Sunset Park

Sunset Park to celebrate 4th Ave. subway’s 100th Anniversary

March 3, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle heralded the opening of the Fourth Avenue subway line 100 years ago this June. Image courtesy Sunset Park Restoration
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The front page of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on June 19, 1915, heralded the arrival of a new subway line in the borough. Running beneath Fourth Avenue, the subway line stretched all the way to Sunset Park and within a few years would expand deep into Bay Ridge.

Today, it’s known as the R train.

The Eagle headline proudly announced, “Opening of $25,000,000 Fourth Avenue Subway Is Preface To Brooklyn Vast New Programme (sic) Of Development.”

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Leaders of the group Sunset Park Restoration are planning a major two-day celebration this June 19 and 20 to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Fourth Avenue subway line and are seeking ideas from the public on how to mark the important milestone.

“And we are asking the public to offer their suggestions on how to mark this anniversary by emailing us at [email protected] or by joining Sunset Parker public group of Facebook,” Sunset Park Restoration President Tony Giordano wrote in an email to the Brooklyn Eagle.

The group is also inviting all of the elected officials who represent Sunset Park to act as co-sponsors of the anniversary events, along with Sunset Park Restoration.

The Fourth Avenue subway began service on June 22, 1915, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The new subway line connected with the BMT’s Sea Beach line to Coney Island. It also ran to Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan, over the Manhattan Bridge.

“This was the first service in the Fourth Avenue subway, as well as the first over the bridge,” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz wrote in an email to the Eagle.

Andrew Gounardes, president of the Bay Ridge Historical Society, said service on the Fourth Avenue subway line was extended into Bay Ridge in 1916.

“The subway line into Bay Ridge, from what started as the BMT line and is now the R line, is a crucial link connecting our neighborhood to the rest of New York City and, more importantly, the rest of New York City to our neighborhood. Although our community’s favorite pastime often seems to be complaining about service on the R, no one can deny the inordinate effect the subway had on the history of Bay Ridge. After the subway opened in April 1916, Bay Ridge began its transformation from a community of farmhouses into the vibrant neighborhood with a small-town feel that still thrives today,” he told the Eagle.

***UPDATED***

Article was updated to include comments from Andrew Gounardes.

 


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