The Second Avenue El
1906 IRT map, courtesy NYCsubway.org

The Second Avenue El

The New York Public Library’s digital gallery contains some fun photos of the Second Avenue elevated train, which began operation in 1880 and cast shadows upon the street for more than 60 years.

First Avenue & 11th Street, courtesy NYPL

We know what you’re thinking: Isn’t this a photo of First Avenue?

Yes indeed. Despite its name, the elevated actually ran along First Avenue from Houston Street up through the East Village before veering off to Second Avenue at 23rd Street, as shown on this 1906 IRT map.

1906 IRT map, courtesy NYCsubway.org

This 1934 photo (courtesy NYPL) shows the elevated station at the corner of First Ave & Houston St

The elevated was taken down in 1942. All photos that follow, which portray the demolition, are courtesy of the New York Public Library:

First Avenue looking north from East 8th Street, 1942

First Avenue looking south from East 8th Street, 1942

First Avenue looking north from East 9th Street, 1942

First Avenue looking south from East 9th Street, 1942

First Avenue looking north from East 12th Street, 1942

For more on our East Village research, visit our preservation page.

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Elizabeth
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Elizabeth Finkelstein was GVSHP's Director of Preservation & Research from Summer 2008 to January 2012.

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  1. […] being torn down in 1942. See photos of the demolition, courtesy of the New York Public Library, at Off The Grid. Related Posts:The Abandoned Bowery Station On The J/Z Subway LineA Call For A 2nd Avenue Light […]

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