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Dyckman Street 1 Train Station Gets $31M Upgrade

By Nigel Chiwaya | February 6, 2014 3:13pm
  The $31 million renovation upgraded the platforms and tiles and added an elevator and   wheelchair-accessible ramp.
Renovated Dyckman Street Station
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INWOOD — City officials unveiled renovations to the once-crumbling Dyckman Street 1 train station Thursday morning, highlighting new features in part of the station for people who use wheelchairs.

Upgrades to the 108-year-old station at Dyckman Street and Nagle Avenue — including replaced platforms, a new elevator and a wheelchair-accessible entrance ramp — make the station nicer for all uptown straphangers, MTA vice chairman Fernando Ferrer said.

"Dyckman Street is the heart of Inwood," he said. "Today that heart is beating a little stronger."

The new elevator, which runs to the station's southbound platform, was not originally in the planned renovation, but was added in 2011 after the United States Spinal Association sued the MTA for failing to meet a timeline to add Americans with Disabilities Act features to stations in northern Manhattan.

An elevator could not be added to the northbound platform due to geographic issues, officials said, so that platform is not wheelchair-accessible.

Washington Heights resident Edith Prentiss, a member of Community Board 12 and vice president of the civil rights group Disabled in Action, hailed the addition of the elevator to the southbound platform, though she hoped to see a ramp added to the northbound platform in the future.

"This opens up the east side of Washington Heights," said Prentiss, who uses a wheelchair. "That's what elevators do. They open up transportation to the entire community."

The $31 million renovation of the station that was in the planning stages since 2010 rebuilt the station — which remained open during the work — with refinished mosaic tiles and windows, windscreens and a refurbished Fort George Tunnel entrance.

Dyckman Street station, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, had fallen on hard times in recent years, with graffiti and crumbling platforms, staircases and handrails.

At Thursday's opening, Ferrer was joined by New York City Transit president Carmen Bianco, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa, City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and Community Board 12 chairman George Fernandez.

"This station was the poster child of dysfunction and danger, but we've brought it back to the grandeur of what it once was," Espaillat said.