A rendering of the installed art piece at the abandoned Myrtle Ave subway station. Source:MTA
Closed in 1956, Myrtle Ave subway station used to run on the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit line between Manhattan Bridge and DeKalb Avenue. The DeKalb Ave section ran into a lot of problems as it was the chokepoint for the entire BMT Broadway subway operation, “with a lot of merges and some routings crossing others at grade in the switches on both sides of the station,” writes Joseph Brennan. The entire area was rebuilt in 1956, and this caused Myrtle Ave to lose its southbound platform. The northbound platform still exists, but has been closed ever since. An artwork called Masstransiscope by Bill Brand is located in the abandoned Myrtle Ave station. Installed in 1980, the piece works like a giant zoetrope.
As seen in the video above, when the train moves, riders see an animated cartoon, not 228 hand-painted images. According to Brand’s website, the work “consists of a series of 30” high images housed inside a long wood and steel structure with narrow slits, through which the images are seen.” The artwork is painted on a 30o feet of reflected material and the inside is illuminated by fluorescent lights. The piece was restored in 2008 and after another restoration this year, you can finally check it out again.
You can view this by taking the Manhattan bound B or Q trains departing from DeKalb Avenue. See more abandoned subway stations in NYC.