Port Richmond

The NSRR runs on a 0.8-mile-long concrete viaduct through Port Richmond. The viaduct was built to eliminate dangerous at-grade street crossings in the neighborhood. It was funded by the depression-era Federal Public Works Administration and cost around $2 million. Work began in 1934 and the viaduct opened on February 25, 1937 (NY Times 12/4/1933 and 2/24/1937).

A 2000 inspection revealed the viaduct to be largely sound, although age, lack of maintenance and issues with ADA compliance would likely necessitate extensive repairs. Old station platforms and awnings still exist on the viaduct, although their poor condition and old design would probably require complete reconstruction. Consideration is also being given to replacement of the structure or demolition with restoration of the at-grade crossings - showing how easy it is to pursue short-term savings while failing to learn the lessons of history.

The viaduct begins its rise behind the water pollution control plant around Taylor Street.

Pollution Control Plant
12/4/2009 12:48 PM
Pollution Control Plant
Viaduct behind Pollution Control Plant
12/4/2009 12:50 PM
Viaduct behind Pollution Control Plant
Viaduct rising toward Richmond Terrace
12/4/2009 12:51 PM
Viaduct rising toward Richmond Terrace
Stream at Rector Street
12/4/2009 12:52 PM
Stream at Rector Street
Ducks in the stream
12/4/2009 12:52 PM
Ducks in the stream
TLC office 1893 Richmond Terrace
12/4/2009 12:53 PM
TLC office 1893 Richmond Terrace
Richmond Terrace looking west from Rector Street
12/4/2009 12:53 PM
Richmond Terrace looking west from Rector Street
NYC DOT facility on Richmond Terrace
12/4/2009 12:54 PM
NYC DOT facility on Richmond Terrace
Richmond Terrace turning North
12/4/2009 12:55 PM
Richmond Terrace turning North
Viaduct approaching Richmond Terrace
12/4/2009 12:57 PM
Viaduct approaching Richmond Terrace
Viaduct crossing Richmond Terrace
12/4/2009 12:56 PM
Viaduct crossing Richmond Terrace
Viaduct crossing Richmond Terrace
12/4/2009 12:58 PM
Viaduct crossing Richmond Terrace
Sidewalk on Richmond Terrace under viaduct
12/4/2009 12:58 PM
Sidewalk on Richmond Terrace under viaduct
Viaduct ceiling
12/4/2009 12:58 PM
Viaduct ceiling
Viaduct piers looking west
12/4/2009 12:59 PM
Viaduct piers looking west
Jewett Lead Company EPA remediation sign
12/4/2009 01:02 PM
Jewett Lead Company EPA remediation sign
Viaduct headed west past Jewett Lead Co. site
12/4/2009 01:02 PM
Viaduct headed west past Jewett Lead Co. site
Viaduct over Richmond Terrace
12/4/2009 01:03 PM
Viaduct over Richmond Terrace
Reinaur Tugboats
12/4/2009 01:02 PM
Reinaur Tugboats
Reinaur Tugboats
12/4/2009 01:03 PM
Reinaur Tugboats

The Port Richmond station was between Park Avenue (a residential street) and Richmond Avenue, a street of diversified shopping.

Port Richmond Station at Park Ave. - westbound platform
12/4/2009 01:05 PM
Port Richmond Station at Park Ave. - westbound platform
Park Ave. Bridge - 1935
12/4/2009 01:05 PM
Park Ave. Bridge - 1935
Stairway to platform
12/4/2009 01:05 PM
Stairway to platform
Stairway to platform
12/4/2009 01:06 PM
Stairway to platform
Port Richmond Station awning
12/4/2009 01:06 PM
Port Richmond Station awning
Port Richmond Station awning
12/4/2009 01:06 PM
Port Richmond Station awning
Viaduct over Park Avenue
12/4/2009 01:06 PM
Viaduct over Park Avenue
Viaduct over Park Avenue
12/4/2009 01:07 PM
Viaduct over Park Avenue
Viaduct over Port Richmond Avenue
12/4/2009 01:08 PM
Viaduct over Port Richmond Avenue
Nat's Men's Shop
12/4/2009 01:09 PM
Nat's Men's Shop
Old residential stock on Ann Street
12/4/2009 01:09 PM
Old residential stock on Ann Street
Under the viaduct
12/4/2009 01:10 PM
Under the viaduct
Concrete stringers
12/4/2009 01:10 PM
Concrete stringers
Spalling
12/4/2009 01:10 PM
Spalling
Stairway up to platform
12/4/2009 01:11 PM
Stairway up to platform
Twin spans
12/4/2009 01:11 PM
Twin spans
Spalling
12/4/2009 01:11 PM
Spalling
Looking west under the viaduct
12/4/2009 01:11 PM
Looking west under the viaduct
Viaduct at the end of Port Richmond Avenue mall
12/4/2009 01:14 PM
Viaduct at the end of Port Richmond Avenue mall

While a bit worse for wear, reactivation of the rail line could well be a nice shot in the arm for the shopping area, broadening the pool of potential customers. The area is largely older housing stock (often in poor condition) that might also be ripe for higher-density redevelopment.

Port Richmond Avenue shops
12/4/2009 01:09 PM
Port Richmond Avenue shops
Empty storefront
12/4/2009 01:12 PM
Empty storefront
Port Richmond Avenue shops
12/4/2009 01:14 PM
Port Richmond Avenue shops
Port Richmond Avenue shops
12/4/2009 01:19 PM
Port Richmond Avenue shops
Mossy vacant slot
12/4/2009 01:22 PM
Mossy vacant slot
Grove Avenue
12/4/2009 01:23 PM
Grove Avenue
Maple Street at Grove Avenue
12/4/2009 01:23 PM
Maple Street at Grove Avenue
Viaduct over Maple Street
12/4/2009 01:24 PM
Viaduct over Maple Street
Grove Avenue at Faber Street
12/4/2009 01:25 PM
Grove Avenue at Faber Street
Viaduct over Faber Street
12/4/2009 01:25 PM
Viaduct over Faber Street
Solid Rock Ministries - 70 Grove Avenue
12/4/2009 01:25 PM
Solid Rock Ministries - 70 Grove Avenue

The Tower Hill station sat between Sharpe and Treadwell Avenues and served the west side of Port Richmond. The station is not slated for reactivation, probably due to its proximity to both the Port Richmond and Elm Park stations.

Tower Hill Station at the end of Grove Avenue
12/4/2009 01:26 PM
Tower Hill Station at the end of Grove Avenue
Tower Hill Station
12/4/2009 01:27 PM
Tower Hill Station
Spalling
12/4/2009 01:27 PM
Spalling
West staircase
12/4/2009 01:29 PM
West staircase
Tower Hill Station
12/4/2009 01:29 PM
Tower Hill Station
East staircase
12/4/2009 01:30 PM
East staircase
East staircase
12/4/2009 01:31 PM
East staircase
Tower Hill Station
12/4/2009 01:33 PM
Tower Hill Station
Rusted awning
12/4/2009 01:33 PM
Rusted awning
Under the viaduct looking west
12/4/2009 01:34 PM
Under the viaduct looking west
Cracking
12/4/2009 01:35 PM
Cracking
Viaduct over Sharpe Avenue
12/4/2009 01:37 PM
Viaduct over Sharpe Avenue
Viaduct over Treadwell Ave.
12/4/2009 01:41 PM
Viaduct over Treadwell Ave.
1935 date stamp (BIN 7706050)
12/4/2009 01:41 PM
1935 date stamp (BIN 7706050)
Stairway to platform
12/4/2009 01:42 PM
Stairway to platform
No tresspassing
12/4/2009 01:42 PM
No tresspassing
Extensive cracking, revealing steel stringers
12/4/2009 01:42 PM
Extensive cracking, revealing steel stringers

The mostly residential neighborhood features closely-packed but large late-19th and early-20th century homes. Some of the neighborhood properties could use some improvements, but there don't appear to be alot of vacant lots. The residents would probably be quite hostile to having alot of homes torn down for large, dense redevelopment projects.

Treadwell Ave. looking north toward viaduct
12/4/2009 01:39 PM
Treadwell Ave. looking north toward viaduct
Multiple house ages - Harrison at Sharpe
12/4/2009 01:37 PM
Multiple house ages - Harrison at Sharpe
Large old houses - Harrison at Treadwell
12/4/2009 01:38 PM
Large old houses - Harrison at Treadwell
Treadwell at Slaight - Mansard roof
12/4/2009 01:39 PM
Treadwell at Slaight - Mansard roof
Houses on Treadwell Street
12/4/2009 01:40 PM
Houses on Treadwell Street
Newer multi-family row houses - Slaight at Nicholas
12/4/2009 01:46 PM
Newer multi-family row houses - Slaight at Nicholas
Slaight at Nicholas
12/4/2009 01:47 PM
Slaight at Nicholas
Houses on Nicholas Avenue
12/4/2009 01:47 PM
Houses on Nicholas Avenue

The Port Richmond viaduct ends between Treadwell and Nicholas Avenues and heads into a trench to points West. Just before returning to grade level, the line crosses over Treadwell Avenue on a formidable-looking pony plate bridge. The line was unfenced at this point when I visited in 2009, making it possible to climb onto the bridge. However, overgrowth to the west and east would make further walking on the line a fairly arduous hike.

Nicholas Avenue Bridge
12/4/2009 01:47 PM
Nicholas Avenue Bridge
Overgrown access road south of Nicholas Ave. Bridge
12/4/2009 01:48 PM
Overgrown access road south of Nicholas Ave. Bridge
Pony plate girder closeup
12/4/2009 01:48 PM
Pony plate girder closeup
1935 datestamp (BIN 7706120)
12/4/2009 01:49 PM
1935 datestamp (BIN 7706120)
Joint at abutment
12/4/2009 01:49 PM
Joint at abutment
1935 - Built by Shoemaker Bridge Co., Pottstown, PA
12/4/2009 01:50 PM
1935 - Built by Shoemaker Bridge Co., Pottstown, PA
Single track on bridge
12/4/2009 01:50 PM
Single track on bridge
Looking east into overgrowth
12/4/2009 01:50 PM
Looking east into overgrowth
Track headed into overgrowth
12/4/2009 01:53 PM
Track headed into overgrowth
Overgrowth east
12/4/2009 01:52 PM
Overgrowth east
Graffiti on norther girder
12/4/2009 01:51 PM
Graffiti on norther girder
Looking north toward Kill van Kull on Nicholas Ave.
12/4/2009 01:52 PM
Looking north toward Kill van Kull on Nicholas Ave.
Track headed west into overgrowth
12/4/2009 01:53 PM
Track headed west into overgrowth