A $38 million overhaul of Metro-North's Tarrytown train station is nearly complete after more than three years, making it the Hudson line's most expensive station renovation ever.
Since 2009, the old station, the second-busiest on the 29-stop line, has been torn down in phases to make way for new replacement platforms, overpasses and elevators. Seven staircases also were ripped out and replaced. And in a move to expand, a third elevator was installed.
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In addition to the station makeover, $2 million was set aside for the restoration of the historic one-story, 3,800-square-foot stone station building, which is available for rent at $50,000 per year. Built in 1890 by the station's original owner, the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, the building has a new slate roof replacing shabby asphalt shingles.
And on the platforms, ugly fluorescent bar lights are gone. In their stead: graceful period-inspired gooseneck street lampposts.
"We are very pleased," said Tarrytown village administrator Mike Blau. "The station building was always beautiful but everything else ... was just not attractive. Now everything fits together."
Added Marjorie Anders, spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs Metro-North: "The difference is an old, brown, rusty station with crumbling concrete that has been completely replaced with green-painted steel, beautiful history details and a wider overpass -- it's just a beautiful atmosphere."
The overpasses between the northbound and southbound platforms also offer commuters whimsical, modern-day artwork inspired by the turn-of-the-century Hudson River School. Eleven glass panels enclosing the overpasses are a vision of floating elephants, swimming Atlantic sturgeon and other wildlife.
Those art-on-glass works are based on Holly Sears' "Hudson River Explorers" oil paintings commissioned by the MTA's "Arts for Transit" program. The original oil-on-canvas paintings are on view in an exhibition at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers through Oct. 13.
This week, landscapers are busy with finishing touches around the property in preparation for a Sept. 14 ribbon-cutting ceremony. By that time, the flowering shrubs, holly, grass and black-eyed Susan plantings all will be in place.
Every weekday, an average of 6,000 commuters pass through the Tarrytown station, making it the Hudson Line's second-busiest stop behind the Croton-on-Hudson station, Anders said.
The spokeswoman said Metro-North is proud that the renovation was done without interrupting the line's reputation for 98 percent on-time performance.
"They did a wonderful job," said Blau, who said the project was carried out at the station with minimal inconvenience to residents and commuters. "Obviously, they were taking a parking space here and there during construction. You'd show up one day and there would be a parking space and the next day it might be a staging area. But that was probably the major impact."