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New York Stations - Bowling Green

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New York Stations & Structures

by Paul S. Luchter

Bowling Green Station, Manhattan



  Bowling Green is a park dating back to 1733 in New York City. That year it was set up as a circular bowling green. Grateful colonists erected a statue of King George III after parliament repealed the Townshend taxes.  The Dutch had traded cattle here.

On July 6, 1776, George Washington read the Declaration of Independence to his troops in New York City. Following this the troops and the citizenry tore down the King’s statue and melted the lead down to make bullets. 

The actual bowling green was removed to Central Park in 1914 (where it still remains) following subway construction. The original colonial iron fence that surrounded Bowling Green is still there surrounding the park today, minus the crowns above the posts, pulled off by the revolutionaries in 1776.

This Bowling Green Station of the Lexington Avenue IRT is the last stop in Manhattan before Brooklyn. Once there was also a loop station at South Ferry for the east side line. This loop is no longer used for passenger trains, local trains terminate at Brooklyn Bridge station now, and loop around City Hall Station, soon to be a museum.  I do not know how this loop is used today, only west side IRT trains go to South Ferry for decades. 

This station building, completed 1905, is actually diagonally across from Bowling Green  at the corner of Battery Park.

The first residence of President Washington was just across the street. Also across the street at #1 Broadway is the former Washington Building, when built in 1885, the largest building in the world (and tallest until 1890). In 1920, its mansard roof was removed and it was reconstructed as New International Mercantile Marine Building, winning a national award for its redesign. If you view this building’s southern side today you will see over the doors “First Class” and “Cabin”, possibly entrances once for the different classes of passengers.

The Bowling Green IRT Station, designed by the same engineers who built the IRT, is a rare remainder of the original IRT stations, 72nd Street on Broadway being the other still in Manhattan.


This page was last updated Wednesday, January 03, 2001

©2001 Jim Dent - Page created by Jim Dent
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