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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.

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Nevins Street-Abandoned Platform-Art Gallery-Show-Exhibit-Phil America-Subway Station-Brooklyn-NYCPhoto by Phil America

“Getting into this exclusive art gallery could literally kill you,” proclaims the headline of the New York Post article on a guerrilla art exhibit by Phil America located in the abandoned level of the Nevins Street subway station in Brooklyn. Curbed New York got the scoop first with an interview with Phil America, who says the police are already investigating the installation. For us, this is particularly exciting because photographs of the lower level of Nevins Street have been difficult to come by, until now.

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Lowline Lab-Lower East Side-Dan Barasch-James Ramsey-Essex Street-2015-NYC_4

Our upcoming exploration tour of the New York City subway system goes from past (the first subway line and what’s left of the station planned as the “Grand Central” of downtown), to present (inside the new Santiago Calatrava-designed Transportation Hub at World Trade Center and the Fulton Center oculus, to the future – at the Lowline Lab. While the earlier portions of the tour will be led by Untapped Cities tour guide Justin Rivers, the portion at the Lowline will be led by lab docents working directly with the space.

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Take a ride through the living history of the world’s largest rapid transit system (in area) by weaving in and out of the past, present and future transit hubs of lower Manhattan. Join Untapped Cities’ tour guide Justin Rivers as he gives an exploratory history of the subway, from its groundbreaking in 1900 to the Read more.

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Masstransiscope is one of those great serendipitous surprises to brighten up your commute, plus it’s located in an abandoned subway station in Brooklyn. Installed by Arts for Transit in 1980, the piece by Bill Brand works like a giant zoetrope – a cartoon that comes to life through the movement of the subway. Zoetrope is located in the decommissioned Myrtle Avenue subway station, which used to be a stop on the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit line between Manhattan Bridge and DeKalb Avenue. 

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3rd ave el-bowery-nyc3rd Ave El over the Bowery in the 1890s. Image via Wikipedia

As New York City evolved and changed into the cosmopolitan city it is today, so did the transit lines connecting the city to the boroughs and Long Island. Here are 12 subway and rail lines that have been built, abandoned, then destroyed in New York City since the late 19th century some because of the construction of parallel underground lines, others because of changes in service patterns. With the triumphant return of the W line in the (supposedly) November 2016, we’re remembering some lines of the past. (more…)