The West South Midwood Chronicles, Part Two
|1905: Brighton train at Ave H station. LIRR track spur far right. |
The Ackerman sales office visible, left of the train.
|2010: Neck Rd LIRR station stairway remains|
but station is gone. Brighton station on left.
Long after third rails had replaced overhead trolley wires on the Brighton line, the LIRR continued to run steam locomotives both south and east of Avenue H, prompting constant complaints to the Public Service Commission from sleep-deprived residents of our neighborhood. An October 1924 news article reported that West South Midwood's pleas had been heard and the LIRR was ordered to electrify. Rather than bear that expense, the LIRR ceased operations shortly thereafter on its Manhattan Beach line. Today the only remnants can be found in some old concrete blocks near Avenue I, a staircase to nowhere at the Neck Road station and an odd series of LIRR easements near Avenue V inherited by the MTA which were bequeathed to homeowners in 2011. An aerial photo of Brooklyn in 1924 shows the empty land where the Manhattan Beach spur cut across what became E. 17th and E. 16th Streets, north of Avenue I.
|1924 Aerial Photo of West South Midwood - Red star is Avenue H at Rugby Road. Note the empty land at lower right where the LIRR Manhattan Beach spur ran through E. 18th and E. 17th Streets and then ran parallel to Brighton line.|
|1912 BRT Map. Parkside Ave was called "Woodside Ave" and F line Ave I stop was called "Parkville".|
|The Bay Ridge LIRR spur passing over Brighton road bed near Avenue H|
|Foot of East 17th St. at south side of LIRR cut today.|
|Stairs and ramp to LIRR cut at E. 18th St.|
|Manhattan Beach RR branched off here at East 17th Street|
|E. 18th St. at south side of LIRR cut today.|
Transportation issues emerged again at the Fall 1924 meeting of the West South Midwood Property Owners League when the director of the BMT was requested to provide new exits at Newkirk and Foster Avenues to ease congestion on the single stairway that descended from a token booth in the middle of Newkirk Plaza. The request was denied despite the fact that Plaza store-owners claimed 25,000 persons passed their shops each day.
|Newkirk Plaza, East Side, looking North from Brighton RR entrance toward Newkirk Avenue (Brooklyn Historical Society).|
|Newkirk Plaza, East Side, looking South toward Foster Avenue (Brooklyn Historical Society).|
|Former Pennypacker Home at 790 Westminster.|
|Former Home of Charles Merritt at 785 Westminster.|
|Wells Memorial Presbyterian Church, Now Church of the Latter Day Saints, At Glenwood and Argyle Roads|
|Looking South Down Rugby Road|
|An Argyle Road stanchion in Victorian Flatbush.|
|Argyle Road driveway.|
|Tulips still bloom in Argyle Heights.|
The more I read about Deegan, the more I wished I knew him. Like many other residents of West South Midwood before and after him, he was an immigrant. There will be more on the immigrant roots of our neighborhood in coming Chronicles, so for now, let's move on.
|Looking North on Brighton Line tracks toward Glenwood Road, from Avenue H platform more than 70 years ago. Florida? Is that you calling?|
|West South Midwood: Same As It Ever Was?|