The entrance for the Avenue H stop on the Brighton line might seem a little unusual for a subway station, but that’s because it didn’t begin life as one. The building was constructed in the early 20th century as a real estate office for the T.B. Ackerson Company, making it the only MTA station in existence built for another purpose.
The T.B. Ackerson Company was named for its founder, Thomas Benton Ackerson, who started the company in 1898 with his three brothers. The construction of the Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney Island Railway meant that the Flatbush area was ripe for development, and T.B. Ackerson capitalized on this by purchasing a tract of land known as Fiske Terrace. One hundred and fifty houses were built, with all but one sold before completion.
The rustic-styled sales office at Avenue H opened in 1906, but by that time it wasn’t really needed. The nearby railroad was electrified and sold to the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (the BRT, precursor to the BMT).
The building became the station house for the Avenue H stop the following year, and it’s served that purpose ever since, even as the BRT became the BMT and then was merged into today’s MTA. Trains that have stopped there have included the M, the D, and currently the Q line that runs to Broadway.
The MTA intended to tear the building down in 2003, but community opposition got it designated a New York City landmark instead, and it was renovated in 2011. The rocking chairs on the porch outside are part of an art piece called “Brooklyn Bucolic” and were installed in 2012. You’ll often see locals relaxing in them in nice weather.
Know Before You Go
Take the Q train (Brighton local) to Avenue H. If you head west half a block to East 15th Street, you can cross the foot bridge and walk south two avenues straight to Di Fara's Pizza.