Highest Subway Station

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The highest subway station is at Smith and 9th Street in Brooklyn, located 88 feet above street level, according to the MTA. Smith and 9th Street also has some fun nautical chart art on all of its windows.

The New York City subway system wasn’t the first in the world, but as this NPR podcast highlights, the city had the unique “geographical difficulties of building a subway on a crowded and rocky island.” According to Vivian Heller, author of The City Beneath Us, the rock in upper Manhattan is “treacherous and unstable.” Instead of the “cut and cover” method of building subway tunnels, in this area, the ground had to be dynamited. Skilled labor was needed to build underground in this challenging terrain, so workers were brought in from the coal mines in eastern Pennsylvania, silver mines in Colorado, and even diamond and gold miners from South Africa.

According to Clifton Hood, author of 722 Miles, what has truly been lost in the history of the subway is the story of the people who built it. “Most people who ride the subway don’t give any single thought to the fact that real people actually built it and in some cases died or were injured.”

Get in touch with the author @untappedmich

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4 thoughts on “The Deepest and Highest Subway Stations in NYC: 191st St, 190th Street, Smith & 9th

  1. Even though the tunnel isn’t part of the station doesn’t make any less the deepest station. It’s still 180 feet below street level.

  2. The tunnel on the 191st Street Station is not actually part of the Subway…it’s a portion of 191st Street, and run by the Department of Transportation, not the MTA.

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