6. Masstransiscope in the Abandoned Myrtle Ave Subway Station

This art installation by MTA Arts for Transit is one of our favorite reuses of an abandoned station. Closed in 1956, Myrtle Ave subway station used to run on the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit line between Manhattan Bridge and DeKalb Avenue. The DeKalb Ave section ran into a lot of problems as it was the chokepoint for the entire BMT Broadway subway operation, “with a lot of merges and some routings crossing others at grade in the switches on both sides of the station,” writes Joseph Brennan.

The entire area was rebuilt in 1956, and this caused Myrtle Ave to lose its southbound platform. The northbound platform still exists but has been closed ever since. An artwork called Masstransiscope by Bill Brand is located in the abandoned Myrtle Ave station. Installed in 1980, the piece works like a giant zoetrope. The piece was restored in 2008 and 2013.