Remnants of Original Fulton Street Subway Station Hidden in Plain Sight

Fulton Street-Vintage-Original Subway Exit to Street-Corinthian Columns-Bronze-NYC-2

Fulton Center may be still sparkly new since 2014, with improved connections underground between the numerous subway lines there, a new oculus art piece, and an interior retail space, but you can still find some remnants of an earlier era inside. On the downtown platform of the 4/5 lines, you’ll find an old exit, beautifully ornamented in the style of yesteryear.

The Neoclassical frame shows signs of aging while the somewhat loose cinderblock wall behind gives hint that this was once a rather grand exit to the street, as the engraved sign proclaims. Fluted Corinthian and engaged columns sit below a detailed lintel.

Fulton Street-Vintage-Original Subway Exit to Street-Corinthian Columns-Bronze-NYC

The platform exit is clearly related to the architecture of 195 Broadway, the building above the 4/5 line. The building, constructed in 1916, was the originally the headquarters of American Telephone and Telegraph and Western Union. The exit along Day Street has a similar feel:

Fulton Street Subway Station Exit-Vintage-195 Broadway-Western Union-American Telegraph Building-NYC

Until the Fulton Street renovation, this was still a functioning exit, as seen in the below photograph:

Fulton Street-Vintage-Original Subway Exit to Street-Corinthian Columns-Bronze-NYC-004Photo circa 2011 by Ephemeral New York

Explore this and more on our upcoming tour of the past, present and future of the NYC subway system, including a docent-led tour of the spectacular Lowline Lab, a look inside the new World Trade Center Transit Hub by Santiago Calatrava, a quasi-abandoned station once dubbed as the “Grand Central of downtown,” and more. Tickets are sold out for this weekend’s tours, but spots are still open in June:

Underground Tour of the NYC Subway

Next, check out NYC’s beautiful vintage subway entrances and the city’s abandoned subway stations.

 Fulton Center, Fulton Street, subway

2 Responses
  1. At the opposite end of the Fulton Street station near William Street, there’s a sign the directs riders to the IRT Subway, something one rarely sees in NY any more. Very few signs from the period when the subway was composed of three different lines (IRT, IND, BMT) exist. As recently as the late 1990s, these signs were much more prevalent. The lobby of the original World Trade Center had a nice, modern (early ’70s) sign directing riders to the IRT Broadway Local (#1 train), but of course that was destroyed with the rest of the complex on 9/11.

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