The following is part of a series that aims to profile the many landmarks around Glen Cove and Oyster Bay. In this article, we will discuss the history of the Glen Cove Train Station.
The Glen Cove Train Station holds a significant place in history for both the City of Glen Cove and the Long Island Rail Road.
According to the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum, the Long Island Rail Road reached Glen Cove in 1867, a time where the need for a train station was certainly evident. Around that time, according to archives posted inside the Glen Cove Train Station, the station was little more than a freight storage building.
19th-Century Glen Cove
As written in A Brief History of Glen Cove by city historian Daniel E Russell, steamboats had already made it possible for the North Shore to become a “Gold Coast.” And Glen Cove was the perfect spot for New York City businessmen to maintain summer homes there. The steamboat trip from Glen Cove to New York City took two hours, not too much longer than the Long Island Rail Road at the time.
Among the earliest Glen Cove Estates were those of William Evans Burton; real estate developer and hotelier Jean Frederic de la Farge; English-born engineer Thomas W Kennard who would help construct vital railways connecting New York City with the midwest; Charles A. Dana, editor of the New York Sun; Samuel L.M. Barlow, a prominent New York City attorney; Gold mining baron Captain Jospeh Raphael Delamar and Frank Winfield Woolworth, founder of the chain of “5 and 10” stores.
“The largest single estate complex in Glen Cove was owned by the Pratt family, and totaled more than 1,100 acres in the northern part of the city,” Russell wrote in A Brief History of Glen Cove. “Charles Pratt, one of the founders of Standard Oil, settled in Glen Cove about 1890. In an effort to keep his family near him, he purchased large tracts of land surrounding his estate, on which his six sons and one of his two daughters later built their homes.”
And many of the Pratt mansions still exist. In fact, the Nassau County Museum Holocaust and Tolerance Center is housed in the Welwyn building, which was built as the summer estate for Harold I. and Harriet B. Pratt.
“J.P. Morgan also made his summer home in Glen Cove on East Island,” Russell wrote. “His private luxury yacht, the ‘Corsair IV’ was 343 feet six inches long, a virtual floating landmark anchored off Glen Cove. Morgan commuted to his Wall Street offices on board his 110 foot launch, the ‘Navette,’ each work-day.”
History of Glen Cove Train Station
Glen Cove Train Station was built, according to Long Island Rail Road Stations by David D. Morrison, in 1895. The station was described by railroad historian Ron Ziel as “an L-shaped brick architectural gem.”
According to Morrison, inside the waiting room is the longest continuous bench by the Long Island Rail Road, running 35 feet. Behind the west waiting room wall there is a fireplace, with 10-foot-high wood columns on each side.
The Glen Cove Train Station has also made its mark on cinematic history. It was used in the 1954 film Sabrina starring Audrey Hepburn and William Holden. The station is used in a scene when the main character Sabrina Fairchild, played by Hepburn, returns home from Paris. Her father, the chauffeur to the Larrabee family, was late in picking her up from the station, so David Larrabee, played by Holden, a character Sabrina has been in love with all her life, offers her a ride and she accepts. The film also depicts the home of George Lewis in Beverly Hills, Calif. as the Larrabee home in Glen Cove, NY.
The Glen Cove Train Station was also used in the 1987 movie Hello Again, as well as several commercials.
In recent years, the Glen Cove Train Station has undergone renovations and refurbishments to preserve its historic charm while enhancing its functionality. Today, the station stands as a testament to the region’s rich history, with the bustling commuter traffic serving as a reminder of its continued importance.
A Brief History of the Long Island Rail Road
Today, according to the Metropolitan Transit Authority, The Long Island Rail Road is the busiest commuter railroad in North America, carrying approximately 200,000 customers each weekday on 947 daily trains.
Long Island Rail Road, according to Morrison’s book, was chartered on April 24, 1834 and is the oldest railroad in the country still operating under its original name.
“Throughout that time, the LIRR has been an essential component of the region’s transportation infrastructure, leading to the development of the Long Island communities it serves and providing a gateway to the economic growth of the region,” stated a webpage by the MTA. “A subsidiary of New York State’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the MTA Long Island Rail Road marked its 170th Anniversary in 2004.”