Ticket booth at the City Hall Subway Station, 1904

The City Hall Subway Station has been closed off to the public since 1945 but this abandoned station was once crowded with the first passengers of the New York City Subway.

The Interborough Rapid Transit Company built the City Hall Subway Station as part of the Manhattan Main Line, the first line of the New York City Subway. Designed by Rafael Guastavino, who also did the tiling in Grand Central’s whispering gallery, construction began on the station on March 24, 1900 and it officially opened on October 27, 1904 as the starting point for the new subway. The station was closed after 41 years when it was decided that the curved platform was not suitable for new (longer) trains.

Although it remains closed for the public, it’s still possible to see the abandoned station today. A reflection of its significance, the City Hall station stands out with a unique design unlike any other subway station. Its architectural charm lies in its tiled arches, brass chandeliers, and skylights. See how the original City Hall Subway Station looked in these photos from when it was still in use.

Photos from the Daily Mail and the Library of Congress.

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