The Queensboro Bridge opened in 1909 connecting Queens with Manhattan at 59th street. It originally had a 10 cent toll to use it. The last streetcar line in New York City ran over this bridge until 1957. In its early years, there were a number of lines and additional tracks crossing the Bridge , the last of which ran in 1937. Sometime after the Bridge opened , work began on trackways to connect the Second Ave Elevated with the joint IRT BRT station to be built at Queensboro Plaza under the Dual Contracts expansion.
Here are a couple of photos of Queensboro plaza before the joint IRT BRT station and facilities were built . The time period is probably about 1912.
Wide roadways and malls existed. No Els or subways in sight. The Building with the tower was at a later time used as manufacturing point for early aircraft. Long Island was an early center of aviation in the early years.
This view is just a bit earlier than the first photo above. The tracks of the LIRR and PRR are in the foreground. The freight cars are in what was known as Yard A on the LIRR. It has since been eliminated along with Arch Street and the float yards further west. PRRs Sunnyside yards are just to the right in the photo. They were new when this image was made. The Roadway and bridge we see is Queens Boulevard . It looks as if construction is still underway and there is no traffic yet. Today, the El structure of the number 7 Flushing train is above the bridge and road . I found these photos interesting to see what was there before the Queens Elevateds came.