14. Old City Hall Subway Station

Old City Hall Subway Station

When the New York City subway first opened, the now abandoned City Hall station was referred to as “an underground cathedral,” according to John Ochsendorf, head of the Guastavino Research Project at MIT and co-curator of the “Palaces for the People” exhibit. Speaking to Susan Stamberg of Morning Edition in 2013, Ochsendorf continues, “The public was afraid to go underground at that time and so these vaults and this beautiful decorative, colorful ceiling really helped people feel comfortable in a grand space below the city.”

With its stunning tile work and stained glass windows, the station was designed to be the crown jewel of the New York City subway system. The architecture remains as beautiful as ever, but the station has been closed since 1945 due to its curved platform, which was deemed too short for longer trains that were later used.