Times Plaza and Atlantic Terminal and Times Control House
Times Plaza- Intersection of Flatbush, Atlantic, and Fourth Avenues
Times Control House -Heins & LaFarge, 1908;
restoration: diDomenico/Parsons Brinckerhoff, 2005
The intersection of Atlantic, Flatbush, and Fourth Avenues has been the location of the LIRR terminal since the 1830s. The terminal has had a number of different homes since then. The first was constructed around 1877, when steam trains were reintroduced from this location to extend eastward to Long Island. In 1907, two years after the LIRR began electrifying trains, a new Beaux-Arts style building replaced the earlier structure. That building, in severe disrepair, was demolished in 1988 after the railroad suffered decades of diminishing use as patrons increasingly favored automobiles and planes as modes of transport. The site lay virtually vacant for the next 15 years. The process of transforming the area into a shopping, entertainment and transit hub began in the early 2000s, and is still underway. The terminal’s present structure includes an entry pavilion and ticket office (completed in 2010) and a shopping mall (completed in 2004). In addition to the LIRR station, Atlantic Terminal is the city’s largest subway stop, serving nine train lines. While this overhaul has completely modernized the intersection, the Times Control House, a Flemish Revival style kiosk, still stands as a reminder of the terminal’s earlier history. Built as the entrance to the IRT subway, the kiosk was designed by Heins & Lafarge, the architects of many subway platforms and control houses across the city, few of which remain today. The kiosk was named after its location in Times Plaza, which itself was named for the nearby offices of the Brooklyn Daily Times (later acquired by the Brooklyn Eagle). The little building is clad in glazed terra-cotta and features polychrome ornament in the form of cartouches, swags, fruit and floral garlands. In the 1970s, the building was converted to modern uses and, at one point, covered with modern lettering. For a long time, it was abandoned as the size of its small lot was not conducive to other development. The building was meticulously restored in 2005. The Times Control House is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.