The beautiful subway station you may never see

This glittery postcard, mailed with a one-cent stamp in 1906, celebrates the loop at the City Hall subway station, the first station ever built.

Opened in 1904, it was the southern terminal of the IRT East Side line and featured stunning tiled arches, skylights, and brass chandeliers.


Because the station couldn’t be expanded to fit the longer trains needed to accommodate more passengers, it was closed in 1945. Closed but not totally abandoned. The Transit Museum occasionally gives tours, and the 6 train still uses the loop to reverse direction and go northward.

Read more about it and its architectural beauty here. Or hop on board the East Side IRT at 14th Street by watching this circa-1905 film clip.

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5 Responses to “The beautiful subway station you may never see”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    There’s something watery about it, as if you expect floods to pour in…but it’s very nice and comforting.

  2. ChickenUnderwear Says:

    I have taken the tour. It was cool. But you can see it when ever you want. Just get on a Southbound #4 or #5 at Brooklyn Bridge.

    It will make a loop through the old City Hall Station before becoming a Northbound #4 or #5. Just look out the windows to the right.

  3. A peek at the long-closed City Hall subway station « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] The ghostly platform and tubes of today look pretty much the same as they did in this vintage postcard. […]

  4. Something beautiful hiding under City Hall | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] City Hall station, with its chandeliers and skylights, had a short life span, from 1904 to 1945. Supposedly you can still catch a glimpse of it if you […]

  5. Now this is a majestic New York subway station | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] clean, and easy to navigate, they just don’t hold a candle to the sublime and triumphant City Hall subway station, opened to an excited and celebratory public in October […]

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