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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Eastbound Church Avenue PCC car at 39th Street and 13th Avenue Brooklyn

Hi Folks:
  The photo below comes from the source below, namely the New York Public Library Digital Collection and it is a
 1952 Hubacher personal photograph.

This east bound  PCC car bond for Bristol Street is about to swing left unto 13th Avenue.  Across

 39th Street to the left is the City of New York Retail Market built in the 1930's.
  I was inside that building when there was a harbor disaster in December, 1956 (Luchenbach Explosion)
.Notice the buildings to the rear of the streetcar.  This may have been a commercial laundry and when the explosion
 hit in 1956, many of these windows broke and glass fell to the street.   I am not sure if anyone was hurt.
 The corner store to the right of the photo was a fresh fruit and vegetable store.
  You would be surprised how fast, before the age of hand held calculators, the salespersons, using a thick black
 crayon were able to calculate the price for each customer
with multi bags of vegetables in a few seconds.

Brooklyn, N.Y. [13th Avenue and 39th Street]

Hubacher, Max Henry, 1900-1989 (Photographer)
Date Created: 1952
Date Issued: 1970-09
Place: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy
Shelf locator: AZ 13-3600
Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
Trolley cars
Local transit
Date: Photo enlargement made Sept. 1970
Still image
MSS Unit ID: 22378
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19892408
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 9254c880-864d-0133-be8b-00505686a51c
Photo by: Max H. Hubacher
The New York Public Library holds or manages the copyright(s) in this item. If you need information about reusing this item, please go to:



Monday, January 30, 2017

BRT Shops and the Four Sister Map Mystery

  According to some of my older postings, the area around Old New Utrecht Road, 37th Streets an 13th Avenue in Brooklyn is rich in Brooklyn and transit history.  At this area, where the Culver Line ran on the surface and the Church Avenue trolley passed through, a Nassau Electric streetcar shop once existed.  In the map below, I believe from 1884 shows the general area.  To the right, you see where Church Avenue (Lane) begins and I posted a picture from there a few days ago. It seems that an early Brooklyn Rapid Transit Shop was located at the 37th Street and 13th Avenue intersection.  The former "Lumber Yard" which was a Nassau - Electric shop appears to not have been built yet in 1884 at 36th Street and Old New Utrecht Road.   Incidentally, this area is at the intersection of two great Brooklyn Street grids:  Namely the Flatbush east street grid and the Brooklyn grid with numbered avenues and streets with no prefixes.  Notice the streets that end at 36th Street, namely Story Street, Louisa Street, Clara Street, Tehema Street and Minna Street.  These streets form a triangle between the two great street systems near Greenwood Cemetery. See map below.  Who are these persons?   Story was probably a land owner and he named the four streets after development after his daughters.


The Culver Line runs at the bottom edge of this map, right above this line.

  It just so happens that several months ago, I looked at a downtown San Francisco map and I observed that three of sisters are present  as named streets.  The streets are not adjacent or major streets, but narrow streets like in Brooklyn:  These streets are east from Market:  Minna, Tehema and Clara Street, in the same order as in Brooklyn, but Louisa Street is missing.  Was Story connected with San Francisco?

Brooklyn V. 11, Plate No. 119 [Map bounded by 36th St., 14th Ave., 41st St., 13th Ave.]

Sanborn Map Company (Publisher)
Date Issued: 1884-
Place: New York
Publisher: Sanborn Map Company
Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division
Shelf locator: Map Div. (Sanborn Map Co. Insurance maps of N.Y.)
Fire insurance -- New York (State)
Real property -- New York (State)
Cities & towns -- New York (State)
Content: Fire insurance plans of cities and towns in New York State.
Still image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b10860230
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): bd23ead0-c5fe-012f-e89c-58d385a7bc34
We believe that this item has no known US copyright restrictions. The item may be subject to rights of privacy, rights of publicity and other restrictions. Though not required, if you want to credit us as the source, please use the following statement, "From The New York Public Library." Doing so helps us track how our collection is used and helps justify freely releasing even more content in the future.



Thursday, January 26, 2017

Great Photo from 1954.

Modified Feb. 6, 2017.  Please see the map below from the NY Digital Collection of the NYPL.

The map shows 37th Street, 36 Street (Martense Lane) and Church Lane (church Avenue).  The map shows that the Lumberyard above was attached to the Church Avenue Line tracks from the west side of the building.  Please see  the red triangle on the map below.  This map also shows that the Nassau Electric yard was not established at this time but the lumberyard may have been the depot.  Notice that the SBRR and Culver Line tracks were not attached to the lumber yard.

From the NY Public Library Digital Collection.  This is 1954 photo of Max Hubacher and is part of the NY Public Library collection.  It is a personal photograph. In it, we see a west bound Church Avenue PCC streetcar just about to make a right turn unto 37th Street in Brooklyn.  The car is located at what could be called the beginning of Church Avenue at Old New Utrecht Road which is a historic street which no longer exists in its full glory.  We see the north bound windscreen of the the then BMT Culver Line and the lumber yard on the left was the site of an early Nassau Electric trolley yard.  About everything in the above photo is mainly now gone.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Gravesend Brooklyn 1890 Map Showing Brooklyn Jockey Club

Plate23: [Bounded by Avenue P, Ocean Avenue, Avenue U, W. 6th Street, Avenue R, W. 8th Street, Avenue P and W. 11th Street.]

Additional title: Part of the Town of Gravesend, Kings Co., N.Y.
Robinson, E. (Elisha) (Cartographer)
E. Robinson Co. (Publisher)
Mueller, A. H. (August H.) (Engraver)
F. Bourquin & Co. (Printer)
Date Issued: 1890
Place: New York
Publisher: E. Robinson Co.

 Hi Folks:  Look at the left of the picture just below.  Do you see the branch from the Sea Beach RR to the Brooklyn Jockey Club on Gravesend Avenue.  The Sea Beach line is about an inch from the left upper margin at Kings Highway.    What a cool map from the NY Public Library.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Brooklyn Jockey Club as seen on a 1905 Map

      On resource that I did not look at in a long time is the New York Public Library Digital Collection.  This vast resource has many maps and the above section comes from a Brooklyn Eagle newspaper map drawn in 1905 dealing with transportation improvements for Brooklyn.  Notice the two race tracks and also note that the Jockey Club's southern boarder is Johnson's Lane, a street that does not exist today.  The red lines shown are surface railroads including streetcars.  In 1905, for this portion of the Brooklyn, the former steam railways ran on the surface  This was the case for the Culver Line prior to 1919.       Notice the Brighton Line branch to the Coney  Island Jockey Club at  Avenue X near Ocean Avenue.                                                                                                                                                                    

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Elevation Near the New Second Avenue Subway

  In the map below, I brought in an old typographical map and some elevation contour lines for the east side of Manhattan.  I was able to bring in the Lexington Avenue subway map but unfortunately, I was not able to locate a new shapefile dealing with the the Second Avenue Line that opened a few days ago.  Second Avenue is two blocks east of the Lexington Avenue Line (shown in green).  Notice the change of elevation along Second Avenue in Manhattan.  At particular locations, the Second Avenue El had to be built higher to avoid all these dips.  When I locate a new subway shapefile, I'll add it.   The old typographical map is interesting.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Second Avenue Subway Opened 12 minutes Ago

 As type this, at 12:12 pm New York time, the Second Avenue subway probably went into revenue service twelve minutes ago.  I am at home but I could not go to the opening.  In an interesting subchat posting "BMT Invades the Upper East Side", there is much truth in that statement.  The new Second Avenue subway is an extension of the Broadway - 7th Avenue BMT subway as far as present service is concerned because the Q train runs along the BMT lines from Coney Island to 57th Street and 7th Avenue.  In early subway history, and I will not quote references which I do not have presently but some may have been posted here years ago, the future plans for subway extensions was very different at the beginning of the 20th Century.  At the earlier stages, the IRT subway the opened in 1904 and extended to Brooklyn in 1908 may have be planned to go to Bay Ridge via Fourth Avenue.  The lower level at Atlantic Avenue was built with a track perhaps pointing to the Manhattan Bridge.  Who knows, if these plans may have been carried out, our traditional BMT lines, including the Culver, Sea Beach, West End and Fourth Avenue lines may have been part of the IRT network with branches to the upper Bronx!  In Manhattan, in planning service to upper Manhattan and perhaps the Bronx, the BMT subway at 57th Street was supposed to be extended to upper Manhattan as the BMT subway.  Everything above 59th Street in Manhattan could be considered as IND or IRT territory and now this changes.  Other changes of stripes occurred in Brooklyn.  The traditional BMT Culver subway line from Ditmas Avenue south became the IND D train in 1954.  The BMT City Line Elevated Line east of Grant Avenue became the IND Fulton Street Line in 1956.  The Dyer Avenue IRT line was originally part of a Westchester based private railroad.  In the late 1960's according to the Regional Plan, if the Second Avenue was extended to the Bronx, it would have "captured" the IRT Pelham Bay Park Line.  That line would have been modified to Dual Contract standards including provisions to use BMT-IND wider equipment.

Let us wish the Second Avenue Subway success and that the users will have many benefits from it.  It is really a "stubway" but something is better than nothing.  I guess that "Hell really froze over" today at 12 noon.

According to subchat, as of today, January 2, 2017, the new Second Avenue subway is beginning to experience "congestion" in turning trains around at the 96th Street station.  If appears that the turn around time involving signals and crossovers in greater than the regular schedule of trains.  It was suggested that since the tunnel goes north to 99th Street, there should have been a crossover north of the station as well.  Let us see what happens Tuesday morning which is a regular work day.  It was also suggested by some that the users of the new subway will not be Lexington Avenue Line users in the area but unhappy bus riders who need to get to their destination fast.  Do not forget that a GM fishbowl will solve all our transit woes.  Just joking.  Let us  see what happens regarding congestion; perhaps the signals and schedules need to be modified