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Philip Ashforth Coppola-Silver Connections-Subway Art-NYC-6The 14th Street Subway Station showing eagles once thought to be lost, by Philip Ashforth Coppola

Calling to mind other obsessive documentary projects by New York area residents, New Jersey resident,Philip Ashforth Coppola, has been documenting the art inside the New York City subway system as illustrations since 1978. The New York Times reports that Coppola originally thought it would take just a few months but he’s still going, and doesn’t anticipate finishing until 2030 (when he’ll be about 82). He uses a ballpoint pen, nothing fancy, and writes out descriptions about each with typewriter.

Philip Ashforth Coppola-Silver Connections-Borough Hall-Subway Art-NYCBorough Hall, Brooklyn’s first subway station

He has compiled these drawings into six volumes titled, “Silver Connections,” which he self-published, as a printer by trade. You can buy the books, starting at $125 and in limited edition, at New York Bound Books, only be sending an email.

Philip Ashforth Coppola-Silver Connections-Subway Art-NYC-4The now abandoned 18th Street Subway Station

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Philip Ashforth Coppola-Silver Connections-Subway Art-NYC-359th Street-Columbus Circle Station (also where there are hidden original mosaics behind boards).

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There’s even a documentary about Coppola, One Track Mindfilmed over the course of four years. Available to stream on Amazon, you can also catch a screening of it at the New York Transit Museum this evening.

Next, see 20 original examples of subway art in NYC and our top 10 picks for best subway art in NYC.

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