Bronxville Railroad Station, Bronxville New York (2024)

Date added: August 01, 2016 Categories: New York Train Station Passenger Station Mission Revival

Bronxville Railroad Station, Bronxville New York (3)

Prior to the arrival of the railroads, Westchester County was a seriesof small independent communities separated by farmland and rural estates.The opening of rail lines connecting the towns and villages ofWestchester with New York City was to irrevocably change the character ofthis county. On April 25, 1831, the New York and Harlem Railroad wasincorporated with a planned run between New York City and the town ofHarlem in northern Manhattan. Service to White Plains was sooninaugurated. rt was the advent of reliable train service betweenWestchester and New York City that brought about the suburban developmentof the county. The original railroads were modest single-track lineswith small wooden stations. As demand for service increased the raillines were widened, tracks added, and imposing new stations erected.Most of the stations now in use In Westchester date from the last yearsof the nineteenth century or the first decades of the twentieth century;all of Westchester's Harlem Line stations south of White Plains date fromthe early twentieth century.

What is now the village of Bronxvilie in the town of Kastohester wasprimarily farm land until the arrival of the railroads. In the midnineteenth century, the land in Bronxville and neighboring communitiesbegan to be divided into estates with substantial houses such as Crow'sNest, the Bronxville villa of painter Francis Edmonds. Bronxville becamea convenient location for estates following the opening of a railroadstation in 1848 (the original station was a combination depot, postoffice, and store). Major suburban development did not begin inBronxville until 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased an 86acre tract of land immediately to the east of the railroad station, withthe intention of subdividing it for residential development. LawrencePark proved to he a successful venture, attracting well-to-do people tothe large houses set amidst winding streets and landscaped plots.Bronxville grew at a rapid pace and in 1898 was incorporated as aseparate village in the town of Eastchester. In 1897, Lawrencecommissioned the design of the Gramatan Hotel built on a hill overlookingthe railroad tracks. After a fire, the hotel was rebuilt in 1905 in theMission Revival style. The prominence of the Gramatan (demolished) ledto the construction of other Mission Revival style buildings inBronxville and the Mission Revival became a style associated with thetown. The train station is one of the most prominent of these laterMission Revival style buildings.

The Bronxville Station is a stuccoed,Mission Revival style building that, on the exterior, looks very much asit did when it was completed. Alterations have been limited primarilyto the fenestration. The interior has had moreextensive alterations. The main entrances to the station lead to adouble height concourse. To the north of the concourse was a rectangularwaiting room with built-in benches on its east and west walls. The entryarch between the concourse and waiting room contained a built-intelephone booth on each side. At the north end of the waiting room was acentral passage leading out of the building. This passage was flanked bythe women's toilet to the left and a bootblack room and newsstand to theright. To the south of the concourse were the ticket and telegraphoffice, a small public space, an express office, and several closets.Beyond these, at the south end of the building, were the express andbaggage rooms. To the west of the concourse were the men's toilet and aWestern Union telegraph office.

In 1974, a bank converted the formerwaiting room into a banking space. Among the alterations that apparentlyoccurred to the station at this time are: the removal of the women's toilet, passage, bootblack room, andnewsstand at the north end of the building and the conversion ofthese areas and the adjacent waiting room into a bank; the removal of the telephone booths and the addition of a glassscreen and door with aluminum frame between the concourse and theformer waiting room; the closing up of the waiting room windows and doors on the westand north elevations and the removal of a small entrance on the eastelevation; the construction of a new women's room in the former WesternOnion office; the reconfiguration of the ticket office, express office, baggageroom, and express room, with the former baggage room and ticketofficebecoming the present waiting room (one of the benches fromthe old waiting room was moved Lo the east wall of the presentwaiting room), the removal of the original ticket windows and theconversion of this space into the arched entrance to the presentwaiting room, the division of the express room into a ticket officeand small commercial space (now a cash machine outlet), and theconversion of the express office into another small commercialspace. Only the original public space and a closet in the southwing are extant.

The Bronxville Station is a one-story structure,although the central concourse level with its hexagonal clerestorycreates a two-story volume in the center of the building. The height ofthe north end of the building (including the original women's room,bootblack room, and newsstand) is lower than that of the rest of thebuilding. The shape of the building is a rectangle with one corner cutout. The building measures 92'4" long on its east and west facades,35'10" wide on the south facade, and 20'6" wide on the north facade.

Bronxville Railroad Station, Bronxville New York (2024)

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