DITMARS tower was located at the Ditmars Blvd terminal of the Astoria El in Queens, right in the shadow of the Hellgate Bridge. It was originally built as an IRT tower, before eventually being transferred to the BMT division of the TA in 1948. Although the tower appears to be the victim of fire damage, it is actually being removed for a switch replacement project that requires the use of an on-site crane.
The demolition process actually provided a bit of an interior view showing that wooden appearance of the tower was a facade that surrounded a very robust steel and concrete frame. The upper floor would have housed a US&S EP machine, the IRT being a strictly US&S operation. The lower level would have housed relays wired to the machine above and the appliances out in the field. Note the good condition of the roof structure, which is all the more remarkable given both its age and the amount of neglect the tower must have seen through NYC's lean years.
|DITMARs tower in 2003|
Fortunately, DITMARS has many siblings up and down the former IRT elevated lines in the Bronx and Queens. Almost all of them are out of service, but still hang on as relay rooms or CnS hangouts. One old IRT elevated tower, 111th St, on the IRT Flushing, is still active, albeit with a fairly new master control NX panel installed.