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With the selection of photographs below we want to share with you moments that have somehow shaped the course of history, some are better known than others ,but mostly these pictures provide a different angle. Elevated train tracks and station buildings cast the streets below into shadow in a typical Brooklyn neighborhood in New York City. One of Chicagos features that it is most closely identified with is it elevated railroad system, affectionately referred to as the L.
David Reynolds is the Professor of International History at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Christ's College. David is a regular visitor to the United States and has held visiting university appointments at Harvard, Nebraska and Oklahoma. This defunct elevated line ran along Pitkin Avenue, turning north at Euclid and then east again at Liberty Avenue.
The introduction of the IND subway line in 1936 was to eventually spell the demise of this line. Pitkin Avenue, Looking east from Berriman This early postcard view shows how the original posts did not leave much room for traffic.
Euclid AvenueTwo 1948 views of the line running north on Euclid Avenue towards Liberty Avenue.
Grant Avenue Station, opened December 28, 1893This view from the late 1940s was taken along Liberty Avenue under the Grant Street station. Accident, January 23, 1953In January 1953 a truck hit one of the support posts right before Drew Street. Grant Avenue connection, 1956Ever since the IND subway line was opened in 1936, the days of the Fulton El were numbered.


El RemovalI've had 2 pictures sent to me by site fans of the el removal along Pitkin Avenue. Now over one hundred years old, the L was created for, and had expanded and declined according to the population of Chicago. As with most of the early train lines, it was constructed by a private company, the Kings County Elevated Railroad Co. Service along the elevated line out to Rockaway Avenue was discontinued in 1940, but the war delayed extension of the subway. On the right, we had a badly damaged negative from 1943 of the view west along Pitkin from Linwood Street in 1943. A view of the west-bound platform, and looking west towards Berriman Avenue (thanks Tony!) with the Kinema Theater visible on the right.
The first picture is looking back towards the Chestnut Street Station with a view of the north side of Pitkin Avenue.
In the view on the right, that is Sunrise Highway (Conduit Boulevard) cutting in from behind the gas station.
Less than an hour later, a train carrying 180 passengers passed over this section, causing the tracks to buckle. The view on the left (from Bob Reddington) is by Ashford Street and the one on the right (from Liz Sanford) is Cleveland Street. The first section completed ran from Fulton Ferry to Nostrand Avenue, and opened April 24, 1888. That subway line was extended out to Euclid Avenue, and after creating a connection to the Dual Contracts extension in 1956, the entire elevated section in East New York was redundant.


The nycsubway.org website has a number of early maps and a lot of images of the line, for those interested in more material. I managed to scan it, but there wasn't enough historical interest to merit getting the negative repaired. The image on the right shows the difference in structural work between the 1893 project and the 1915 extension.
The war delayed some plans, but by 1948 the subway line had been extended out to Euclid Avenue, and from there the track rises back above ground and connects with the line after Grant Avenue.
The Atlantic Avenue station was rebuilt during the Dual Contracts so this dates closer to 1915.
In East New York, the company did not have rights to the coveted Jamaica Avenue or Fulton Street routes (cemetery visitors were big business for the transportation companies) and was forced to turn south at Snediker Avenue, then east at Pitkin Avenue. The extension into East New York to the Van Siclen Avenue station was completed November 18, 1889.
The Dual Contracts provided for an extension of the line from Grant Avenue out to Lefferts Boulevard in 1915.



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