In the Echo Vault. Photo by f/11.

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:

5. The 63rd Street Tunnel

Second Avenue Subway_Untapped Cities_Lexington Avenue_63rd St
The tunnel here, previously unused, will soon come to life with the opening of the Second Avenue Subway. Long separated from public view by a wall, we had the opportunity to traverse that wall in 2012 to get a glimpse into the construction of the Second Avenue Subway line. At the time, that tunnel was being retrofitted for a connection to the Q line. Previously, the tracks were used to store out-of-service trains.

4. Nevins Street Unused Tunnel and Level

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

A stop and tunnel for a proposed IRT line over the Manhattan Bridge from exists as an unused level underneath the Nevins Street subway station in Brooklyn. In the active part of the station, ornamented railings from the original subway system lead down to a closed door in the underpass behind which is the unused platform.

3. 76th Street Subway Station in Queens

The New York Times calls this the “Roswell” for “devoted subway buffs.” Its existence is hotly debated and the Times writes that “If it exists, in fact, it is nothing more than a dark four-track IND subway station with blue tiles, on the A line near Ozone Park, Queens.” And if it exists, it was part of plan to extend the A line to 229th Street in Cambria Heights, one of many proposed subway lines that never came to be. According to Joseph Brennan of Abandoned Stations, the station did exist and was in operation for less than a month in 1948. But even then, officials were denying its existence but unions at the time suspected cover up of non-union work.

Brennan contends that the station is still there, but today like in 1948, the official stance is that the station doesn’t exist. The tunnel to the station was sealed off in 1952. Brennan has maps and photographs showing the station’s existence, including one of a train at the platform and one of a subway board at Euclid Station, provided accidentally by the Transit Authority for the book Under the Sidewalks of New York.
But all this may be part of an elaborate April Fool’s Joke (not by us)–see the comment below from Benjamin Kabak of Second Avenue Sagas.

2. The Echo Vault

In the Echo Vault. Photo by f/11.

We we’ve detailed in our article on the Top 12 Secrets of the NYC Subway, the Echo Vault has held one of the more incredible urban stunts of recent memory. Led by Wanderlust Projects, the same group of underground events responsible for the Night Heron Speakeasy in a watertower, 200 people climbed down through a hatch in the midst of a busy area of Manhattan and entered an unused station. Lines of what would have become tracks became places to run around and explore. Staircases led to openings that looked down on a central “Echo Vault” on which performances by the Extra Action Marching Band took place. We’re keeping this location mum but all urban explorers know where this is.

1. South 4th Street, Williamsburg–The Underbelly Project

We Own the NightPhoto by Vic Invades

Underneath Williamsburg at South 4th Street there’s a 6-track station of the IND line that was never opened. In 2009, over the course of a year, street artists PAC and Workhorse invited 100 street artists in and out of the station to create work there overnight. Dubbed The Underbelly Project, the idea was to create an underground gallery, but as PAC describes, apart from recruiting artists they could trust from pre-existing relationships, everything “happened organically along the way.” This video tells the story and shows the art well, and the project went on to be replicated in Paris.  Whether the art still exists in the NYC subway station remains a question, but most we’ve spoken to feel that the MTA sealed off the station and it has remained relatively untouched. Second Avenue Sagas has a great explanation of the unused subway station.
Discover more secrets of the subway and ride through abandoned stations on our underground tour!
Underground Tour of the NYC Subway

Read more: 7 of NYC’s Abandoned Subway Stations: City Hall, 18th St, Worth Street, Myrtle Ave, 91st St and 9 of NYC’s Abandoned and Incomplete Subway Platforms and Levels

What stations did we miss? Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.