Massive Gantries

On East 125th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue, massive gantries are being staged before moving them to Park Avenue. The four gantries with 10’ tall wheels, will be used in the Park Avenue Viaduct project.

The gantries will support the existing Metro North tracks while a crew of welders flame-cut chunks of the 130 year-old viaduct into pieces that the gantries will haul away and place on flatbed trailers.

Once the steel sections have been cut and removed, the gantries will then carry new, pre-cast concrete sections of track into place, and a team of workers will connect the new sections with the old sections of track.

All of this will be done Friday evening through to Monday morning – reducing the Metro North (available) tracks from 4 to 2, every weekend.

By Monday morning, the plan is to have 4 tracks ready to go, again. All of which will be repeated over and over on weekends, until the whole section of old tracks from East 115 up to East 122 is cut-up, removed, and then replaced by new tracks.

The Godfather of Harlem

If you’ve watched The Godfather of Harlem, you might have noticed that the Palmetto Chemical Extermination Company (a front for Bumpy Johnson) was located on East 126th Street at 2nd Avenue (just behind where the gantries are currently located).

The Palmetto Chemical Extermination Company was described as a “nondescript storefront,” but this legit business also served as a headquarters for Johnson not so legit businesses including the numbers.

This 1940’s tax photo was taken of the building where Bumpy Johnson operated his numbers racket:

The Palmetto title probably came from his birth state, the Palmetto State, South Carolina.