Vintage Photograph Shows Out-of-Place Subway Entrance in (Then) Bay Ridge Suburbs, 1916

1916. The western 77th Street entrance, dated the day before it opened to the public. Photo courtesy the New York Transit Museum.
1916. The western 77th Street entrance, dated the day before it opened to the public. Photo courtesy the New York Transit Museum.
Photo: Hey Ridge

We have posted a ton of vintage photographs on this site before, including many from the early days of the subway and stations, but none have ever looked so oddly out-of-place as this one.

When the subway finally came to Bay Ridge, on January 15, 1916, it was greeted with no mere ribbon-cutting. The ceremony around this truly historic event, which forever changed the character of this area, was met with a daylong celebration, including not just a ride on the newly opened line by myriad municipal dignitaries but also a pageant, dancing and a grand feast that lasted into the evening.

At the time, Bay Ridge looked more like a rural or suburban town than its modern day, apartment buildings. The subway entrance sitting there in the sidewalk alongside grassy front lawns is quite the contrast! Here is a Google StreetView of how the same spot looks today:

via Hey Ridge

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's food scene with his Wife and the outdoors with their dog. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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