Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

City Hall Station

The subways truly amaze me. From thinking about how they were built over a hundred years ago with lesser construction technology, to the fact that they transport over 5 million rides a day- and make my carbon footprint a little smaller- there are part of our day to day lives here in New York. Lately, I’ve been inspired by the Underbelly Project, an impromptu gallery in an abandon subway track that is now sealed- which also reminds me of the documentary “Dark Days,” which chronicles a colony of society’s cast offs that lived in an abandoned tunnel in the late 90s.

The first subway in New York was just 312 feet long under lower Broadway in 1869 using pneumatic tube technology- aka air pressure, like those capsules at the drive thru at the bank. (I love those things) but was later replaced in the beginning of the 1900s with the two private lines – the Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) and Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit (BMT) whose signs can still be seen amidst MTA signs. The MTA has made sure to commission art in many of its stations, but at one time the stations itself were the works of art.

To celebrate the opening of the new subway, the IRT built the Romanesque Revival jewel of a station below City Hall, which opened in 1904, but has been closed since 1945. City Hall Station features skylights, colored glass tiles, brass chandeliers and arched tile work, named after the station’s designer Rafael Guastavino, that can also be seen in the dining level of Grand Central Station- particularly in the Oyster Bar. Closed it may be, but you can still catch a look at its splendor. The 6 train turns around to head back to the Bronx, and loops through City Hall station- just stay on the train and Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall and take a ride into history.

What: Decadent and closed City Hall Subway Station

Where: Lower Manhattan, ride the 6 train from South to North

One Response to “City Hall Station”
  1. Chaz says:

    This is so cool. I used to write in the city hall N/R layup (that HOT crew once ran). Spent a lot of time there in high school.

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