NY Central Station – 1914

ny-cen-rr-1I missed this by a few days.

On Jan. 19th 1914 at 12:01 a.m. Rochester opened a great new railroad station. The station of the NY Central Railroad was designed by Claude Bragdon, who also designed many other buildings in Rochester. Bragdon thought that the building was one of his best works and it is often referred to as his masterpiece.

The exterior  of the building was of brown stone and purple colored bricks. The rounded windows in the center were to look similar to locomotive wheels. They also allowed great amounts of natural sunlight to enter the building.

The waiting room (see below) was 187 x 116 feet and had a 90 foot vaulted ceiling. It had enough seating for 500 people. The lower walls and sides of staircases were tiled.

Not only was there a beautiful new building but the railroad yard was also increased in size. It former only had room for 95 cars but was increased to a capacity of 225 cars. The railroad platforms were also increased to an average length of 1,200 feet.

Decline in the number of railroad passengers and lack of maintenance of the building led to the end of this grand building. Demolition began with part of the building in 1965. The last part of the building was torn down in 1978. It was replaced by a much smaller building that was only supposed to be temporary. After all these year it is finally going to be replaced by a building that looks similar to the center part of Bragdon’s station (see this web page).

Waiting room - before the station opened

Waiting room – before the station opened

Interior view of the main entrance

Interior view of the main entrance