East Broadway Subway Station Turns 85

Posted on: January 15th, 2021 at 5:00 am by

The East Broadway subway station wasn’t always a shady dungeon attracting crime. Once upon a time, the transit stop inspired celebrations across the Lower East Side.

It was exactly eighty-five years ago – January 1, 1936 – that the East Broadway subway station debuted to the public. The feat of subterranean engineering, then known as the Rutgers Street Station, was hailed in the local Yiddish press, i.e. The Jewish Daily Forward.

“When the subway opens, for the thousands of people who come here to The Forward building daily for a variety of reasons, it will be easier to get to East Broadway,” the paper said on January 2. “Most importantly it will be easier for union activists and Worker’s Circle members and other communal organizations who have their gatherings in the Forward building to get here in less than 23-35 minutes.”

Photo: The Forward

The above shot featured prominently in that story, showing John Delaney, Chairman of the Board of Transportation, Manhattan Borough President Samuel Levy, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, Forward Manager B.C. Vladeck and Forward President, and socialist Judge Jacob Panken.

The introduction of the East Broadway station was seen at the time as a link to the broader city, and a symbol of progress. It would eventually prove a boon for the area economy its own working class agenda.

In current times, the station is synonymous with grift. Crime is the norm, with muggings and swipe swindling commonplace. A few years ago, it ranked twelfth on a list of the top twenty-five most dangerous stations in the system.

However, the station is now receiving some love as part of the repair of the Rutgers Tube, which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

Recent Stories

Chinatown Homeless Murder Suspect Still Awaiting Trial

More than two years since the horrific murder of four homeless men in Chinatown, the suspect has yet to be held accountable for the crimes. In the early morning hours of October 5, 2019 Randy Santos stalked, then allegedly bludgeoned to death Cheun Kwok, Anthony Manson, Florencio Moran and Nazario Vasqez-Villegas while asleep on the streets. In […]

Excavation Begins for 70-Story South Street Towers

Cranes, and plywood, and pile-drivers, oh my! Such is the story down on the Lower East Side waterfront. Department of Buildings on April 12 issued official approval to the Chetrit Group to begin foundation activities for its dual 70-story tower at 265 South. A month later, the big trucks are mobilized. While excavation is now […]

For 7th Year Running, Greek Jewish Festival Returns to Broome Street this Weekend

After a more subdued outing last year, the Greek Jewish Festival this spring is on the rebound, pulling out the stops. It returns on Sunday for another go-round. Founded by Kehila Kedosha Janina on Broome Street seven years ago, the event celebrates the culture and traditions of the Greek Jewish community. Years past saw crowds […]

Revisiting the Story of the Eastern Dispensary at 75 Essex Street

The historic Eastern Dispensary Building at 75 Essex Street – home of Eisner Bros. – will soon undergo major redevelopment to add a ten-story protrusion to its rooftop. Fresh off this news, which broke earlier this month, we thought it appropriate to revisit a Bowery Boogie entry from nine years ago detailing the history of […]

Motorcycle Driver Killed in FDR Drive Crash

A motorcyclist driving the FDR Tuesday morning lost control of the vehicle and died after hitting the roadway, police said. The driver, identified as Brooklyn 36-year-old resident Christian Reyes, had been traveling southbound on the FDR Drive at 7:10am in the vicinity of Exit 3, when he struck the left edge curbing and guide rail. […]