Where was the Third Avenue Railroad Depot?

William H. Schenck painted this lovely red-brick structure in 1860; it’s part of the Met’s Edward W.C. Arnold Collection of New York Prints, Maps, and Pictures.

But where exactly was the Third Avenue Railroad Depot? A New York Times art review from 1999 suggests it stood between 65th and 66th Streets, where the massive Manhattan House condo-in-transition has been since 1950. On the other hand, an 1881 Times article mentions a Third Avenue Railroad Depot at 130th Street. 

railroaddepot

Wherever it stood, the depot was the site of some bizarre accidents, such as this one written up in the Times on October 19, 1871:

“Robert Bannon, thirty-five years of age, died at St. Luke’s Hospital, yesterday, by injuries he received from a roller falling on his head from the roof of the Third Avenue Railroad Depot.”

And then, on February 18, 1881:

“A serious affray occurred yesterday afternoon in the neighborhood of the Third-Avenue Railroad Depot at One Hundred and Thirtieth Street, during which one man was shot and the other was struck on the head by a stone and dangerously, if not fatally, injured.”

Yep, they were drunk at the time. 

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5 Responses to “Where was the Third Avenue Railroad Depot?”

  1. Ted Says:

    130th St doesn’t intersect 3rd Ave… if it did, it’d be at the base of the Manhattan side of the 3rd Avenue Bridge. I guess there’s a possibility that 130th Street once met 3rd Ave here and the area was condemned/rearranged in a reconstruction of the bridge, but I can’t find any record of a depot being there.

  2. Mid-C Frank Says:

    Judging from some old NYTimes articles, the one picture above was at 65th, and burned down. A replacement built at 130th was constructed of iron.

  3. jennifer Says:

    i have this picture hanging on my wall and it was given to me buy my grandmother im not sure if it a collectable or not if anyone has any info on this painting please let me no

  4. Debbie Says:

    I notice a bookplate with an engraved version of this image is currently being offered on eBay by “paperchasesue” (Buy It Now price of $28) with the description: “This item is a scarce bookplate print for D.T. Valentin’s Manual for 1860. Lithograph by Geo Hayward 171 Pearl St. NY. Features the 3rd Ave Railroad Depot, NY 1860. Located between 65-66ths streets. This building was burned down on June 27th 1861 which was fought by the NY Fire Dept. The building was a red brick. Later rebuilt at 130th St. 7 1/4 x 4 1/2 inches. Great piece for publication on early railroads of NY, collector, museum or historical society. As shown.”

  5. Debbie Says:

    Jennifer, I bought a framed print (approx 3 ft by 2 ft) yesterday at a consignment shop for $45, and I see the identical item currently offered on eBay by “justeekin” with a starting price also of $45. So while it’s an attractive print, it’s unlikely to be one to retire on.

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