Snapshots: Last Days of the Riverfront Transit Center, 1933

transit_const1933April, 1933 – This photo was taken one week before construction was “temporarily” halted on the City Transportation Company’s (Now the City-Suburban Transit Authority) planned transit center on the Ostahanoc Riverfront. To be built in stages, the center would have facilities for regional and local buses, planned subway and elevated train lines and even an “auto-gyro landing pad.” However, an excessively rainy spring, leaks from the nearby Ostahanoc River and the economic realities of the Great Depression caused the CYC to suspend construction. This city did not receive nearly the amount of New Deal largess afforded its municipal bretheren.

The site remained in a sort of half-built decaying limbo until 1949, when it was purchased from the cash-strapped transit company by the N.L. Lancaster Mfg. Co., a manufacturer of ball bearings, for the purpose of constructing a plant. The company went out of business in 1994 and the property has sat abandoned since then. CSTA repurchased the land several years ago for a new riverfront transit center and had to pay millions in environmental cleanup costs. Now that the site is ready, the once-again cash-strapped transit agency’s capital budget has become far too stretched in the current economic climate. Construction of the center has been indefinitely postponed.
– RJ White


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