Created by members, this short video tells the history of the station
Hyde Park is a former New York Central Railroad station located where Crum Elbow Creek flows into the Hudson River in Hyde Park, New York. A one-story wooden station was first established in 1851 by the Hudson River Railroad, connecting New York City and Albany. Then in 1880, the station was replaced with the larger station pictured to the left.
In 1914, the 1880 Station was replaced by the existing building, built in a combination of the Mission and Spanish Revival styles by Warren and Wetmore, the railroad's preferred architects, who had also designed Grand Central Terminal and the nearby Poughkeepsie station.
The Station saw heavy use throughout the early years of its existence, due to the proximity of estates such as the Vanderbilt Mansion and, later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's home in Hyde Park. Roosevelt used the Station frequently during his presidency.
In 1939, Britain's King George VI and Queen Mary left from the Station after FDR brought the couple to his new hilltop retreat, Top Cottage, on the eastern portion of his estate for an old-fashioned, American-style picnic. The New York Times headline was, “KING TRIES HOT DOG AND ASKS FOR MORE.”
As automobiles and air travel became popular, train service declined at the Station and was suspended in 1953. It was listed as a station until 1958. Several years later, the outer two of the line's four tracks were torn up and the tunnel to the southbound platforms closed off. The Station was eventually sold to the Town of Hyde Park as the New York Central Railroad divested its assets.
Local youths began fixing the station up for use as a teen center, but they failed to finish the project. By 1975 the abandoned building had fallen into disrepair and became heavily vandalized. It was one day away from demolition when the Hudson Valley Railroad Society took possession, renting the station from the town for a dollar per year for fifteen years. The HVRRS completed the extensive interior and exterior renovations needed, including completely restoring the tiled roof, and began converting it into a regional rail museum, raising operating funds with an annual model train show.