3. Framing Union Square at Union Square Station

Artist Mary Miss’ Framing Union Square invites subway riders to not just interact with the art, but also to interact with the past. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design in 1998, the installation is made up of 125 red metal frames spread throughout the various levels of the Union Square Subway station. These frames direct your attention to remnants of the original station from 1904 and places where original elements once existed, but are now lost to time.

Mary Miss told MTA Arts & Design, that this interactive subway art installation invites the public “to look below the surface, to see a ‘slice’ of the station, its structure, its history.” When you peer through the frames, you will find decorative tiles, signs, and pieces of infrastructure. You may see a mirror that reflects the current station side-by-side with remnants of its past. In some windows, there are historic images and text that call attention to companies and people who worked in the station. It pays to stop and look closely!