Vintage Photograph Show 42nd Street Looking West From 3rd Avenue El Towards Grand Central in 1887

42nd Street, Above the Tracks, Looking West From 3rd Avenue, 1887
42nd Street, Above the Tracks, Looking West From 3rd Avenue, 1887
Photo: W. Knowlton

This great vintage photograph from 1887 shows 42nd Street looking west from on top of the old 3rd Avenue El towards Grand Central Terminal. From Stuff Nobody Cares About:

This albumen photograph was taken in 1887 by Willis Knowlton who had his studio at 335 Fourth Avenue.

Knowlton set up his camera from the 42nd Street station of the Third Avenue Elevated looking west towards Grand Central Station. If you’re thinking, “wait a minute, why are there elevated tracks running west towards Grand Central?” The answer is, this connecting spur was in place between 1878 and 1923, taking commuters to and from Grand Central directly to the Third Avenue El. As practical as the connection was for the 15,000 daily riders still using it in 1923, the city’s Board of Estimate ordered its removal in October of that year. The IRT complied and the spur was closed at midnight December 6, 1923 and the tracks and station were demolished soon afterwards.

Check out the accompanying article for more info on the photograph.

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