Old Bridge Tavern

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Alan Lasky 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #1198


    I found this photo on my computer but I really can’t remember where it came from.  I am thinking it was taken in the mid 40’s or earlier.  By zooming in on the building on the corner, you can see that it is the home of the Old Bridge Tavern.  This is West 230th Street and Kingsbridge Avenue.


  • #1199

    Thomas Casey

    Interesting picture, but note it would appear to be on the Manhattan side.

  • #1200

    Thomas Casey

    PS – I also like the view of the former Roman Catholic Orphanage which later became the Veterans Hospital off in the distance.

  • #1201

    Thomas Casey

    After further review…….it looks like a Bronx reception.  From this old map, the building is in the Bronxw 230th St

  • #1202

    Peter Ostrander

    Two additional items of interest is the old gas tank in far distance located then at  at the foot of the Fordham landing  at the 207th Street bridge. Also in  the distance are 3 of the Fordham Hill  Apartment building complex then under construction. ( you need to enlarge the photo to see them clearly)

    Of even more significance is the street shown, Marble Hill Ave, is also named The Rev Dr William A Tieck Way – Founder and first President of the Kingsbridge Historical Societ. The KHS initiated the street naming process and helped its passing by the City Council.

    PS- The photo is also likely a RCSA photo – ‘right click save as’  internet find !    A Good one.


  • #1203

    Alan Lasky

    As far as I can tell, the Fordham Hill Apartments were completed in 1949, and as they are under construction here, I’d say this is 1948 or 1949.
    I see no signs of construction underway for the Marble Hill Houses, which were completed in 1951. I think The Old Bridge Tavern did not survive that construction. It seems to have been replaced by another structure by the time of this Jan 6 1951 photo.


    This photo, from Herb Maruska’s collection, credited as 1939, shows the VA Hospital under construction between the original buildings of the RC Orphan Asylum.  This source says the asylum was sold to the Treasury Dept in 1921.https://www.flickr.com/photos/orlando-herb/8082865271/in/photostream/
    The gasholder shows up in many pre 1950s photos. It was demolished in 1951 to make way for the Deegan Expressway.
    The gasholder, the asylum, and Webb’s Academy (demolished shortly before the OP to make way for the Fordham Hill apartments) are great landmarks for old photos of the area.
    Here all three are visible behind the Johnson Iron Works in 1918. (Only the south wing of the asylum is visible.)

    Here is the gasholder under construction in 1911. The view is to the north with Webb’s Academy at the upper right and the Kingsbridge Power House on the Manhattan side. Marble Hill is in the distant center. I don’t know what part of construction needed all these folks, but it looks like a ballet.https://collections.mcny.org/Collection/%5bKingsbridge%20Tank.%5d-2F3XC5IXT32D.html

  • #1214


    Those are some amazing photos.  I love the one of the Johnson Foundry looking east.  Thank you for including links for where you found the photos.  I wonder what those buildings were that replaced the Old Bridge Tavern…

  • #1215

    Alan Lasky

    I have nothing to base this guess on, but I wonder if the blocky looking building that replaced The Old Bridge Tavern might have been temporary offices for The Marble Hill Houses, or the construction company building them.
    I don’t know when the playground was opened, but Tieck mentions it in 1964, in what looks like an earlier draft of several chapters of his 1968 book. (Link is to a Fulton Search PDF of The Riverdale Press 4/2/64)
    In 1964, Tieck says “…torn down in 1949 to make way for the present playground. At the time of its demolition the comer structure was well-known as the Old Bridge Tavern and was something of a landmark.”

    He also describes how The distinctive mansard roof shape of the tavern was actually part of a larger building and was moved from across the street after most of the area was destroyed by fire in 1903.

    I had not known this wonderful tidbit of info until this thread. It explains some older pics that show the distinctive mansard roof at the site of the phone company building, not adjacent to The Kings Bridge, like this one from Tieck’s book.

    Sept 14, 1897 Scanned from "Riverdale, Kingsbridge, Spuyten Duyvil" by William A Tieck The King's Bridge, plaza, and village center: September 14, 1897. The view is northward from the corner on which the cornerstone of the present St. Stephen's Methodist Church was laid three months later." 1897

    I HAD heard (and mentioned in another thread at some point) that the other building that occupied the phone company site (peaking out between the mansard roof and St Johns,) was moved one block south and rotated 180 degrees to where it apparently still stands at 3014 Godwin Terrace. Tieck seems to mention this in passing, but doesn’t add specifics. I learned this from a facebook post from someone who had grown up at 3014 Godwin.

    So, Tieck gives us a history of the building that housed the tavern from the 1800s to 1949, and by 1964 mentions the playground.

    There is a blocky looking building there in January of 1951, but at most 15 years later it is gone, and is not mentioned.

    Here are the 1940s tax photos of the area

    The middle building seems to already be reduced to rubble by the time of the OP ca 1949. The one on the left is still there in 1951. The skylights show up in both the OP and the 1951 aerial view.

    All of this combines to make me think the blocky looking building was temporary, and leads to my guess about it being the office. Just a guess though.

    I love the RCSA photo designation. I try to keep text files of links to photos, so I don’t usually find RCSA photos on my hard drive. My bane is SISBCRW, Seen It Somewhere But Can’t remember Where, when I remember a photo I’ve seen but can’t remember what archive I was perusing or what I was searching for and can’t find it again.

    • #1216


      Thanks for posting that.  That Tieck article makes me think that The Old Bridge Tavern building might have been the same as the building behind the oyster shack in this 1873 Harpers illustration.  What do you think?

  • #1219

    Alan Lasky

    Sure looks similar. I’d guess it was the same building.

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