Poughkeepsie Station

Poughkeepsie, New York | C.1918

Photo Credit: @vintage_signs_of_ridgewood

The Poughkeepsie station was a great source of civic pride for the city when it opened in 1918. The main station building is meant to be a much smaller version of Grand Central, and was built to impress travelers arriving in the small, Hudson Valley town.

The first Poughkeepsie station was built in 1850, as the New York Central Railroad’s “Water Level Route” worked its way up the Hudson River. For its first two years it was the end of the line and many local industries used the rail facilities to get their products to market. The concentration of industry around the  rail stop also led to the rise of banking and finance within the city.

As industry grew, so did the need for a bigger and better train station. Thus, around 1913, architecture firm Warren & Wetmore began designs for a new station to impress travelers and communicate the city’s confidence and cosmopolitan aspirations. They modeled it on another highly successful design of theirs – Grand Central. Five years later, the new station opened to much praise and fanfare.

The station retains much of its original character and details, including the three chandeliers and 14 chestnut benches in the waiting room, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Today, the station is the northern terminus of Metro-North’s Hudson Line and an intermediate stop for Amtrak’s trains.

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