It wasn’t cheap bringing Mayberry to Midwood.
Avenue H’s historic wood-framed train station, which originally housed the office of the real estate agent who built Fiske Terrace in the early 20th century, re-opened this week after a $47.6 million renovation — eating up nearly a third of the MTA’s costs for its $161.4 million rehabilitation project on the five stations, platforms and tracks between Newkirk Avenue and Kings Highway.
The 105-year-old building — which the community rallied to save when the MTA announced plans to tear it down in 2003 — has been restored to its former glory, with juniper-wood columns, shingled walls, and an oak-paneled ceiling, making it more like a country station in the TV town made famous by Andy Griffith than a subway stop on the biggest mass transit system in the world.
The historic wood-framed, porch-ringed cottage originally housed the office of real estate agent Thomas Ackerson, and was built in a style similar to the Colonial Revival and Queen Anne houses still found in the neighborhood.
It debuted as a transit station on the Brighton Line in 1907, and was designated a landmark by the city in 2004.
Now, residents are cheering the new — er, old look.
“Look at that!” exclaimed James Brown, as he exited the station house on Tuesday. “I’ve worked in transit for over 20 years — and I’ve never seen a station as nice as this.”
The MTA is still putting the final touches on the re-construction, which will conclude with the controversial installation of bronze rocking chairs that will sit on its porch by spring, which critics argue will attract refuse and loiterers.
Their fears may have been backed up by the fact that graffiti marred the station’s front door just days after construction ended.
Residents had to live without Manhattan-bound service for almost a year while the platform was renovated. It opened again in September, two months before the station house was complete, finally giving riders a place to chill before hopping aboard.
“Not only can I go straight to Manhattan now, but I have a warm place to wait for the train,” said Denise H., from Midwood.Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg
©2011 Community News Group
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