Manhattan Railway Company, Station 5

Posted on: August 4th, 2009 at 6:18 am by

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Amidst the hustle-bustle of food wholesalers along the bowels of Allen Street is a hidden piece of ephemeral New York.  Above the disheveled store signage at 100 Division Street is enough graffiti to distract the casual observer from seeing the century-old bronze lettering affixed to its facade – Manhattan Railway Co., Station 5.

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The brick structure dates back to February 1879 when the Metropolitan Elevated Railway Company initiated construction of the Second Avenue El, the last elevated railway in the city to be built.  But it was the Manhattan Railway Company that eventually completed the entire train line in August of 1880.  Talk about efficiency!  As the website El2 notes, “The project had gone from paper to 7½ miles of line in 18 months.”  (Are you listening, MTA?  Take a few lessons from the past.)  This corner of Division and Allen Streets was the second stop on the journey.  In fact, the train didn’t reach Second Avenue until turning west on Twenty-Third Street.

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[Photo via El2]

These days, the antiquated corner structure that stands at 100 Division Street is itself occupied by a longstanding produce distribution company called Dai Sing Corp; Tay Shing Corp. operates out of the adjacent 1 Allen Street.

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