In the Bronx, a boost to save Cass Gilbert stations

The elegant decaying station at Westchester Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard, covered in glorious or spooky ivy, depending on the time of ye...

The elegant decaying station at Westchester Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard, covered in glorious or spooky ivy, depending on the time of year and the amount of leaves, is rendered in the style of an Italian palace. Featured in an Architectural League exhibit in 1909, Gilbert’s station design was “universally admired”, reported The New York Times.

To the south, Hunts Point Station, on Hunts Point Avenue near Garrison Avenue, is a ramshackle beauty with dramatic dormers whose steeply sheered red slate roof once sported a weathered verdigris copper cornice contrasting. “French Renaissance in style, it could have been the royal stable of a French king,” said architectural historian and former “Streetscapes” columnist Christopher Gray. written in 2009.

Majora Carter, who grew up in the area, bought an easement from Amtrak with her husband, James Chase, for a dollar, allowing the couple to develop the station. They plan to convert it into a multipurpose venue called Bronxlandia with funds raised in part through a crowdfunding effort open to those with $250 to invest. They work closely with the State Historic Preservation Office in hopes of qualifying for tax credits.

Most of the polychrome terracotta on the south facade, facing the street, was ripped out decades ago for the windows. But the terracotta north facade, where the stairs once descended to the train platforms, is largely intact, including a beautiful frieze under the cornice with a red diamond on a blue background. The promoters plan to rehabilitate this historic fabric.

A new station is planned just north of the old one, one of four Metro-North stations to be built in the Bronx as part of a $2.87 billion project that will allow New Haven Line trains to reach Penn Station. When this new Hunts Point station opens in 2027, “everyone who arrives will be looking directly at the back facade” of the old station, said Jay Valgora, director of Studio V Architecture, which is designing the project. “And it will become the gateway to the neighborhood.”

On the Hunts Point Avenue side, beneath the remaining original terracotta frieze, he plans a contemporary glass and steel storefront “that is open to the street in support of Majora’s mission to transform the building into a center cultural”.

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Newsrust - US Top News: In the Bronx, a boost to save Cass Gilbert stations
In the Bronx, a boost to save Cass Gilbert stations
Newsrust - US Top News
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