Echo Vault. Photo via Gothamist
We know you guys love to read about New York City’s abandoned subway stations, reveling most recently in a Fun Map of these subterranean fascinations. But what about subway stations that were built but never used? An article today about from Second Avenue Sagas about the 7 line extension station at Hudson Yards, awaiting passengers as the rest of the mega development is completed, reminded us of these. Here are 5 never completed or barely used subway stations in New York City:
The 1962 Subway “Bar Car’. Image via The Subway Maven
Drinking an alcoholic beverage on the subway today would probably get you ticketed or arrested but this was not always the case. Alcohol was actually a served along the subway, as reported by The Subway Maven. In the early 1960s, New York City’s Transit system was in the middle of a massive cleanup campaign. As a way to promote it, the Metropolitan Transit Authority created “a bar car” in January of 1962, a one-time publicity stunt for the campaign.
No, you didn’t read that wrong. AINT WET is a guerrilla marketing campaign for the rather bizarre clothing company of the same name run by one Abraham El Makaw. Over the last few months, we’ve come across a few of the signage he’s posted all over the city. His Instagram account, also the official AINT WET account, has a penchant for dead birds, dead fish, roaches, dead rats and marsupials, often smoking cigarettes amidst found trash. Nothing is beyond the limit, with two bottles of pee photographed to mark his 24 hours spent underground.
Submission to the 1964 NYC subway map competition by Raleigh D’Adamo, original design, reconstructed by Reka Komoli
Ever wonder why the 1/2/3 lines are red, or the N/Q/R yellow? Curbed NY has an article that explains it all. We first have to begin in the era when the NYC subway system was really three different systems–the IRT, the BMT and and the IND. Sometimes you can still see the tiles in the underground that reference the old terminology. It seems like New Yorkers like to hang on to old things, as these colors stayed even a couple decades after the unification of the systems in 1940.
On the subway map even in the 1960s, with 34 at the time, it wasn’t the clearest maps. And so in 1964, there was a public competition for the redesign.
In Brooklyn, an abandoned level below the Bergen Street station is a favorite spot for urban explorers, one of many New York City subway stations that have abandoned platforms. Renovations to the station, which serves the F and G trains, in the early 1990s damaged the lower platform, which had been used from time to time over the course of the station’s existence since 1933. Silver doors on the upper level conceal open staircases that go down to the lower level.
Well here you have it: a GIF subway map of New York City that shows the subway lines in order of construction, created by Appealing Industries via Paste Magazine. You’ll notice that the first lines to appear are in Brooklyn, rather than the IRT line on Manhattan. The lines in Brooklyn were part of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (later the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation or BMT), created in 1896. They operated along existing surface railways and streetcar lines.