View Full Version : Abandoned Subway Stations

October 29th, 2003, 02:09 PM
Saw this in this weeks' Time Out New York. Interesting site:


October 29th, 2003, 03:38 PM
Another great site for complete information on the subways along with other interesting information on NYC of the past is forgotten-ny.


March 27th, 2004, 10:24 PM
March 28, 2004

Ghost Worlds


The City Hall station, with chandeliers and skylights, was the system's crown jewel.

RIDERS on the No. 9 train don't notice the one at 91st Street. Commuters on the No. 5 train pay no attention as one appears, then vanishes, at Worth Street. But for the person asleep on a downtown No. 6 who awakes with a start as the train pulls out of the Brooklyn Bridge station through a loop to the uptown side, there's a chance to see the grandest one of all.

These are ghost stations. There are nine in New York, not including unused levels, platforms and uncompleted work. They are also referred to as abandoned, forgotten or decommissioned, but the accolade ghost station remains the most evocative, conjuring up black-and-white images of shadows and light cast against concrete and steel.

They haunt us with their silent, vacant spaces in a city where silence is impossible and space is precious. Like ghosts, they are there but not, close yet distant, fixed in a hidden world that allows for mere glimpses.

These modern-day relics allow us to glean our city's past, when a subway was a novelty, when the City Hall station was the system's crown jewel, a terminal of arched Guastavino tile ceilings, skylights, chandeliers and polychrome tile work. These subterranean spaces belong to a time when platforms were half the size, catering to 5 cars instead of 10, when the daily volume of riders was not 4.5 million but fewer than half that.

Time has always been a malleable commodity in this city. Days are fast, but trains too slow. Time is money, but our city never has enough of either. The city's long battle against subway graffiti is a reminder of this, and the ghost stations, which are almost all covered with graffiti, are another.

Ultimately, the ghost stations remind us of the passage of time: the 91st Street station closed in 1959, Worth Street in 1962, City Hall in 1945. And since Sept. 11, 2001, all unused stations have been off limits to the public. "For security reasons," said Charles Seaton, a spokesman for New York City Transit, "we don't discuss these stations at all since 9/11."

But there are hopes that the City Hall station will one day become a satellite to the New York Transit Museum. There is also a rumor that it will be open in October for the centennial celebration of the subways. About this, Mr. Seaton said only, "There is that possibility."

Perhaps one day all stations will become ghost stations. Maybe millenniums from now, archaeologists will discover, submerged in the ocean or buried in the earth, a magnificent labyrinth of concrete, steel and tile. Will it be recognized as one of the underground transportation systems popularized in the 20th and 21st centuries? Or will it be a mystery, a miraculous feat of primitive engineering and hailed as a wonder of the ancient world?

Jiro Adachi is the author of the novel "The Island of Bicycle Dancers," published last month by St. Martin's Press.


Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

March 27th, 2004, 10:26 PM

March 27th, 2004, 10:47 PM
I've seen the Myrtle Avenue station. It really does look like a ghost; there just a hint of an orangish glow and a jumble of faintly illuminated graffiti. My mom's scared of that station.

TLOZ Link5
March 28th, 2004, 02:58 AM
I think there's an abandoned station at 12th Street and Fourth Avenue. There's a large grate covering what looks like a station; if you look close enough you can see stairs and you can hear the Lex trains passing by.