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Abandoned 91st Street Subway Station-1 line-NYCAll images via UnderCitySun by Marie Curie

Just a few blocks from the 96th Street subway station along the 1/2/3 lines sits the abandoned 91st Street Station. It was in service since 1904 and was part of the first subway. But with a 200 foot platform, the station was retired in 1959 for similar reasons as the abandoned Worth Street and 18th Street stations. With the extension of neighboring subway stations–96th Street in this case–some stations simply became too close to each other. With one entrance to the 96th Street station just 100 feet from 93rd Street, there wasn’t much use for the 91st Street stop anymore.

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Ever wondered why they would have put a stop just 5 streets from 96th Street to begin with? At the time, the 10 blocks between 86th Street and 96th Street was considered too far of a distance between subway stops. But, adding 91st Street made the distance between subway stops “closer than any other interstation distance north of 33 St,” according to Joseph Brennan of Abandoned Stations.

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You can see the station while riding the 1 train (and the 2/3 if no other trains are in the way) between 86th and 96th Streets. But even as far back as 1999, the New York Times reported that “the walls are begrimed with thick 1970’s-style graffiti.” Andre Aciman, author of the article, writes that for in visit the station with Joe Cunningham, an transportation historian, they rode the 1 train and the conductor opened the doors at 91st Street to let just their group of subway-philes out onto the platform.

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He writes of what they found in the station:

The platform was filled with trash: broken beams, old cardboard and a litter of foam cups. This wasn’t just the detritus of a subway station, but the leftovers of mole people. There was enough of it to confuse future archeologists, whose job, it suddenly occurred to me, is not only to dig up the past, but also to scrape the rubble of squatters from that of the great civilizations whose abandoned homes squatters made their own.

Abandoned 91st Street Subway Station-1 line-NYC-8Sealed exit to 91st Street Station

New York City is quite a different place from what it was in 1999 and evidence of habitation has clearly been removed from this station, based on these photos published on Under City Sun in March of this year. Still, graffiti remains hard to tame in this city, tagging or otherwise.

Abandoned 91st Street Subway Station-1 line-NYC-2Another sealed exit to 91st Street Station

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Check out 6 other abandoned subway stations in NYCGet in touch with the author @untappedmich. All images in this article via UnderCitySunRead more about abandoned places in NYC.

3 Comments

  1. Deb C says:

    How I wish the city would really take preserving our history. It is amazing how quickly we discarded what was a beautiful attempt to follow Paris’ subway design. This space should be restored….and if for nothing else…allow a tourist or native city explorer a swipe on their Metro Card to have a look or using the new NYC ID cards to gain access. Such an easy way to generate revenue that could be earmarked towards the care for the space. Use the old Token Booth to sell souvenir’s…. okay you guys… share the idea!!!!

    By the way, thank you so much for sharing these great photos… B-)

  2. Kiwiwriter says:

    I remember seeing that station as I’d go by it on the way to visit my grandparents as a kid.

    My father actually used it a few times when he was a kid.

  3. Joy Abella says:

    Wait. Were you guys on the LandmarkWest tour this past weekend, where John Tauranac mentioned the closed 91st St. stop? I totally tried to stare out the windows of a slow-moving 1 train just last night to see it! Thank you for posting the pics. I went cross-eyed with all the graffitti flying by so close to the windows. Haha.

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