Mets – Willets Point (LIRR Station) - History


The station, which opened in time for the 1939 New York World's Fair, included a modernistic structure above the tracks that could accommodate up to 18,000 passengers per hour. Resembling an airplane hangar, it combined both Art Deco and Bauhaus features, and was also in close proximity to the Railroads on Parade exhibit.Between 1946 and 1952, the station was known as United Nations Station. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was the temporary site of the U.N. General Assembly, and had shuttle buses to their temporary headquarters in Lake Success at the time. Once the UN moved to its permanent home on the east side of Midtown-Manhattan, the station closed. However, it was reopened again with its original name on January 11, 1961, and the 1939 World's Fair ramp was expanded for the 1964 New York World's Fair to connect the Flushing Meadows – Corona Park to Shea Stadium, which opened that same year (though it was not part of the World's Fair). After the World's Fair closed in 1965, the station was named for Shea Stadium in 1966. When Elmhurst station closed in 1985, Shea Stadium station became the westernmost station on the Port Washington Branch before merging with the LIRR Main Line at Winfield Junction. As of 2003, a portion of track from the Whitestone Line, which diverged just east of the station, was still visible next to the westbound track.

Following the 2009 closure and demolition of Shea Stadium, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority renamed the station to Mets – Willets Point, matching the name of the adjoining subway station and omitting the corporate-sponsored name associated with the current stadium. The MTA was unsuccessful in achieving a similar naming rights deal and would not post the name for free.

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