3. The Many Abandoned Levels and Platforms of the NYC Subway System

Chambers Street subway station
Disused platform at Chamber Street

As the New York City subway system expanded and changed, some stations and platforms were rendered obsolete or combined into new forms. If you look closely enough, you’ll start to see the patchwork updates that close off the former structures from view. There’s the famous City Hall subway station that was decommissioned because its curved track could no longer accommodate new, longer trains. Then there are the abandoned platforms underneath 42nd Street A/C/E that once accommodated the special Aqueduct Racetrack train, Nevins Street and Bergen Street in Brooklyn.

But there’s also one Chambers Street platform, deteriorating right before your eyes after its closure following the opening of the J/Z lines in 1931. Part of the station actually became the basement of the Municipal Archives. The Grand Central Terminal walkway to the shuttle has the remnants of a subway station that was never finished. Lexington Avenue-63rd Street has the remnants of a tunnel that was originally constructed for the Second Avenue Subway in the 1970s but was never completed — it was incorporated into the new plans. Take a look at photographs from 9 of New York City’s abandoned stations and platforms here along with the many completely abandoned subway stations.

Hunting down abandoned stations and platforms is a favorite past time for New York City urban explorers and their finds are always exciting for us. In 2015, urban explorer Dark Cyanide shared pictures with us of what he believes to be the 76th Street Station in Queens, an IND station on the A line near Ozone Park, a station debatably that did or did not even exist.