Yorktown Heights Railroad Station
Backstory and Context
The Yorktown Heights Railroad Station was the town center in the 1880s, surrounded by five stores, a library, a hotel, two locksmiths, a wheelwright and two churches. The Town of Yorktown eventually came into ownership of the station and surrounding property when the rail line closed and became a city park.
New York Central Railroad's Putnam Division was north between Hudson and Harlem, which were more heavily traveled.Track construction reached Yorktown in 1877, and regular train service began in 1881. It was originally an independent line, the New York City and Northern Railroad, which was meant to be part of an alternative, inland route to Boston via Connecticut and Massachusetts. It suffered financially until it was incorporated into the New York Central system in 1894.
Sharing a standard design with other stations on the line, which includes “a small wooden building, loosely in style Queen Anne, with two main sections, one containing a waiting room and ticket office for passengers, and the other a baggage room.” Eventually, they replaced these tiny wooden stations with larger, more robust masonry structures on the Hudson and Harlem lines.
On the "Old Put," however, passenger traffic was never heavy enough to warrant an expansion of the stations, especially at the north end of the line. The Yorktown Heights station remained in service until the Putnam Division finally shut down on May 29, 1958.
It was initially sold for commercial use but soon became vacant and in 1966 the Town of Yorktown purchased it. The interior was rebuilt in 1976, and the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce occupied the building until 1982, when a fire forced it to close.
The exterior has been renovated in recent years and the surrounding area is landscaped, and it now serves as the visual centerpiece of a park that occupies much of the old railroad yard.
The station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.
Park, Railroad. 2020. "Railroad Park | Town Of Yorktown New York". Yorktownny.Org. https://www.yorktownny.org/community/railroad-park.
Williams, Gray. Picturing Our Past: National Register Sites in Westchester County. Elmsford, NY. Westchester County Historical Society, 2003.
Westchester County Historical Society. Photo by Gray Williams.