A peek at the long-shuttered City Hall station

Shut down and decommissioned in 1945, the glorious City Hall subway station—the first station to open in 1904—is occasionally accessible to the public via MTA tours.

An Ephemeral reader descended beneath City Hall last month and took some lovely shots of the elegant subwaytechture: gorgeous tiles, arches, curves, and skylights.

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

Well, except for the hulking token booth–looking structure in the corner….

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18 Responses to “A peek at the long-shuttered City Hall station”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Don’t they use those tunnels for the downtown trains to turn around to the uptown side?

  2. John M Says:

    Yes, Mick is right. That was pretty big news a couple of months ago on the blogs. You can now sit in the 6 train as it goes through the old station and comes up the uptown side.

    • wildnewyork Says:

      Pretty cool–it’s like traveling back in time. Plus it’s the ultimate cheap NY date idea. “Wanna take a ride to see a ghost subway station?”

  3. Igor Says:

    Why was it closed?

    • wildnewyork Says:

      As subway ridership increased, transit officials lengthened trains and train platforms in many stations, But the curves on the City Hall station made this difficult.

  4. Lisa Says:

    Put a soundproof glass wall between the tracks & the platform, and it’d make a great subterranean restaurant space.

  5. Alex Says:

    Supposedly this station runs directly beneath City Hall, opening it up to the public has security risks.

  6. Quid plura? | "So I'll sing you a new song..." Says:

    […] Ephemeral New York sights grotesques in Manhattan and shows you the long-shuttered City Hall station. […]

  7. Allan Says:

    Tours of the City hall station are given several times a year BUT are only available to members of the NY Transit Museum.

    That “Modern” booth in the last photo was used by the NYPD during the Guiliani administration for security purposes.

  8. Peter Says:

    So can we still ride the 6 train to see the old city hall now?

  9. Peter Says:

    I’m going to NYC at the end of April and I would really like to see that.

  10. The vaulted ceiling tiles outside a city building | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] vaulted ceilings are a reminder of the Gustavino-tiled ceilings of the long-shuttered City Hall subway station, all glorious curves and colors and […]

  11. An East Side supermarket’s lovely vaulted ceiling | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Guastavino also designed the vaulted ceilings of the long-closed, absolutely beautiful City Hall subway station. […]

  12. What’s the commotion at City Hall Park? | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] the kiosk for a City Hall subway stop, and the statue of Nathan Hale, relocated many times in its 120-year […]

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

    […] The ticket booth is long gone, but the station itself remains, sometimes open for tours, as seen in these recent photos. […]

  14. trilby1895 Says:

    Do you think, if I were to step into that space in the dead of some night, I might find myself back in 1904? In the excitement of the moment, would I remember to study the faces of those around me so that I could note similarities and differences in our expressions of today?

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

    […] sign up for an official tour sponsored by the New York Transit Museum (here’s a peek at what you’ll see) or by looking hard out the window of the 6 train as it turns around after the Brooklyn Bridge stop […]

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