Players in this week's Cornerspotter game were certain that they had correctly identified the historic photo as part of Brooklyn's Third Avenue near the Gowanus Expressway, but they all were wrong. The photo, taken around 1915, actually shows the old Howard House on Atlantic Avenue at Alabama Avenue in East New York. The Howard House was a hotel and train stop along the LIRR's Brooklyn and Jamaica Railroad that opened in the mid-19th century. By the late 1880s, the Howard House only served local trains, as the nearby Manhattan Crossing station was expanded. The Atlantic Avenue Improvement, completed in 1905, raised this portion of the tracks on an elevated viaduct. For awhile, the LIRR shared these tracks with the Brooklyn Rapid Transit, but this ended around 1916 when operating standards for railroads and rapid transit trains were differentiated.
A couple railroad history websites document the Howard House, and it seems that it was demolished sometime in 1915, around the same time that the train tracks were moved to an underground tunnel. Today, the elevated viaduct accommodates vehicular traffic on Atlantic Avenue.
· Hint: The Trains Have Relocated And This House Is Long Gone [Curbed]
· Photo: Howard House, 1915 [MCNY]