenue, Cortelyou Road and McDonald Avenue Lines

  The New York Transit Museum, located in downtown Brooklyn has a photo archive of many historic shots of the transit system on all levels: elevated, subway, streetcar, trolleybus and so on.  It is not my aim to steal anything from them in this blog, but to introduce to you some interesting information that was not usually seen or available.  So please excuse me for the quality of the shots.  Many of the shots were taken in the late 1920's before construction started on the Independent Subway  on the Prospect Park Line to Church Avenue.

In this shot, you are facing west on Church Avenue.  You are looking at the 13th Avenue Station of the Culver Line.  The lumber yard was probably the site of the Nassau Electric trolley garage.  I remember the pointed building but if you look to the left of it, you see an annex.  At the extreme left you see a white chimney.  This building is still in existence.

Another shot of the lumber yard, but you are facing east.  Notice how close to the building the eastbound Church Avenue trolley track is.  You are technically at number 1 Church Avenue, at Old New Utrecht Road, which is a historic street and most of it does not exist today.
 You are looking north on Gravesend Avenue (McDonald Avenue) before the IND subway ramp was built.  The store is on the corner of McDonald Avenue and Cortelyou Road.  This shot is probably before the Cortelyou Road trolleybus line was established.   Notice that in the middle of Gravesend Avenue, the tracks are on its' own right of way and this was the historic path of the Culver Line when it was a steam railroad.
   Another view at the same location looking north from Cortelyou Road.  Notice that the private right of way ends further north.  The storage building is still in existence and southbound F Train riders greet it every day as the train descends into the tunnel.
 The same location but in 1944, slightly, to the south of Cortelyou Road.  You can see the two wooden troughs for the Cortelyou Road trolleybus wires (perpendicular to McDonald Avenue, under the El).  Notice that by 1944, the ramp to the IND subway was complete but only one track was installed.  This ramp would not come into service until 10 years later on October, 1954.  Notice the southbound trough for southbound streetcars.
 In this rare photo, you are looking east towards the junction of the original Culver Line and the Independent Subway.  This location is where the Cortelyou Road trolley bus curves onto Dahill Road near the 37th Street Park.  Notice the graceful trolleybus wire curve.  Like its' sister, the Cortelyou Road trolleybus died on the same day (including the McDonald Avenue Line) on October 31, 1956.
 The same location as above, but facing west.  The line just left Cortelyou Road and is swinging towards Dahill Road.  The trees are at the 37th Street Park.  The line will make a swing to the right unto 16th Avenue and eventually reach the BMT West End Station at 62nd Street.

This is at the same area as above, but from the Kensington Loop of the Church Avenue Line and McDonald Avenue Line, midway between Ditmas Avenue And Cortelyou Road. Notice the coal silo.  If you look in the shot above, just above the AAA sign, you can see the silo.  The silo was parallel with Dahill Road.

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