Take a Scenic and Historic Drive in your Bronx Rent A Car
The Grand Concourse, a famous and historic road, is more than just Bronx landmark, it's also a great place to drive your Bronx rent a car if for no other reason than to take in the views.
A quick history of this historic roadway
The Grand Concourse was built in 1894 and opened to vehicular traffic in 1909. The road was built to resemble the Champs-Elysses in Paris though the Grand Concourse is wider and longer. The road is 6 miles long and has two tree-lined dividers which divide the roadway in three. Minor streets do not cross the Grand Concourse while major roadways pass underneath. It is a nice ride and an excellent way to view an historic portion of the city, all while enjoying a drive in your Bronx rent a car.
The cost to build the Grand Concourse road was $14 million, which would be the equivalent of $340 million in today's dollars. Since the road was built, it has been expanded to the south as Mott Avenue was widened. The road was initially built from Bronx Borough Hall to Van Cortlandt Park.
Once the New York City Subway was built in 1917 a few blocks west of the Grand Concourse, a housing boom began along the Grand Concourse. Most of the families who moved to the Bronx came from Manhattan and were looking to escape the crowded conditions of NYC tenements. There were over 300 apartment buildings along the Grand Concourse. Each building was five to six stories tall with wide entrance courtyards, grass and shrubs. These apartment buildings are representative of Art Deco and Modern Architecture in the United States.
Yankee Stadium was built in 1923 close to the Grand Concourse at 161st Street. Also erected nearby was the Lowes Wonder Theatre which was the largest movie theatre in the United States at the time.
A booming Bronx neighborhood is born
During the Great Depression, the Grand Concourse continued to grow. Apartment buildings were then financed privately rather than by government entities. These apartments were among the finest in the City. Most of the apartments had private bathrooms and central heating; in far greater percentage than the rest of the City. The Grand Concourse was described as "the Park Avenue of middle-class Bronx residents". Living on the Grand Concourse was considered evidence of at least moderate business success.
In 1941, the New York City Planning Department proposed converting the boulevard into an expressway, in order to connect the Major Deegan Expressway, which you can drive today in you Bronx rent a car, with the Mosholu Parkway that still exists today. All Car encourages you to take a drive in your Bronx rent a car along this portion of the Concourse, as it provides travelers with a glimpse back to the Bronx of the early 20th century.
While the Bronx is flourishing today, the south and central Bronx rapidly deteriorated in the 1960s. Many long time Bronx residents moved away in order to escape a growing crime rate. Many businesses closed during this time, including some notably Bronx car rental companies.
In the late sixties and early seventies Co-op City was built in the Northeastern section of the Bronx which attracted many of the middle class families who remained living on the Grand Concourse. Today, there are many shopping areas, parks and ball fields in the area of Co-op City. It is a short drive from anywhere in the Bronx in your Bronx rent a car, and includes local independent and national stores. There is ample free parking for your Bronx rent a car as well.
The Bronx of today
Today, the City of New York is poised to invest $18 million dollars to restore landscaping and lighting along the Grand Concourse. Driving your Bronx rent a car along the Grand Concourse is like driving back in time and viewing the Bronx as it appeared nearly 100 years ago.
Many of the buildings you will see from the windows of your Bronx rent a car are listed in the National Register of Historic Places while others are designated as New York City Landmarks. Often times, groups of historians, senior groups and even class trip rent a 15 passenger van in the Bronx as they drive and explore the rich beauty and architecture found on the Grand Concourse.
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