I first heard that Binghamton, New York had one of the few remaining Art Deco Greyhound Bus stations many years ago. It was shortly after my friends Autumn and Rene had moved there and I was investigating the place. This bus station is one of the first places that made me want to see weird history/roadside attractions in the USA. I never thought I’d see it, nonetheless it had a special place in my heart.
I moved to New York a couple of years ago and since then, I’ve been thinking up excuses to go to Binghamton. Then one cropped up: I decided to go on a roadtrip of upstate New York and New England. First stop? Binghamton’s Greyhound Bus Station.
They demolished all but the façade a few years ago, giving Binghamton a more modern bus station. I’m thankful they retained at least the frontage, but I’m so saddened I’ll never get to see the Art Deco interior, the ticket booths, the stairwell. I’ve looked over photos and I know how much has been lost.
Built in 1938, it’s a little gem of Streamline Moderne, that pared-down form of late Art Deco. It seems so small. I’m reminded of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim or Fallingwater—the closed in walls and ceilings make them quite claustrophobic. I’ll never know what the inside of this building felt like.
I hope soon to see its big brother, the Greyhound Bus Station that’s still complete in Cleveland, Ohio (which is a very late example of Streamline Moderne, build in 1948). Fingers crossed they don’t demolish it before I get there.